One of my favorite character actresses, Panissara Pimpru ( โอปอล์ ปาณิสรา พิมพ์ปรุ ), better known as simply Opal to most Thais, has recently reinvented her appearance, and to flaunt it, she does what any newly toned-up actress would do -- pose in a swimsuit on the cover of a magazine.
Popcornmag has scans of the pix from Lips, and it took me awhile to get my head around the fact that this is Opal.
No, it's not a newly liberated Rihanna. A recent article in the Bangkok Post's Muse section confirms that (cache):
At the very first sight of Opal walking in, 'Muse' greets our cover girl with a compliment on her fierce outfit and perfectly styled straight-fringe, and teasing her that she could be easily mistaken for an identical twin of US pop idol Rihanna.
"Oh, how sweet of you," she responded with her ear-piercing voice. "But that is an insult for Rihanna, don't you think?"
The dusky 27-year-old Bangkokian goes on to blast skin-whitening treatments and Thai society's ideal of light skin being equal to beauty.
Anyway, read the whole piece.
She's recently undergone a slimming program. I don't think she was "fat" before. Now she's just less rounded in some places.
Looking again at the Lips magazine photos ... give me a moment ... I can't believe this is the same woman who's the flirtatious southerner Nurse Tan in 2005's Dear Dekanda (Puen Sanit) -- a role that won her a best supporting-actress prize at the Star Entertainment Awards.
Watch any GTH comedy, and you'll see her. She's the fiery orchestra conductor Professor Rosie in Seasons Change, the bosom-juggling bar floozy in last year's teen romance Hormones and the fortune-teller in Metrosexual.
She's credited in the recent GTH effort, Best of Times, but -- still can't believe this -- I missed her. Can anybody help me out?
Her most recent project is for television, producing and co-starring in the sitcom-drama, Nua Koo Pratoo Tud Pai (literally "your fated lover is next door", according to Lyn's Lakorn Blog), airing on Saturday afternoons on Modernine. The stars are Opal's Puen Sanit and Bedside Detective co-star Sunny Suwanmethanond and actress-model Paula Taylor.
After flirting with a career as a flight attendant and then working in public relations, Opal's debut film role was as the domineering chief maid Jim Dam in Yongyoot Thongkongtoon's 2004 comedy Jaew (M.A.I.D.), which I recently got from Hong Kong on DVD. She's the reason I'll give it repeat viewings.
Though she tells the Bangkok Post that she's turned down offers from other studios to appear in films, she's featured as the dog-hating cat owner in NGR's canine comedy Mid-Road Gang, and is the chatty moviegoer in the indie romance A Moment in June.
Her bit-part roles, particularly in Hormones or A Moment in June, remind me of Frances McDormand's small walk-on roles in the Coen Bros.' Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing.
But I'm not sure we'll ever see Frances in a swimsuit like that.