Updated December 5th, 2023 at 14:01 IST

Hi Nanna actor Nani explains how filmmaker Mani Ratnam helped him shape his career

Nani recently reminisced about his childhood affinity for films and recounted how Mani Ratnam's films helped him shape his cinematic sensibilities.

Nani and Mani Ratnam | Image:IMDb

Nani currently is gearing up for the release of his upcoming romantic family drama Hi Nanna co-starring Mrunal Thakur. The film is directed by debutant director Shouryuv. With the film slated for a theatrical release on December 7, the actor recently engaged in a candid conversation with Galatta Plus, shedding light on his cinematic inspirations and the influence of Tamil filmmaker Mani Ratnam in his journey.

Nani's fascination with cinema

During the interview, Nani reminisced about his childhood affinity for films, recounting days spent glued to the television, immersed in movies shown on cable TV. He recalled the excitement of daily film screenings and how these experiences fueled his love for cinema. However, it was a specific turning point that shaped his perspective towards films.

Nani and Mani Ratnam | Image: X


The actor revealed that his curiosity about films was sparked by Mani Ratnam's movies, particularly citing Roja or Thalapathi as his initial encounters with the director's work. While unaware of the director's identity at the time, Nani was drawn to Ratnam's films, feeling an inexplicable pull that made him revisit them repeatedly.

Nani said, "Somehow I realized that it started with Roja or Thalapathi, I think, it was the first film I saw of Mani Ratnam. I didn't know who the director was at that age, but I knew that something about those films of Mani sir made me want to watch them again and again. I don't know what exactly or what to call it. There were films that I loved as a kid. Once I enjoyed that film, I was not like, 'I want to watch it from beginning to end. I want to understand.' It didn't make me think much. It was entertaining me."

Nani and Mani Ratnam | Image: X


Nani's transition over the years

Nani credited Mani Ratnam's films for igniting his interest in exploring the nuances of filmmaking. He confessed that Ratnam's works compelled him to delve deeper into understanding the director's creative choices and intricacies, transcending from a mere moviegoer to someone contemplating the artistry behind each frame.

Nani at an event | Image: X


Nani said, "So, Mani sir's films always made me a little curious about cinema, what the director will think, and how he will think of a scene like this... I never thought in that direction. I was only getting entertained as an audience. So, why I always say it's Mani sir is because I think his films made me... I have always been an audience who loves cinema... I think he put that thought in my head to think about other things in cinema, which made me go into cinema and made me choose this path; choose cinema as a profession. Otherwise, I would have been a good audience watching a film every Friday. So, there's a big influence of Mani sir because I constantly watched his films not just as an audience, but also as I was very curious to understand and notice all the little details and nuances, and I started loving the process of filmmaking."

Meanwhile, Nani's film Hi Nanna will hit the big screens on December 7. 


Published December 5th, 2023 at 13:58 IST