"Mr. Hurt" actress Mashannoad (left) and director Ittisak Eusunthornwattana (right).
Cinema Online recently had the opportunity to interview the director and actress of "Mr. Hurt", one of the movies featured at the first ever Thai Film Festival in Malaysia.
We sat down with the director and writer of the film, Ittisak Eusunthornwattana, and one of the actresses, Mashannoad Suvalmas, before the special screening of "Mr. Hurt" at GSC Pavilion.
"Mr. Hurt" marks Mashannoad's debut on the silver screen as an actress, though she's no stranger to the cameras as a model. She has been working the Thai catwalk since she was 19, under the stage name Linn. In the film, she plays the lead's long-lost childhood friend, Dew.
On the other hand, Ittisak is long acquainted with the filmmaking industry, having co-directed the Thai horror film, "The Rooms", and graduated from the New York Film Academy before that.
"Mr. Hurt" stars popular Thai actor, Sunny Suwanmethanon, as Don Sri-Chang, a pro tennis player who spirals into depression after his girlfriend, Anna, turns down his marriage proposal and dumps him for famous rock star Jimmy. Things start looking up for Don after he reunites with Mashannoad's character, Dew.
Since "Mr. Hurt" was a first for both of Ittisak and Nashannoad in different ways, we asked them about their thoughts on the film, what they liked best and found most difficult while filming and what plans they have for their future in the industry.
Ittisak while directing "Mr. Hurt" (Photo source: Campus Star).
Cinema Online: Mr. Ittisak, how different is "Mr. Hurt" compared to "The Rooms"?
Ittisak: There are lots of differences. From the scale of the movie to the genre. When I did "The Rooms", I was given an idea and a concept that I had to follow. However, "Mr. Hurt" is a movie that I wanted to do on my own. "Mr. Hurt" is based on something that I am interested in. It has a more classic plot, it's not complicated. I focused more on the characters. I first started with the main character and made him someone people are familiar with and are interested in.
What was the most challenging aspect each of you faced while making the film?
Ittisak: The toughest part for me was making the audience believe in the characters. Like for the main character, he's a world-class tennis player, so it was very difficult to make the audience believe that he really is a professional tennis player.
Mashannoad: I have been in commercials and music videos before, however there is a drastic difference between acting for a short amount of screen time and acting for a movie as a main character. When it comes to movies, you have to continue being that character for much longer and this movie shows the characters from when they were young until they've grown up. Luckily, I've had acting classes before, so I could handle it.
What do you think is the most enjoyable scene in the movie?
Mashannoad: For me, I liked the entire story. I believe that we cannot just connect with the characters after just one scene. You have to watch the whole movie and enjoy the whole thing together.
Ittisak: Although, I like the whole film too, my favourite scene is the ending scene, where the characters are at a bar in New York. And that scene is the very reason why you should watch the whole movie. Then, you'll understand why I like it.
Is it hard playing the role of Dew? Is there much difference between yourself and your character?
Mashannoad in "Mr. Hurt" as Dew.
Mashannoad: A lot of it was tough for me because this is my first movie. Fortunately, the personality of the character I play is not much different from mine. Of course, there are certain details which are different. For example, Dew has been ill since she was young. And in the film, she's been a good friend of the main character since childhood, but I've only just met the person who plays the main character. So, we had to make people believe that we really have known each other for a long time.
In the movie, the main character gets dumped, so do you have any advice for people in that situation?
Ittisak: Time is the best medicine. No matter what anyone says, time is one thing that will heal you. So, you just have to wait for the time you can move on.
Mashannoad: Heartbreak can be enjoyable. When you fall in love again, you can really treasure how special love is.
Ittisak: Yes, and one day, when you've finally moved on from that time of heartbreak, you can look back and smile and see it as something funny.
Do you have any immediate plans for the future, such as for future movies or in your personal life?
Ittisak: Of course, I'll continue making movies, but nothing has been finalised yet, so it's still a work in progress.
Mashannoad: I'm still modelling, like before, but I'm also appearing in a TV series, "Long Fai", on [Thai channel] GMM 25. You can catch it on YouTube or TV. Screening starts in July and Malaysians can also watch it.
Cinema Online, 25 April 2017