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LEKHA SHANKAR


An exchange of Film News, from Thailand, India and other film-spaces across the world.

 


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The Thai Actor who's expected to create waves,at Cannes

  Vithaya Pansringarm ,in 'Onl;y God Forgives' (above)

 

 

Watch out for Vithaya Pansringarm, the' Angel of Vengeance'  in the Cannes Competition- film 'Only God Forgives'

 

Watch out for a quiet,intense Thai actor who plays the 'Angel of Vengeance' , the all-important adversary of Ryan Gosling in the Cannes Festival's Competion film 'Only God Forgives', directed by noted Danish director Nicolas Refn.

Refn won the Best Director Award at Cannes in 2011,and there's a lot of hype about this new film of his, which is studded with his characteristic violence ,in a strong domestic drama about a mother asking her son to wreak venegance on a policeman who killed her other son. The movie was entirely shot in Bangkok,Thailand.

Kristin Scott Thomas plays the mother,and Ryan Gosling plays the son, in the film, which has  a mixed Thai-foreign cast. The most important Thai role is played by VITHAYA PANSRINGARM,  who plays the ruthless policeman, against whom the mother-son gang up.

" I'm a new face in an old body" confessed the actor,who admitted he was not very well -known in his own country.

"That's why I'm intrigued by the fact that I;m becoming known globally,even before I'm known locally !"laughed the pleasant ,soft-spoken actor,who plays a cruel cop in the film.

The actor,who studied Graphic Design in New York, married an American ballet-dancer ,and runs a well-known ballet-school in Bangkok.

A chance encounter led him to do bit-roles in international productions like ' The Burma Conspiracy, Hangover 2', 'Largo Winch 2', and then,the lead in a Thai film that went to many festivals ' Mindfulness & Murder' ,where his performance as the head of a Thai monastery, brought him much praise.

His role as the ruthless cop in ' Only God Forgives" is expected to create waves too.

To quote the Director - " Vithaya came to an open casting call, very fat and big and round. It was the slowness of him in everything. He had this extreme aura of calmness, a bit like he had the power of heaven and hell in his hands. When I met him, that’s when that character was made in a way."

To quote the actor "  If I didn't do any more films,it wouldnt bother me,cos this movie was a memorable experience!"

Vithaya is a fifth degree black belt in Japanese kendo (fencing),which came in very useful, for the ultra-violent scenes in the film,with lead-actor Ryan Gosling.

"My ballet-students, who know me as the uncle who makes them cookies, would not recognise me,in the film!" laughs the soft-spoken actor ,who plays an unbelievable baddie in the film.

The Thai actor is definitely the surprise-element in one of the most looked-forward-to  Competition-films at the Cannes Festival, which will be screened on 22 May.

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About LEKHA SHANKAR

SHANKAR LEKHA

I'm an Indian film-writer, based in Bangkok, and write for publications in India & Thailand. I also coordinate and curate film programs in the two countries, at cultural centres/clubs, film festivals.


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