Tony Jaa is having money problems, according to a report by Kom Chad Luek newspaper, as translated on the TonyJaa.org message board.
With Ong-Bak 2 70 percent completed and set for a December 4 release, Tony's Iyara Film Company has not paid workers for three months, and water and electricity bills and house payments are also in arrears, according to the story.
The article is by Kom Chad Luek columnist Nanthaphorn Waisayasuwan. Kom Chad Luek is the mass-circulation daily newspaper put out by Nation Multimedia. If it were one of the gossip tabloids, I'm not so sure the folks at the TonyJaa.org forums would have bothered to translate the story. The columnist continues:
From one of my close friends, I was told that these past three months Tony Jaa has been so miserable that he decided to relieve his stress in temple or in shaman house.
What his stress is all about? Shouldn’t he feel free after Sia Jiang opened Iyara Film Company for him to spend time on administration and to manage his directorial affairs?
What makes the honest heart of this guy from Surin bear with great misery?
I heard that he has been bored and tired of people who came to exploit him or dishonestly use him. The situation lasts for a very long time. Therefore, he finally turns to those things he considers sacred.
I think of a popular boxer in the past, Saeb Saensak Muang Surin (aka the Hard Left Fist), who used to be in this situation.
It will be so regrettable if Tony Jaa walks the same track of that boxer.
Sia Jiang, please turn to help this beloved son again!
Where has all the money gone? Didn't he make anything on Ong-Bak and Tom Yum Goong? What about promotional appearances? The article says he was paid 30 million baht to be the presenter for Mitsubishi truck ads in a campaign last year.
Oh there were other gigs, too, like his position as official Culture Representative for Thailand. Or the Award for Best Action Actor from last year's inaugural Global Chinese Martial Arts Presentation Ceremony. Or how about that television commercial to promote Thai longan exports? But I don't suppose he was paid for any of those.