A former gymnast whose lost nothing of her flexibility, Temfah "Pan Pan" Krisanayuth is ideal for the role of action woman Mei Manik, a new character in the last episode of "The Legend of King Naresuan.
Pan Pan is the only daughter of veteran rocker Thitima ‘Waen’ Sutasoontorn and was so skilled at rhythmic gymnastics in her early teens that she made it easily into the national team.
And despite her lack of acting experience – a few small roles in TV soaps – MC Chatrichalerm “Than Mui” Yukol had no hesitation in casting her in the role.
Mei Manik is a Mon-Burmese character who leads her people into joining King Naresuan in his battle with Burma.
A big fan of the movie, Pan Pan is the same age as Jirayu La-ongmanee who played the young Boonting in the first two parts.
She tells Soopsip that she really wanted to be part of the film, even as an extra, so when the crew contacted her mother, she jumped at it.
She’s worked hard under the direction of Than Mui, perfecting her horse-riding skills and learning sword fighting and archery in just two weeks. The young actress, whose co-stars include Nirut Sirijanya, Ron Rithihai and Ratchanee Siralert, has even managed to master the old-fashioned dialogue used throughout the film.
Keep an eye out for Pan Pan when the film hits cinemas next week.
Gambling on being carded
Every year between April 1 and 12, Thai men between the ages of 21 and 29 report to the military to take part in a draft lottery, the results of which decide whether or not they will spend their immediate future in the army.
Drawing a black card means exemption while a red card translates into two years of military service. Young men can also avoid the draft if they completed their military training – known as Ror Dor – during their high school years. The system does however allow for deferral, provided the youngsters can prove that joining the military for two years would seriously disrupt their studies.
The whole draft issue is especially tough for the country’s young male actors have been working since they were kids and whose blossoming careers meant they didn’t have time to join the Ror Dor system.
Young actors James Ma and Pachara “Peach” Chirathivat, scion of the family that runs the Central Group, have already submitted requests to defer enlistment on academic grounds.
But Mario Maurer, who is now 26, doesn’t have an excuse and is scheduled to take part in the lottery on April 7.
For his part, Peach reckons he will be playing the draft lottery next year as by then he will have graduated from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy.
Being from a wealthy family doesn’t make him exempt and while he has yet to discuss the pros and cons of serving his country with his mum and dad, Peach says his parents will respect his decision. A Chirathivat cousin, he adds, didn’t even take part in the lottery but chose to enlist.
And Peach reckons it won’t be a big deal if he does draw a red card.
“Joining the army is a good opportunity to do something for the country,” he says.