Thai stars to watch

Thai stars (from left) Nittha “Mew” Jirayungyurn, Mario Maurer and Nuengthida “Noona” Sophon.
Thai stars (from left) Nittha “Mew” Jirayungyurn, Mario Maurer and Nuengthida “Noona” Sophon. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

SUNNY SUWANMETHANON, 35


Sunny Suwanmethanon. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

See him in: I Fine... Thank You... Love You (2014); Heart Attack (2015)

Sunny, who is of Thai, French and Chinese descent, has both looks and solid acting skills. Long before he won over regional audiences in the role of a lovelorn English language student in smash hit I Fine..., he convinced domestic Thai audiences as a college student stuck in a love triangle in the much smaller flick Dear Dakanda (2005). Dear Dakanda earned him a Best Actor award at the Kom Chad Luek Awards, which is handed out by the Thai newspaper of the same name.

He is also unafraid of shedding his heart-throb image - in the dramedy Heart Attack, he had rashes and pus-filled spots painted all over his body for most of the movie to play a sickly graphic designer.


NITTHA "MEW" JIRAYUNGYURN, 26


Nittha “Mew” Jirayungyurn. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

See her in: One Day (2016)

Mew had a handful of roles in Thai television dramas before taking on the lead role in the movie One Day, but her all-Thai pretty face has, for years, been seen everywhere in Thailand, even before her acting debut in 2013. The gorgeous model has been fronting everything from shampoo to skincare to electronic products in print and TV advertisements and was a regular cover girl for fashion magazines.

She told The Straits Times in an interview last year that she was nervous making her film debut, but she need not have worried because she was a natural in One Day. That megawatt smile of hers melts hearts.


MARIO MAURER, 28


Mario Maurer. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

See him in: First Love (2010); Pee Mak (2013)

This Thai-German hunk started as a model after he was scouted at the age of 16 at Bangkok's trendy Siam Square mall, appearing in print and television advertisements as well as local music videos. He successfully transitioned to acting, winning acclaim for playing the lead in Chookiat Sakveerakul's award-winning gay romance The Love Of Siam (2007).

Maurer gained mainstream popularity after playing a charming high school student in youth romantic comedy First Love, but it was not until he starred in horror-comedy Pee Mak, Thailand's highest-grossing film, that he truly topped the A list.


NUENGTHIDA "NOONA" SOPHON, 24


Nuengthida “Noona” Sophon. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

See her in: Hello Stranger (2010)

Forever smiley and bubbly, Noona got her start in show business singing theme songs for television dramas such as Orange Blossom Crown (2010) and Like The Sun (2008).

The Thai star then took on several supporting roles on TV before shooting to fame overnight as the female lead in regional hit movie Hello Stranger, in which she played a Thai tourist obsessed with South Korean dramas.


CHANTAVIT "TER" DHANASEVI, 33


Chantavit “Ter” Dhanasevi. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

See him in: Hello Stranger (2010); One Day (2016)

Ter is leading-man material because of his Mr Nice Guy charm. His role in Hello Stranger was so popular regionally that he was named a Star Hunter at the 2011 Shanghai International Film Festival, which is given to one of Asia's 10 most promising young actors.

Beyond acting, the Thai actor is also getting rave notices for screenwriting - he co-wrote Pee Mak (2013) and One Day, both of which fared well at box offices across Asia.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2017, with the headline 'Thai stars to watch'. Print Edition | Subscribe