Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pleum: 'Thailand's answer to Brad Pitt'

I've just started reading The Nation's Soopsip column again after missing it for many months. For time, I was quoting it regularly, but it was hard to access and it fell off the radar. But now it seems to have a regular home on The Nation's ever-evolving website.

Hopefully it will continue as The Nation spins its entertainment and lifestyle content off as the anchor for a new daily mass-circulation free English tabloid called Xpress, which debuts on March 5.

This week Soop Sip puts Pleum in the spotlight. That is M.L. Nattakorn Devakula (whose name is also stated as Nuttakorn Taewakul - the unSanskrit transliteration).

Pleum, whose day job is host of the talk show, Pen Pleum on ModernNine television, as well as a columnist for the Bangkok Post and a pop singer, makes his acting debut in the lead role as Detective Khan in the upcoming horror-crime thriller Soul's Code (Tod Rahad Vinyarn).

Soop Sip has more about the prospect of seeing the jowly Bangkok polymath on a screen 3-meters high, and what he's doing to promote the film:

Evidently he's pulling double duty as the film's publicist, batch-emailing his pals to get them into the theatres. He is, he assures them, Thailand's answer to Brad Pitt, as seen in Seven.

"That's not an exaggeration," he writes. "Must see it whether you like me or not. This will be one of my legacies of the year to remember."

"Khan shares many things with the 'real' me," he writes. "He's sceptical about everything and he likes to investigate and track down the facts."

Pleum apparently underwent some training for the role - how to use a gun, how to beat up bad guys and how to belittle subordinates - but he's still modest about his embryonic acting abilities. He's urged his friends to avoid comparing him to veteran stars.

Nevertheless, he told them, they have to catch the film in the theatre, even though he's unable to send everyone invitations to the premiere. No doubt he's got too many friends and the producers want to limit the drain on ticket revenues.

Most importantly, he's telling people, this will be their only chance to see him on the big screen.

"I won't act in any other movie apart from this one - except if the film has a sequel and Khan is needed to start another case."

There's always a sequel, isn't there? Certainly in Thai politics, with which Pleum is not unfamiliar.

Soul's Code opens on February 28.

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