Ranee 'Bella' Campen's character in the new Channel 3 series 'Plerng Chim Plee' is beautiful, so she's got that part of the role nailed.
The character, Nua Nang, is a rural girl, and that’s not too difficult to pull off. But Nua Nang is also an accomplished dancer in the traditional forms, and that’s what proved to be the challenge for Bella.
In the first episode she had to do the fon ngaen, which really does require talent. You have to do all these curvy bends like a yogi, even touching your head to the floor. And, as if this weren’t enough, Bella had to do the dance so convincingly that viewers couldn’t help but fall in love with her. At least that’s what the script required Atichart “Aum” Chumnanon, playing the hero of the story, to do.
Director Nopporn Komarachun had set Bella up with a dance maestro so she could get it perfect. “I actually learned the fon ngaen when I was young, but training with a pro was a great help,” she says.
When the series debuted last Monday, Bella nailed the dance too. Watching from behind the scenes, the whole production team was stunned into silence, jaws agape. What they knew and what most viewers didn’t know was that Bella was in a car accident not too long ago and she still isn’t 100-per-cent mended. The director even had a stand-in ready in case she didn’t feel up to doing the scene. She did, though, and she was stupendous. “Being able to do the dance,” she says, “really made me feel as though I deserve to be Nua Nang.”
Please join us in a standing ovation.
Clooney now “Mr Alamuddin”
People aren’t actually saying, “George Clooney who?” but that’s the cheeky interpretation of the Hollywood superstar’s wedding last month offered by Business Woman magazine. Its official take on the nuptials, as splashed across the cover: “Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor”.
Obviously interested in enhancing woman’s role in the corporate sector, the magazine wittily dismissed Clooney’s credentials as an A-list actor, box-office magnet, outspoken political activist and perennial stud to focus entirely on a bride who certainly has nothing to blush about. The story inside pointed out that Amal deigning to marry some “actor” (Clooney’s mocking designation throughout) “goes against the trend for professionals in her field.
Whether the angle has an impact on women’s prominence in business remains to be seen, but the magazine surely made a name for itself on the social media. Screenshots of its website were widely circulated, along with many messages of support. The British free-sheet Metro called it the world’s best coverage of Clooney’s wedding. Sorry, make that “Alamuddin’s wedding”.
Apparently some actor has married a top-flight lawyer who specialises in human rights and represents, among many other clients, controversial WikiLeaks whistleblower Julian Assange. She’s also fluent in English, French and Arabic. So it makes sense, at least outside Hollywood, to play her up in the story equally if not more so than Clooney, who’s job, after all, is pretending to be other people in 90-minute chunks of whimsical mass entertainment.