I have a couple of items to pass along about actor "Pe" Arak Amornsupasiri.
First, he's been replaced in the sequel to last year's Thai-Laotian romance Sabaidee Luang Prabang by "Boy" Pakorn Chatborirat. The move follows Pe's disparaging remark about the physical attractiveness of Laotian women.
According to a Soopsip item in today's Daily Xpress, Boy was on the defensive when reporters kept peppering him with the same questions over and over, saying he didn't know he was being cast to replace Pe. “I was told my co-stars would be Pe and Ray MacDonald, so I thought Pe was still in the cast. I found out later what had happened, but there are no hard feelings between us.”
Boy appeared in RS Film's gangster comedy Hode Nha Heaw 966 earlier this year.
Dirtii Laundry has more on the cast change.
The movie also stars Laotian beauty queen and actress Khamly Philavong, who made her debut in the first Sabaidee Luang Prabang opposite Ananda Everingham. The plan is to make a trilogy with the same actress playing different characters with different Thai leading men.
When Pe was initially cast in Sabaidee Luang Prabang 2, the gossip press hounded him with questions about how his girlfriend Koy Ratchawin felt about him going to Laos to work on a romance, the Pe said Koy shouldn't be worried because "Thai girls are much more beautiful".
Pe went to Laos last month and started work on the film with the hopes that his gaffe wouldn't cause problems, but he was soon back in Thailand after shooting was suspended. Initially Pe was saying the production halt was because of weather delays, but he later admitted his remark about Laotian women probably had been part of the reason.
The Bangkok Post's Mae Moo column on September 13 quoted Pe:
"All I mean to say was that Koy had no reason to get anxious. I didn't mean it to come out the way it did and would like to say sorry to the production crew who as a result cannot carry on work."
While Pe regrets that his comments were at least partly responsible for derailing the film production, he's not too worried about his career. The actor and rock musician has a full schedule for the rest of the year, with his next film, Five Star's crime thriller Slice due out on October 22.
And that brings me to my second item about Pe today: The filming of a sex scene with Pe in Slice caused quite a bit of stress for debuting lead actress "Jesse" Jessica Phasaphan, even though she says Pe was a gentleman.
Lyn's Lakorns has more on that, with lots of photos.
With the sex scene, which looks to be more graphically expressive than Thai audiences are accustomed to seeing in their homegrown films, as well as what will likely be high levels of violence and gore, it definitely does appear that Slice will be a test of Thailand's new censorship and ratings regime.
Hopefully Slice will break ground and show just how far filmmakers can take things under the system. If what they’re filming is actually allowed to be screened, even under the strict 20+ age restriction, it’s going to change things.
Boundary-pushing filmmakers will demand more of actors and actresses, and Thai audiences. It’ll finally be time for Thailand’s entertainment culture to grow up and knock off the junior-high tittering and hypocritical puritanism over sex and nudity on film.