Luk Kreung in History and Popular Culture

It has been a while since I’ve explored the influence of luk kreung (i.e. half-Thai people) in popular culture. Today it seems that a great number of part-Thai people are prominent in Thai popular culture. However, this phenomenon is not new considering that the first luk kreung actors appeared in the 1940s to 1960s. This nevertheless, is not widely known nowadays.

In a previous article I’ve also discussed the topic of interracial marriage prior to the later decades of the 20th century mentioning that those relationships were mostly limited to small groups of people in cultural contact zones. However, interracial marriages became more common in the 1960 and 70s in Southeast Asia due to the Vietnam War. Consequently, in that time period more mixed race children were born.

Luk Kreung in History

Now I will take a look back at luk kreungs of another era and provide you a window into the past with some antique photos.

The Bunker Families (1865),

The Bunker Families (1865), Siamese Twins Chang and Eng (

I’d like to begin with a historical example from the 19th century. Of course, you’ve certainly heard of the famous Siamese Twins Chang and Eng Bunker. The Siamese Twins were born 1811 and brought to the US in 1829 where they became known in freak shows. Later, the conjoined twins became American citizens and got married to the sisters Sarah and Adelaide Yates Bunker. In total they had 21 children, one of them was Catherine Bunker. I’m not sure what became of the twins’ children but probably they made a living in the United States.

Catherine Bunker

Catherine Bunker, daughter of the Siamese Twins

Perhaps you also remember the family of Mhom Mali, a Russian lady, and General Mhomjao Thongtekhayu Thongyai? I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that there were a few Thai men of royal heritage who got married to Western women in the early 20th century. Mhom Mali and the General settled in Hua Hin and had four children. Their oldest luk kreung son M.R. Chakthong Thongyai born in 1913, became a prominent politician. He became the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Finally, he was also a Senator. Probably, there is no other half-Thai person to achieve this position in the Thai government. He died at the age of 85 in 1998.

Family of Mhom Mali and General Mhomjao Thongyai with their four children

Family of Mhom Mali and General Mhomjao Thongyai with their four luk kreung children

His sister M.R. Pakpring Thongyai, born in 1916 became famous too because she got married to Kukrit Pramoj.

Here is a pic of the younger versions of them...the lukkreung M.R. with the future PM Kukrit Pramoj of Thailand in their younger years

The luk kreung M.R. Pakpring Thongyai with the future PM Kukrit Pramoj of Thailand in their younger years

Kukrit Pramoj was the 13th Prime Minister of Thailand and he was also an actor. Thus, he even acted alongside Marlon Brando in the American movie ‘The Ugly American’ (1963). What is more, Pramoj is the author of the classic Thai novel ‘Four Reigns’ (Si Paendin).

Luk Kreung in Early Popular Culture

I’d like to turn to the amazing Amara Asavananda, a Thai-French actress and beauty pageant girl from the 1950s. There is one picture in which I would have mistaken her for Elizabeth Taylor. She was the 2nd runner-up of Miss Thailand in 1953 and became Miss Universe 1954 in the pageant competition which took place in the US.

Amara Asavananda

Amara Asavananda

Born in 1937 to Luang Prajerd-aksonlak (Sombhoj Asavananda) and Madam Prajerd-aksonlak (Georgette Asavananda), Amara was a well-known actress in Thai movies from the 1950s. Some examples are Prisana (1955), Leb-krut (1957), Rak Rissaya (1958), In-sree Dang (1958), Hao Dong (1958), Toong Ruang Rong (1959), See Kings(1959), Chaleoy Suk (1959,) Sud Pradthana (1961).

Amara Asavananda, Miss Universe 1954

Amara Asavananda, 2nd runner-up of Miss Thailand in 1953

In 1966, she married Police Lieutenant General Ankoon Purananda and eventually she received less acting roles. Later in the 1970s, she still worked as an actress but only got supporting roles. She has two daughters, Apichaya and Anoma. There is another luk kreung actress from that era who is called Kesarin Patamawa. Perhaps she is not as well known as Amara but she is probably Thai-French too. Here they are together in a picture.

Kesarin Patamawa and Amara Asavananda

Kesarin Patamawa and Amara Asavananda

Like Amara, Kesarin was one of the first luk kreung in Thai showbiz and pop culture in the 1950s. She was also an actress who was active in movies from 1958 to 1962. There was one movie from 1962 called ‘กัลปังหา’ in Thai which made her famous.

Kesarin Patamawa

Kesarin Patamawa

Last but not least, there is also a luk kreung politician and Thailand’s leading philanthropist that I’d like to mention here: Mechai Viravaidya, born in 1941 of Thai-Scottish origin. In Thailand he is known as ‘Mr. Condom’ because he promoted not only condoms but also family planning and  sexual-safety awareness in the 1960s and 1970s. Hence, in 1973 he founded a non-profit organization called ‘Population and Community Development Association’ (PDA). His main aim was to improve the living conditions of the rural poor. Eventually, he also founded a restaurant chain called ‘Cabbages and Condoms’ where customers got a condom with the bill. With this project, he wanted to make condoms as common and as accepted as cabbages.

Mechai Viravaidya, Mr. Condom

Mechai Viravaidya, Mr. Condom

Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed these insights and that I could provide you a window into the past introducing you to some of the first luk kreung people in history and Thai popular culture and politics. Big thanks also to my Thai-American friend Steven Layne for this lead!

Pete Thongjure: Thai-American Actor

Pete Puntakarn Thongjure was born in January 1968 in California, USA. He is a famous half-Thai actor and model. His family moved back to Thailand when he was six years old. He is the eldest son of the famous actor and rally car driver Pinyoo Thongjure.

Pete Thongjure

Puntakarn Thongjure (photo: SaReNIE,

‘Pete’ Puntakarn Thongjure (photo: SaReNIE,

Thus, it does not come as a surprise that Pete started acting early in his childhood. What is more, his three younger siblings are also well-known in Thailand. Perhaps you’ve heard of Saifar, NamThansod and NamPoung (Honey) Thongjure.

He first did some Thai TV commericals when he was a kid and soon other opportunities arose. Thus, Pete also got into acting and appeared in his first movie when he was only seven and a half. Hence, at the age of nine he was already co-hosting the show “Pao-ying-shoob”. At the age of 11, he was a popular actor in TV series and movies. However, when he was 13, his parents sent him back to the US for his further education. Today, Pete has been in the Thai entertainment industry for over 30 years and he is still going strong.

Over 30 years in the entertainment industry: Pete Thongjure (photo:

Over 30 years in the entertainment industry: Pete Thongjure (photo:

He was in a number of popular movies and Thai TV series. His first drama was the lakorn ‘Ubattihed’ with half-Thai actress Katarina Glos.

For instance, he starred in the classic ghost story ‘Mae Nak’ (2000) on Channel 7 and he was in horror movies like ‘Bangkok Haunted’ (2001), ‘Lizard Woman’ (2004) and ‘Fan Mai’ (2010) starring alongside Thai movie star Ananda Everingham.

An interesting alternative movie produced by Pete Thongjure is ‘Province 77 Los Angeles’ (2003). He also starred in his movie which is about Thai immigrants in Los Angeles. There is a place called ‘Thai Town’ where most of these immigrants live – hence, it is also referred to the Thai 77th province. The movie draws a grim picture of a Thai family in LA whose restaurant is in danger of being confiscated for unpaid taxes. What is more, it seems hard to maintain traditional Thai values in the environment where gangs rule but finally the family unifies again. By the way, the soundtrack to the movies is by the Thai rap band Thaitanium.

Province 77 movie starring half-Thai actor Pete Thongjure (photo

Province 77 movie starring half-Thai actor Pete Thongjure (photo

Nevertheless, Pete maybe regarded as a rarity the showbusiness being an actor who is introvert and does not like to talk much about himself. He enjoys his privacy and loves quiet and peace. In his view, keeping his privacy has been vital in maintaining such a long career.

The racing driver and actor (photo: Pete Thonchua Fanclub, FB page)

The racing driver and actor (photo: Pete Thonchua Fanclub, FB page)

His proudest acting achievements are his action TV series whom Pete enjoys very much. Nevertheless, he is a passionate racing driver and loves fast cars like his father. Hence, he also has a reality show about his racing career. He loves race driving because it requires precision and concentration. Thus, racing is like meditating since the mind has be stay focussed and quiet.

Today, Pete is father of three children and a true family man. His wife is Wilailak ‘Jeng’ Tongchua. Hence, we may say that Pete Thongjure is truly a versatile actor with a long career and also a popular racing driver.

Yours, Sirinya

Jay Montonn Jira: Thai-American Singer & Actor

Jay Montonn Jira is a Thai-American singer and actor. In fact, he is also called a show business ‘allrounder’ with good reason. Born in November 1981 in Hong Kong, he returned to Thailand as a kid with his family and went to school there until grade 11. Then he moved to California to complete high school.

Jay Montonn Jira

Thai-American singer & actor Jay Montonn Jira*

Thai-American singer & actor Jay Montonn Jira*

However, in his youth, he already won a talent competition at the age of ten. Since then he has been working in the Thai entertainment industry. By the age of 13, Jay was also doing some modelling and a few years later when he was 17, he was a lead actor in Thai TV series and movies.

However, Jay sees himself primarily as a musician and has been pursuing his musical career for some years now. He recorded his first album after completing high school and returning to Thailand. The album is called ‘J’.

What is more, he is also a DJ, arranger, composer and producer. Nevertheless, Jay acted in a number of Lakorns where he played both good and bad guys. For instance, he was in the drama ‘Sai Tarn Hua Jai’ with Ae Isariya Saisanan on Channel 7.

Montonn Jira*

Jay Montonn Jira*

Another drama Jay was in is ‘Look Poo Chai Hua Jai Petch’ starring alongside singer Hugo Chakrabongse Levy and Namfon Kullanat. In addition, Jay starred in the Thai movie ‘Pop Star’ (2006). As far as films are concerned, Jay has also written movie scores. For instance, he was an assitant editor for the ‘Lion King’.

In fact, he studied music composition and electronic music production in the US. In 2007 he was the musical director and programmer for Neptune. Thus, he toured around the world performing with international stars like Jusitin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado. This was also when he performed at ‘Live Earth’, a gigantic concert event in New Jersey.

Jay Montonn Jira*

Jay Montonn Jira*

However, he has also worked with Thai artists like Modern Dog, Siam Secret Service and The Crub, for instance. Today, he has his own music label called ‘Samut Prakarn Sound’. Most recently, he is performing with Hanna L. Bengtsson producing charming and beautiful songs like ‘The Way’ and ‘Be True’.

Finally, we may say that Jay Montonn Jira is an international half-Thai artist. Even though he is a great actor, he sees himself primarily as a musician with good reason and sings both in English and in Thai.

Yours, Sirinya

Top 5 Posts: Nadech & Yaya Are Number One

Do you like to know which are Sirinya’s Thailand Blog’s most popular posts? Well, since I’ve been writing my blog for more than nine months now, I think it’s time for a small review of the Top 5 Posts.

Top 5 Posts: Nadech & Yaya Are Number One

Can you guess who is the number one? Yeah, it does not come as a surprise to me that it is Nadech & Yaya.

Nadech & Yaya (photo Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

First among the Top 5 Posts: Nadech & Yaya (photo Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

I think you all know this cute on-screen couple that is also frequently paired for fashion shootings and TV commercials. Both Nadech and Yaya are very talented young half-Thai actors popular in Thailand but also in other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam. For instance, there is the charming Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage that provides fans with the most recent news about the two actors.

Nadech & Yaya in The Rising Sun (phot:o

Nadech Kugimiya & Yaya Urassaya Sperbund in The Rising Sun (photo:

Not surprisingly either, my article about Yaya Urassaya Sperbund is the second most viewed post on my blog. I think Yaya is so famous and loved by her fans because she is very lovely, playful, effortless charming but also a bit childish sometimes which makes her particularly amiable.

Yaya Urassaya Sperbund (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Yaya Urassaya Sperbund (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Most recently, Yaya graduated from Chulalongkorn University. Congrats, dear Yaya! You are very talented 🙂

Yaya Urassaya just graduated from Chulalongkorn University (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Yaya Urassaya just graduated from Chulalongkorn University (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Next follows an article about another young luk kreung actress – do you guess who it is? It’s actress and model Mai Davika Hoorne who became famous with her role as Mae Nak in the movie ‘Phi Mak Phra Khanong’. No wonder she is so popular – she is not only lovely but her beauty is also classic. Thus, she has been the cover girl on numerous glossy magazines like the Vogue for instance.

Thai-Belgian actress Davika Hoorne (photo: Mai Davika FB page)

Thai-Belgian actress Davika Hoorne (photo: Mai Davika FB page)

This leads us to my number four post which is about Thai-German actor Mario Maurer. It seems that the most popular posts on my blog are all about young actors. Well, Mario has been in ‘Phi Mak Phra Khanong’ in the leading role alongside Mai Davika. Apart from acting, Mario also does a lot of TV commericals and has been advertising for TAT ( Tourism Authority of Thailand), thus promoting different areas of Thailand.

Mario (photo credit: TAT Kunming)

Mario Maurer (photo credit: TAT Kunming)

Most recently, there has been a cute Mario Maurer doll (Funko Pop). A must for all true Mario fans, I guess 😉

Mario Maurer with his Funko Pop (photo Mario Maurer FBpage)

Mario Maurer with his Funko Pop (photo: Mario Maurer FB page)

Hence, last but not least, my fifth most popular post varies from the rest since it is about the Thai Tradition of Tattooing called Sak Yant. I can understand that this is a subject of interest to many people since to some extent, Sak Yant has also become popular in Western countries. What is more, Sak Yant differs from ‘common’ tattoos because they are supposed to have a magical meaning and power.

Tattooed Monk of Wat Bang Pra (photo credit

Tattooed monk of Wat Bang Pra (photo credit:

Did you like this recap? And do you like the top four young actors as much as I do? I think we all love Nadech & Yaya and are thrilled by the Yadech-Factor 🙂 Thus, enjoy reading my blog and getting to know more about Thai (popular) culture!

Yours, Sirinya

Paula Taylor: Thai-British Actress

Paula Taylor is a popular half-Thai actress, model and presenter born in January 1983. Her real name is Punlapa Margaret Taylor but in the entertainment industry she is known as ‘Paula Taylor’. Her father is of British descent and her mother is Thai-Chinese.

Paula Taylor

Paula Taylor, Thai-British actress*

Paula Taylor, Thai-British actress*

She was born in Bangkok but then her family moved back to Australia where she grew up in Perth until the age of nine. Eventually her parents divorced and thus Paula moved to Brisbane. She is very comfortable and happy with being a luk kreung because she claims to have had the best of both worlds.

In her teens, Paula went to visit her family in Thailand. That was when she got into contact with the Thai entertainment industry. At the beginning of her career, she did some modelling, appeared in TV commercials and acted in small Thai movies.

Paula Taylor*

Paula Taylor: Thai-British actress, model and presenter*

After being discovered by TV producer Tanawat Wansom and becoming a media personality, she also starred in the Thai romance comedy film ‘Ruk Jung’ The Memory (2006) in the role of Jaa. Thus, she became well-known not only as a TV hostess but also as an actress.

Hence, in 2011 Paula had her Hollywood debut in the Thai-American supernatural thriller ‘Hellgate’. She had the role of Som Mathews starring next to William Hurt and Cary Elwes. What is more, she was also in a number of music videos like for instance ‘Mark mai’ by Bie the Star.

Before this Hollywood movie, she participated in ‘The Amazing Race Asia 2’ thus gaining more popularity in other Southeast Asian countries. Thus, for instance she has also appeared on the Philippine TV Sunday variety show. In addition, today she also produces videos giving some make up tips for a daily look, for example.

Paula lives in Thailand now and still does Thai TV commercials and television guest appearances. In 2010 she got married to Edward Buttery who is of Anglo-Chinese descent. She has two children, a daughter born in 2011 named Lyla Jane Buttery and a son called Luca Christopher Buttery born in 2015.

Paula Taylor and her daugther Lyla Jane*

Paula Taylor and her daugther Lyla Jane*

Hence, Paula has also done a few videos with her daughter. Like this charming video, where she prepares cupcakes with the little ones. It really seems fun and Paula is enjoying herself in the role of a mother. What is more, today she also runs a clothing line for children called ‘Paula and Baby’.

Finally, I think that Paula Taylor is an admirable, successful half-Thai actress who is also a devoted mother. What more could one want? 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

(*all photos in this post, credit: Paula Taylor FB page)

Luk Kreung and the Construction of Thainess

Cultural studies have explored the relationship between farang and Thai national identities or Thainess. These studies put forward that since the 1950s and the beginning of the 21st century, foreign influences have intensified to intimate levels of cultural and physical hybridization. Thus, in the form of Thai-farang or luk kreung, foreign otherness seems to have become an object of cultural intimacy in Thailand.

Luk kreung & Thainess

We may say that as a post-Vietnam War era phenomenon, cultural intimacy between Thai and farang have increased, hence exceeding the forms of cultural contact in previous generations. Thus, interracial marriages have become a widespread social phenomenon since then, although these kind of unions, and hence luk kreung people, have been known since the Ayutthaya period.

Prince Chula & Elizabeth Hunter (photo credit:

The half-Thai Prince Chula Chakrabongse & his English wife Elizabeth Hunter (photo credit:

In earlier times, i.e. prior to the later decades of the 20th century, interracial marriages were generally limited to small groups of people. These were persons who were in the main cultural contact zones (e.g. Christians, Chinese) and who worked closely with Europeans.

Ekaterina Desnitska and Chakrabongse Bhuvanath (photo credit:

Ekaterina Desnitskaya, Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath and son Chula (photo credit:

Nevertheless, there were some rare cases in which Thai and European unions occurred among royals or the elite. For instance, think of Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath (Prince of Bisnulok) and his Ukranian wife Ekaterina ‘Katya’ Desnitskaya and their half-Thai son Prince Chula Chakrabongse.

Prince Rangsit, his wife Elizabeth and their three children (photo credit:

Prince Rangsit, his wife Elisabeth and their three children (photo credit:

Another prominent example is the racially mixed marriage between Prince Rangsit Prayurasakdi and the German lady Elisabeth Scharnberger. They had three children, two sons and a daughter called Princess Charulaksana Kalyani Rangsit.

Princess Charulaksana Kalyani Rangsit (born 7 August 1924) (photo credit: Seissenshi,

Princess Charulaksana Kalyani Rangsit (born 7 August 1924) (photo credit: Seissenshi,

In fact, there were a few Thai men of royal descent who married Western women at the beginning of the 20th century. For instance, there was Lady Ludmilla Ivanovna Barsukova from Russia who was married to General Mhomjao Thongtekhayu Thongyai. They had four children together and stayed in Hua Hin. Lady Ludmilla, who is probably of Russian royal lineage, lived in Thailand until she died in 1980 at the age of 90. Her Thai name was Mhom Mali.

Lady Ludmilla & Prince Thongyai with their four children in Hua Hin (photo credit:

Lady Ludmilla & Mhomjao Thongtekhayu Thongyai with their four children in Hua Hin, 1921 (photo credit:

Thai-farang relationships first became a common social practice since the 1960s when American GIs were stationed at the US military bases in upcountry Thailand. Hence, some of them formed relationships to Thai women who mostly stemmed from the countryside. As a consequence, a remarkable numer of half-Thai people were born who also became a prominent topic in novels, movies and TV series during the 1960s and 70s.

The most significant novels dealing with Thai attitudes to luk kreung were Sifa’s ‘Khao nork na’ (1976, Wild Rice or literally translated ‘Rice Outside the Paddy Field’) and Botan’s ‘Phuying khon nan cheu Bunrort’ (‘That Woman’s Name Is Bunrort’) which was published in 1981. You might recall my previous article about ‘Luk kreung and Concepts of Mixed Race in Thailand’, then you know that the luk kreung from the Vietnam War era were not regarded as desirable.

The Siam Renaissance (photo credit:

The Siam Renaissance – luk kreung as representatives of Thainess (photo credit:

However, this perception has changed since the 1980s. Generally, it seems that Thailand has discovered Thai-farang as representatives of a modern form of Thainess. For example, the movie ‘The Siam Renaissance’, starring Thai-French actress Florence Faivre, deals with this subject. The movie reveals how the concept of the powerful West is stripped of its foreignness in order to become part of modern Thai identity.

The Thai-ization of the farang (photo credit:

The Thai-ization of the farang in the Siam Renaissance (photo credit:

What is more, cultural anthropologist Jan R. Weisman argues that the luk kreung boom reveals the Thai fascination with half-Thai people, a phenomenon related to issues of modernity, sexuality and race. In this way, Thai-farang is presented as being cosmopolitan, thus being able to act on a global stage. Hence, the general popularity of Eurasian luk kreung have also strengthened the allure of farang in popular culture that manifested first in the late 19th century with the Siamese strive for ‘siwalai‘ or ‘civilized’ things.

Summing up, we may claim that the present popular cult of the European-Thai luk kreung shows that they are very important in constructing a modern Thai identity which is also referred to as Thainess.

Yours, Sirinya

(Reference: Rachel V. Harrison & Peter Jackson eds. The Ambiguous Allure of the West. Traces of the Colonial in Thailand, 2010)

Kimberly Ann Voltemas – Thai-German Actress

Kimberly Ann Tiamsiri Voltemas, born in 1992, is a popular half-Thai actress and model. She has a Thai mother who is from Chiang Mai and a German father. She is the youngest of four siblings, her sister is called Jennifer and her brothers are Thomas and Daniel. She is nicknamed Kimmy Kimberly which is also her stage name.

Kimmy Kimberly

Kimberly Ann Voltemas*

Kimberly Ann Voltemas*

Kimberly entered the Thai entertainment industry as a teenager in 2009. At first, she did some modelling and was featured in several music videos. As an actress, she debuted in Channel 3’s most popular TV series called ‘4 Huajai Haeng Koon Kao’ (4 Hearts of the Mountains).

Kimmy Kimberly*

Kimmy Kimberly*

This TV series was aired in 2010 and Kim played the role of Nam or Thipthara who is a warmhearted and compassionate doctor. In this movie, she acted alongside other well-known young luk kreung actors like Nadech Kugimiya and Urassaya Sperbund.

Acting in the role of Nam is this series has gained Kim many fans in Thailand and all over Asia. In addition, she has been constantly improving her acting skills, thus becoming an accomplished actress. Kim’s manager is Noom Piyachart and together they have succeeded in establishing her a fine reputation in the entertainment business.

In 2012, Kim acted alongside Prin ‘Mark’ Suparat in the roles as Cha-Aim and Khun Tam in the remake of Punya Chon Kon Krua 2012. Hence, both actors became very popular as an onscreen couple (‘koo jin’). Since then they have frequently been paired in series and modelling 🙂

In fact, Kim has been much praised by her fellow actors. Hence, she may be regarded as a young actress in high demand. Even acclaimed actress Ann Thongprasom thinks highly of Kimberly and her talents. Ann is of the opinion that Kim might one day replace her as a princess of Thai entertainment. Furthermore, she finds that Kim very much resembles herself and thus can even identify with her. Consequently, Ann also holds the view that Kim might reach same level of success as herself. Great compliment! 🙂

Hence, Kim has already starred in the series ‘Ab Ruk Online’ in which actress Ann Thongprasom is also in. Further, this TV series features her partner Prin ‘Mark’ Suparat and acclaimed actor Peter Corp Dyrendal. In fact, up until now Kim is the first and only younger generation actress who has been in three out of five lakorns produced by Ann Thongprasom. These are ‘Punya Chon Kon Krua 2012’, ‘Ab Ruk Online’ and ‘Piang Chai Kon Nee Mai Chai Poo Wised’.

Furthermore, Kim has been the cover-girl of several magazines and has also featured in a lot of TV commercials like this one for United Almond, for instance.

Summing up, we may claim that Kimmy Kimberly is one of the most aspiring and promising actresses of the younger generation in Thai entertainment industry. She is not only popular with her fans but also with her fellow actors 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

(*photo credit: Kimmy Kimberly, Official FB page)

Mario Maurer: Thai-German Actor

Mario Maurer was born 1988 in Bangkok to a Thai-Chinese mother and a German father. He is also known as Nuttavut Maurer and his nickname is ‘Oh’. He has an older brother called Marco with whom he performed some Electro-Hip Hop music. They formed a Hip-Hop Duo named “PsyCho & Lil’Mario” in 2007. You may watch an example of their music here. However, even though Mario has done some singing, he does not regard himself as a singer.

Mario Maurer

Mario (photo credit: TAT Kunming)

Mario (photo credit: TAT Kunming)

Mario was discovered as a fashion model at the age of 16 when he was approached by a modelling agent at Siam Square. Since then he has been working as a model for magazines, commercials and videos. Today, he is a well-known luk kreung actor and model in Thailand who has been also studying Communication Arts at Ramkhamhaeng University.

He became renowned as an actor starring in the movie The Love of Siam in 2007. This film, written and directed by Matthew Chookiat Sakveerakul, became very popular. It is about a gay romance between two teenage boys. This movie may be regarded as a pioneering film on this subject. Mario was praised for his dramatic abilities and considered a mature actor in his role as a homosexual young man. Hence, in 2007 Mario won the Best Actor award in Starpics Thai Films Awards and was also nominated in Bangkok Critics Assembly and Star Entertainment Awards.

Mario Maurer (photo credit:

Mario Maurer (photo credit:

Mario did not intend to become an actor but once he entered the Thai entertainment industry, he gained popularity quickly. Still, he has remained down-to-earth and surprised at this own fame 😉

Thus, in 2010 he became even more famous starring in the movie First Love which is also known under the title Crazy Little Thing called Love. This is a charming romantic comedy about young people falling in love for the first time. This film has become very popular because it deals with topics that nearly everyone has experienced in his life and thus can identify with the characters.

What is more, Mario has done a lot of acting in Thai drama series. For instance, he was in The Rising Sun (Roy Fun Tawan Deard, 2014), a series with a Japanese setting. In this drama Mario (Onizuka Takeshi) starred alongside the young well-known young actors Nadech Kugimiya and Yaya Sperbund.

Mario and Nadech in The Rising Sun (photo credit:

Mario and Nadech in The Rising Sun (photo credit:

In particular, Mario became even more acknowledged as an actor starring in the popular horror comedy Phi Mak Phra Khanong. In the role of Phi Mak, Mario acted alongside the lovely actress Mai Davika Hoorne as Mae Nak. In fact, they make a charming film couple and have also done some modelling together.

Mario and Mai Davika on Volume magazine 180 VOLUME WONDER 9 Cr. Volume Magazine

Mario and Mai Davika on Volume magazine 180 VOLUME WONDER 9 Cr. Volume Magazine

Mario has had versatile roles. For instance, he had the leading role in the erotic drama ‘Jan Dara the Beginning’ (2012) and ‘Jan Dara the Finale’ (2013). In these movies he is Jan Dara, a boy whose mother died giving birth to him and who is thus hated by his sadistic father Luang Wisnan. Growing up with his Aunt Wad, his stepmother, he struggles to reconcile his guilt and longing with different women in his life. In the second part, Jan Dara wants to find out who his real father is and wants to take revenge on him.

Most recently, Mario has been promoting Amazing Thailand with TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand). They have produced a series of very nice clips that really makes you want to go to Thailand immediately and try all the things that Mario does 🙂

Finally, we may say that Mario Maurer is a bright and promising young half-Thai movie star. He has already starred in a variety of different roles and I must say that he cuts quite a figure in each role that he plays 🙂 I’m curious what his future movies will be!

Yours, Sirinya

Ann Thongprasom – The Popular Thai-Swedish Actress

Ann Thongprasom, born 1976 in Bangkok, is a well-known luk kreung actress in Thailand. She was born to a Thai mother and a Swedish father. Since her father died early, Ann grew up with her grandmother in Thailand. Her mother raised Ann’s two brothers and sent some money for her education now and then. Even though Ann missed her parents, she lived happily with her grandma and they took care of each other.

Ann Thongprasom

Ann Thongprasom (photo credit:

Ann Thongprasom (photo credit:

Today, Ann is considered the ‘Princess of Thai Entertainment’. Starting her acting career in the early 1990s, she was the leading actress in numerous Thai TV series in the 2000s. Apart from acting, she has also been a hostess, producer and engaged in some charity projects. For example, she has been appointed as Youth Ambassador for UNICEF Thailand since 2009.

As a young teenager, Ann came into the entertainment industry. A friend of her mother, who was a makeup artist for RS Promotion, once invited her for a music video test. Hence, at the age of 13 Ann featured in her first music video for the singer Pisoot Supwijit.

However, it took a few years until she became a renowned actress. The Lakorn ‘Song Naree’ (Two Women) brought her some popularity and she was awarded the TV Gold award for the Best Leading Actress. In this film, Ann acted out the personalities of the opposing twins Neung and Song. These were demanding and also ambitious roles for the young actress. However, it was also her great chance to become successful.

A lovely actress (photo credit: Ann Thongprasom, FB page)

A lovely actress (photo credit: Ann Thongprasom, FB page)

Since then, she has been a very accomplished and experienced actress winning several awards. For instance, she got another TV Gold Award for Best Leading Actress in Jaosao ‘Prisanna’ and a Top Award in 2001 for her role in ‘Samee Tetra’. In addition, Ann also received the Star Entertainment Award from ‘Raeng Gnao’. What is more, she got 6 awards for her performance in the romantic melodrama ‘The Letter, Jod Mai Rak’ (2004) starring alongside leading actor Num Attaporn. Hence, her great achievements speak for themselves.

Ann also presented a popular TV Show called ‘English on Tour’ on Channel 3. The show focussed on teaching children a variety of English words everyday for one minute. For ‘English on Tour’ she travelled to different places and the show was a great success although it only aired for 60 seconds. In addition, she was also approved another show for children called ‘Sanam Dek Len – Playground’.

The romantic comedy lakorn ‘Om Ruk’, in which Ann starred alongside Ken Theeradeth, became a hit all over Thailand. It is about a kind of love-hate relationship between the aspiring model Napat (Ann) and the photographer Chen (Ken). The country was in an “Oum Ruk Fever” and it lasted on even when this lakorn finally ended. Since the series was a huge success, Channel 3 produced a VCD and DVD box set for ‘Om Ruk’. Furthermore, Ann was awarded ‘Best Actress in a Lakorn’.

In fact, Ann has been in numerous popular series and films so far. Most recently, she starred alongside Thai-Danish actor and singer Peter Corp Dyrendal in ‘Ab Ruk Online’ (2015). What is more, she has also been in a number of commercials, for instance for L’Oreal. In addition, she is not only famous but legendary. Thus, I met her once at Madame Tussauds’ in Bangkok 😉

Ann as wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Bangkok (photo taken by myself)

Ann as wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Bangkok (photo taken by myself)

Summing up, we can say that Ann Thongprasom has been an extraordinary and admirable actress in Thai series and movies for more than 20 years and she is still going strong 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

Peter Corp Dyrendal – Thai-Danish Singer, Model & Actor

Peter Corp Dyrendal was born on 1.January 1976 in Ishøj, Denmark where he was raised. Being half-Thai, he often went to Thailand as a kid where he would stay with his aunt in Bangkok. He went there almost every year during vacations. When Peter was 17 years old, his aunt pushed him to go for a camera test with a modeling agency. The following year, Peter was back in Bangkok and did some modelling jobs which were at that time mostly for fun.

Peter Corp Dyrendal

Peter Corp Dyrendal (photo credit: Peter Corp FB page)

Peter Corp Dyrendal*

However, when he was 19 he got a promising offer by a Thai advertising agency. On this occasion, he was also discovered as a singer and an artist: Peter was on a modelling job on a beach in Thailand playing the guitar. That was when one of the team members became aware of Peter’s potential as a musician. Hence, he was invited to the Thai record company GMM Grammy for a test.

Thus, Peter was encouraged to try a career as a singer and began taking sinning lessons. A few months later, he signed his contract with GMM Grammy and his debut album ‘Hin Pha Ga Darb’ (1998) became a great success and made him a famous ‘luk kreung’ singer in Thailand. However, the following albums were not so successful. For this reason, he went behind the scenes and worked for the production company Nebula.

Peter also went into acting in Thai TV series (Lakorn). Up until now he starred in five TV dramas. For instance, in 2002 he acted alongside Marsha Vadhanapanich in ‘Sai Lom Kub Saeng Dao’ (Wind and Starlight). In this drama, he played the role of a water sport instructor of Thai-New Zealand descent. I think the following clip is from this film 🙂

In 2012 he was in ‘Noom Baan Rai Khub Whan Jai Hiso’ (Farmer boy and High-society sweetheart) with Thai-British actress Araya A. Hargate. What is more, he also starred in the 2011 Thai movie Fabulous 30.

Lovely picture of Peter with his cat (photo credit: Peter Corp, FB page)

Lovely picture of Peter with his cat*

There is also the drama ‘Narng Rai Sai Lub’ (Villain’s spy) with Rasri Balenciaga and finally ‘Ab Ruk Online’ (Secret love online) with the renowned Thai-Swedish actress Ann Thongprasom. Here is a song from the latter drama ‘Ab Ruk Online’ featuring Peter.

Today, Peter is still an actor and married to Ployphan Taweerat since 2013. They have a little son called Panther, his name is thus a mix of the parent’s names. A next son is expected soon who should be called Puma. Hence, it seems that Peter and his wife keep the ‘P’s and stick to the feline theme as well 😉

Peter, Ploy & son Panther (photo credit:

Peter, Ploy & son Panther (photo credit:

By the way, Peter is the older brother of Michael Corp Dyrendal who is an entrepreneur and who also has experience in the Thai entertainment industry.

Summing up, we may say that even though Peter Corp Dyrendal has been working for about 20 years in the entertainment business, he is still going strong and we are curious to know what he will come up with next.

Yours, Sirinya

*photo credit: Peter Corp FB page