Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tukky: 'I don't think looks matter that much in showbiz nowadays'

I'm familiar with comic actress "Tukky" Sudarat Butrprom's work in movies. She had a great role in Mum Jokmok's hi-so satire Wongkumlao earlier this year, and she has a disappointingly brief cameo as a Bang Fai Festival beauty queen in Yam Yasothon 2.

Tukky (also Tukkie or Tookie) is also a regular in Poj Arnon's movies. She helped me survive the gay-teenage-soccer comedy Sassy Players and she was also in Poj's cross-dressing ghost comedy Hor Taew Taek Haek Krajerng. I couldn't bring myself to see that one. I can only do one of those movies a year, and I had already bagged my limit. Sorry.

But Tukky's real bread and butter comes from TV, where she appears on several programs produced by Workpoint Entertainment. She started out there as a costume mistress and worked her way onto the shows. These include the long-running variety-game show Ching Roi Ching Lan with Mum, Teng Terdterng and "Nong" Choosak Eamsuk; the Emmy-nominated children's variety game show Lharn Phoo Koo E-Joo; Mum Jokmok's sitcom, Love Factory and even her own variety series Ugly Tukky.

She's profiled in today's Bangkok Post. Here's a snip:

''I've been very busy this year. But my job is not serious in nature. I just have to be funny, and I'd like to think that I'm a funny person anyway so it's not really a job, is it? For me, I can turn it on naturally. Just count 'Three, two, one, action!' and I am at it. Even when I have problems in my personal life, I leave them all behind when the cameras are on,'' says Tukkie.

Of medium build, Tukkie carries a much larger persona. She often slips into self deprecation and mockery. Tukkie is regularly the butt of many jokes due to her Isan origin and country girl looks. It might sound degrading, but that is how Thai comedy, which relies heavily on physical put-downs and classism, works, and this loveable comedian says she plays on it to increase her marketability -- nothing is off-limits when she performs, even when the usual jokes often brand her as unbecoming and not pretty. But Tukkie sans crazy costumes and over-the-top make-up is actually an exotic kind who pays a lot of attention to fashion and accessories. She is in no way the country bumpkin she is often portrayed as.

''I actually like it when people compliment me and say I am not so ugly in real life and that I'm much prettier than what they usually see. I know I'm not butt ugly and that I look regular, but when I'm on TV or in a movie, I go all out, and don't care about my appearance. I can do anything and wear absolutely anything since I cannot do that in real life, right? But, honestly speaking, I don't think looks matter that much in showbiz nowadays. Your capability is much more important.''

Probably her best role yet was in Wongkumlao, playing a social-climbing leopard-skin-clad hi-so woman. I'd like to see her take on more roles like that, maybe even something in a drama. But I doubt she'll get the chance as long as she's doing game shows for Workpoint.

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