Thai Boy Love (popularly known as BL) dramas are a whole new genre – dreamy, romantic, and occasionally steamy. This queer love story category was earlier enjoyed by a very niche audience: those who were keen on the world of manga, anime, or Asian dramas, in general. But during the lockdown, when everyone was looking for something new to escape reality, this category was a refreshing change. Thai drama makers kept churning out BL shows every month in different genres, most of them in the school or college romance scenario. With 2022’s KinnPorsche everything changed. This Thai drama was based on a web novel of the same name by writing duo Daemi, and it was on everyone’s radar—a show that changed the audience’s perception of what queer love might entail.
Who would have thought this drama filled with bloodshed, gun violence, and dark romance would open the doors of Thai dramas to a whole new fanbase? A classic trope of a mafia boss falling in love with his bodyguard had everyone fanning themselves furiously. But what made this show a hit was the outstanding cinematography, a strong storyline that kept everyone glued to their seats, and the undeniable chemistry between its leads, Mile and Apo (Mile Phakphum Romsaithong and Nattawin Wattanagitiphat). Last year, whenever a new episode dropped or Mile and Apo shared a glimpse of the coming episodes, Twitter had a field day, with entire hashtags dedicated to the news. It has been more than a year since KinnPorsche’s release and to celebrate, ELLE India sat down with the lead stars of the show, Mile and Apo, to chat about how their lives have changed after the show’s huge success:
ELLE: You guys have a massive fanbase in India. How was your first visit here?
Mile and Apo: Coming to India was such a dream come true. We were always fascinated by the culture and diversity. Our social media posts are always filled with comments from Indian fans, and trust us, we notice everything. But what surprised us were the long lines of fans at the Dior show and airport and seeing all the fans in person who have always appreciated us virtually.
ELLE: It’s been more than one year since KinnPorsche was released. Tell us something about your journey because the show was almost shelved at the start, but you all picked it up and made it possible.
Mile and Apo: If we had to dedicate our success to someone, we would wholeheartedly give it to all the fans because the show KinnPorsche wouldn’t exist or be this successful if there wasn’t an audience for it and if people weren’t willing to support us. There might be some setbacks or drawbacks along the way, but those imperfections make us appreciate success with more passion. And that’s what made our journey unforgettable. From the show almost being cancelled to now becoming a global phenomenon, we have all learned a lot of lessons from it. And we are all set to release a full-fledged movie that just made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival, which makes us look at KinnPorsche and be grateful for everything our team has done.
ELLE: How hard or easy it was to shoot the action scenes from the show?
Apo: I have over 10 years of experience in practicing martial arts and fighting techniques. But I realised that performing martial arts in real life is quite different from what we wanted our present on screen, so it was a totally new experience with new trainers on set who have worked internationally. I had to work out 5–6 times a week, which was quite intense compared to my regular sessions at the gym. We also had this whole set of rules for muscle strength and breathing technique, which kind of helped me avoid injuries on set.
Mile: My action scenes might look very flawless on screen, but in reality, all of this was a whole new encounter. Because I have never done action on the screen or something like that in real life, so every day I got to learn something new. In fact, if you ask me about action movies, I love Bollywood action flicks, so you never know, I might have taken some inspiration from there.
ELLE: You both have amazing chemistry; how did you guys develop your friendship, and how much of it shows on the screen?
Apo: We are almost the same age, and not a lot of people know, but we met each other 10 years ago. And have a lot in common. From sharing common interests like making silly dad jokes or discussing different movies and art, we both share similar life experiences, so it was very easy and comfortable acting with each other.
Mile: I would say the key is naturalness, the chemistry that fans see on screen came from our personal friendship and comfort. We are the same people on screen and off screen so it was organic so us to showcase it on screen. We both are so glad that fans have really appreciated it.
ELLE: What are your hopes and goals for your future?
Apo: My dream is to make movies so good that they are showcased at prestigious film festivals around the world. It has always been my big dream if I am allowed to say. Now that I am finally part of such a big project as Man Suang, it feels like I can be a little greedy about my ambitions. Movies have always been really close to my heart, and I would also like to explore them with some international teams around the globe. Maybe one day you can spot me doing some lights, camera, and action! in India as well.
Mile: Right now I am really happy about Man Suang’s wrap. We made this movie with so much love and hard work, and I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction. Also, for me, movies and music go hand in hand. I would love to dedicate my time to making movies or music that bring solace and happiness to the audience.
All images via Be On Cloud