22 October, 2020

Billboard Bluster

NTR's grandson hopes to be the late screen icon's true 'successor'

P. Anil Kumar
Billboard Bluster
Move over Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh and Soundarya, debutants are the toast of the season in Telegu cinema today. But among the hot nyts (new young things), one is more special than the others. This swarthy hero doesn't have the chocolate looks to set the box office afire. But his face and name are tickets to instant fame. For one, the young man shares an uncanny resemblance to his famous politician grandfather. He even has the same name. In Andhra Pradesh, where movie stars are demi-gods and sons inherit their father's fan clubs, Nandamuri Tarakarama Rao, or NTR Jr as he's better known, is being touted as the natural heir to a staggering celluloid legacy. Six years after his death, NTR remains the undisputed king of Telegu cinema—India's largest movie industry after Bombay. Now his fans are looking to his favourite grandson to recreate the magic.

It didn't begin that way, though. The child of a second wife of NTR's son Harekrishna, NTR Jr grew up on the fringes and didn't even get to see his grandfather till he was well past his fifth birthday. One day the grand old man...


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