Thai actor Ter co-wrote One Day script so he could kiss actress Mew

Chantavit Dhanasevi plays geeky IT guy Denchai and Nittha Jirayungyurn is his office crush in One Day.
Chantavit Dhanasevi plays geeky IT guy Denchai and Nittha Jirayungyurn is his office crush in One Day.PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
(From far left) Actor Chantavit Dhanasevi, director Banjong Pisanthanakun and actress Nittha Jirayungyurn in Singapore to promote their movie, One Day.
(From far left) Actor Chantavit Dhanasevi, director Banjong Pisanthanakun and actress Nittha Jirayungyurn in Singapore to promote their movie, One Day.PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES

Chantavit Dhanasevi says he likes to surprise the girl he likes, just like his character in One Day

Popular Thai actor Chantavit Dhanasevi says he is not playing a die-hard romantic in his new movie One Day - he is like that in real life.

The 33-year-old bachelor, who goes by the nickname Ter, tells The Straits Times shyly in a mix of English and Thai that he likes to "surprise the girl I like".

When prompted, he adds: "For example, there was a girl who really liked a type of sweet from South Korea. She really wanted it, but it's hard to find.

"I told her I couldn't find it, but I had already put hundreds of the sweets into her bag secretly for her to find later on."

In One Day, Ter plays Denchai, a nerdy but sweet office employee who nurses a huge crush on his colleague, Nui (Nittha Jirayungyurn). He does not dare tell her how he feels and so he performs grand romantic gestures in secret, such as cleaning up her cubicle after work.

 

When the entire company goes on a trip to Hokkaido, Japan, Denchai makes a wish to spend just one day alone with her. And it comes true - after an accident, she suffers from a condition which makes her lose her memory for exactly one day and he tells her she is his girlfriend.

Ter says he would like to spend one day with Denchai "to teach him to be braver and to teach him how to talk to girls".

The actor, one of Thailand's most popular stars, would have no issues speaking to women.

The charming leading man in popular romantic comedies Hello Stranger (2010) and ATM: Er Rak Error (2012) had to make himself look ugly to play the socially awkward and physically unattractive Denchai.

Donning an unruly curly wig and false teeth, as well as putting on close to 10kg for the role, Ter says he put in "a lot of effort" to look the part.

"I ate all sorts of very unhealthy things for more than a month. But I didn't mind. Through this movie, I wanted to show how someone like Denchai can be such a good guy, no matter what he looks like."

He was in town to promote One Day with his co-star Jirayungyurn, 26, who is also known as Mew; and the director of the movie, Banjong Pisanthanakun, or Tong.

The 37-year-old film-maker, who directed some of Thailand's highest-grossing films such as Hello Stranger as well as horror-comedy Pee Mak (2013), says this project was quite a departure for him as it is more serious.

"I had to hold myself back because I'm so used to putting in as many comedic elements as possible. I really wanted this film to be more touching and just be a sweet romantic story."

Ter co-wrote the script, which the director says in jest was the actor's ploy "to write in as many romantic things as possible so he could do them with Mew".

"You know, like the kissing scene," says Tong.

Mew, who has been largely quiet, looks slightly embarrassed.

Going to her rescue, Ter says: "Hey, don't say that, she's right there."

•Follow Yip Wai Yee on Twitter @STyipwaiyee

•One Day opens in cinemas tomorrow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2016, with the headline 'Thai actor 'a die-hard romantic''. Print Edition | Subscribe