Tony Jaa and Prachya Pinkaew might not be on the best terms right now, but Tony was still on hand for the premiere of Prachya's latest film, Chocolate, and he handed a bouquet of flowers to actress Yanin "Jeeja" Wismitanant, acknowledging her passage into the ranks of Thai action stars.
For the press conference ahead of the screening, there was a free-flowing fountain of chocolate fondue, and Thai journos were wandering around, sipping fluorescent-colored Spy smoothies. Stars from the Sahamongkol Film International family added their signatures and gold handprints to a backdrop on a small side stage. I planted myself in front of the mainstage, though.
Some of the stars were children, including Narawan "Grace" Techaratanaprasert, who are all in an upcoming film, Salad Ta Diao (or something like that), which is a pirate adventure directed by Thanit Jitnukul. ThaiCinema.org has links to the trailers.
Director Prachya Pinkaew and action supervisor Panna Rittikrai were the first to get on stage and talk about the film. They were then joined by Jeeja, and then actress Ammara Siripong, who portrays Jeeja's character's mother. More and more people kept coming up. Eventually the whole Sahamongkol Film International family crowded on for a big group photo. They included Dan Chupong, star of Born to Fight and Dynamite Warrior. I wonder what would happen if Tony Jaa, Dan Chupong and Jeeja were all in the same film? I fear the world would implode from too much action.
Afterward, I chatted with Love of Siam director Chukiat Sakweerakul, who is credited as a co-writer on the screenplay of Chocolate. He said he did some slight rewriting after filming had been completed, which required some additional shooting.
A Chocolate review is coming next. Stay tuned.