Davika "Mai" Hoorne had quite a time last year with her star turn in the mega-blockbuster "Pee Mak Phra Khanong" and seems to be keeping the momentum going amid rabid anticipation for director ML Bandevanov "Mom Noi" Devakula's remake of the classic "Pl
Proof of how fast and steadily Mai’s star is rising is her photo on the cover of Vogue Thailand and the glossy fashion spread inside. Mai is only the third Thai to grace the cover after fellow actress Patcharapha “Aum” Chaichue and model Phitsinee “Si” Tanwiboon.
Mai’s outfits and poses in Vogue have garnered a rave review from one of Thailand’s top photographers, Nat Prakobantisuk, who says she’s one of the few stars whose fashion sense matches that of professional models. She’s more petite than most pros, but the Vogue team was reportedly delighted with her glamorous debut.
Mai’s hair is cut stylishly short, quite a change from the long locks she sports in her scary movie and the period film that’s coming soon. The stylist on the shoot evidently wanted to get her looking more chic than, say, a rice farmer, which is what she plays in “Plae Kao”, a flick based on Mai Muang Derm’s novel.
“I consider myself very fortunate,” Mai tells the magazine. “Being an actress gives me a chance to do so many things.” For Mom Noi’s movie, the half-Thai, half-Belgian actress had to learn to harvest rice and ride a water buffalo, experiences she describes as “priceless”. “I felt honoured because these are at the root of Thai culture.” The contrast with the Vogue cover is truly dramatic, though, she laughs. Her teeth were blackened in “Pee Mak” for the horror effect and in “Plae Kao” she has a darker complexion.
Still, she’s pleased with the quality of her cinema work thus far. Her ghost role as Mae Nak won her a nomination for a Subanahongsa Award, which has only inspired her to grow further as an actress. The former TV actress is now an A-list film star, but she’s still modest about her talent. “Every role is different and I want to do my best in every one, including on TV, in plays, modelling and the movies,” she says. She’s obviously heeding the advice of Mom Noi, who told her that a beautiful face wouldn’t keep her in show business forever, but being a good actor would, and that requires constantly honing your skills through acting classes.
Vogue asks Mai if she feels the pressure of being dubbed “the Bt1-billion actress” and knowing that a lot of people expect her next movie to earn just as much. “Not at all,” she says. “I don’t think any film could achieve what ‘Pee Mak’ did in terms of revenue – even if someone made a sequel.” It came down to a special mixture of ingredients, including the cast. “It’s not just about me or Pee Oh [co-star Mario Maurer] but the whole family of cast members that made it so successful.”