Photos by Varuth Hirunyatheb, video by Gary Boyle
One of last year's biggest TV hits was Diary of Tootsies the Series. Inspired by the Facebook page Ban Tuek Khong Tood (Dairy of a Gay) by Khuncha Theethawit, the show focuses on the love lives of its gay and lesbian characters. Fans couldn't get enough of their outrageous adventures. One of the show's most popular characters was Golf, played by Thongchai Thongkuntom (Pingpong). The 27-year-old's hilarious performance turned him into a star overnight.
Given the show’s massive success, it’s no surprise that it has been renewed for a second season on Line TV. Pingpong was delighted to reprise his breakthrough role. And once again, the feedback from audiences has been overwhelmingly positive.
S Weekly met up with Pingpong at GDH 559 office where the energetic actor told us about what the series means to him and his interest in playing a straight character.
Did you dream of being an actor when you were young?
Pingpong: I didn’t, but I liked acting. In the van on the way to school, I used to imagine myself as a character in a drama and would act it out. The person sitting next to me was scared of me. He probably thought I was crazy because I was talking to myself.
What does Diary of Tootsies the Series mean to you?
Pingpong: It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s the thing that I feel most proud of. When I’m 60 years old, I’ll tell my children and grandchildren that I became famous for playing a gay character.
How are you able to perform so naturally?
Pingpong: I have an active imagination. Since the script was so great, it was easy to believe that I was actually Golf.
What’s special about season 2?
Pingpong: The script is fantastic. I could easily visualise the scenes. And there are lots of guest actors who I was excited to work with. I hope everybody watches it.
What do you think was the show’s biggest challenge?
Pingpong: Golf is HIV positive. It was a challenge to show viewers how somebody with the disease lives his life. And this season, the director wanted to show how an HIV sufferer and his partner live together.
Would you like to play a straight character?
Pingpong: I’d love to. If possible, I’d like to play somebody who is married and has kids. He may feel down because the kids have died or he’s separated from them. I want to challenge myself. There are many great actors who can do it, like Ter Rattanun and Petch Paopetch. I believe I can do it too.
What are Ter and Petch like when the camera is off?
Pingpong: They still act like gays because they want to stay in character. They’re very professional.
How was singing on the soundtrack different from singing on YouTube?
Pingpong: In my own video, I didn’t care about hitting the right notes. But in the studio, if I was out of tune, I had to do it again. But it was fun. While I was in a school, I liked to rap and now I’m actually rapping on a soundtrack. It gives me goose bumps.
Have you always been into fashion?
Pingpong: Yes. From a young age, I spent my free time drawing clothing designs. I know how to find great second-hand clothes. My friends are surprised when I tell them that the price of my whole outfit is less than 60 baht. I hope to have my own brand in the future.
You seem like a very happy person. How do you deal with sadness?
Pingpong: A lot of things. I sometimes just stay silent. At other times, I’ll drive to the beach and scream. Or maybe I’ll go to find something to eat. I try to get over the feeling as fast as I can because the longer we stay sad, the more pain we feel.
Learn from listening
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adventure : an unusual, exciting and possibly dangerous activity such as a journey or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity - การผจญภัย
brand : a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
breakthrough : an achievement that comes after a lot of hard work - เหตุการณ์หรือการกระทำที่ทำให้อุปสรรคหมดไป; การบุกเข้าไปในแนวเขตของคู่ต่อสู้
challenge : something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve - สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย
challenge : to invite someone to do something difficult or risky, such as to compete or fight - ท้า
character (noun): a person, animal, cartoon figure in a book, play, film etc - ผู้สวมบทบาท, ตัวแสดง
deal with : to take action to solve a problem - รับมือกับ, จัดการกับ
diary : a book in which you can write down the experiences you have each day, your private thoughts, etc - สมุดบันทึก,ไดอารี่, บันทึกประจำวัน
director : a person in charge of a film/movie or play who tells the actors and staff what to do - ผู้กำกับ (ทางภาพยนตร์)
drama (noun): a play for the theatre, television or radio - บทละคร
energetic : having or involving a lot of energy - กระตือรือร้น, กระฉับกระเฉง
fantastic (adj): extremely good - เยี่ยมยอด, วิเศษ
feedback : advice, criticism or information about how good or useful something or somebody's work is - ผลสะท้อนกลับ,การตอบกลับ
focus : to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ
get over (verb): to deal with or gain control of something - ผ่านพ้น, ยุติ, สิ้นสุด
goose bumps (goose pimples) : small lumps appearing on your skin with your hairs standing up straight, because you are cold, frightened, or excited - อาการขนลุก
hilarious : very funny - ตลกขบขัน
imagination : the ability to form pictures in the mind - จินตนาการ
imagine : to form a picture of something or someone in your mind - นึกคิด, จินตนาการ, นึกฝัน
inspire : to give someone the idea for a piece of work - ทำให้เกิด บันดาลใจให้
lesbian : when a woman loves another woman -
massive : very large - มหาศาล
opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส
out of tune (idiom): to not be singing or playing the correct musical notes - แปร่ง
outfit (noun): a set of clothes that are worn together - เครื่องแต่งกาย
outrageous (adj): very unusual and slightly shocking; very shocking and unacceptable - ซึ่งกระตือรือร้น; ซึ่งฝ่าฝืน, ซึ่งทำให้เจ็บแค้นใจ
overwhelmingly : by a very large amount or margin - อย่างท่วมท้น
pain : the feelings that you have in your body when you have been hurt or when you are ill/sick; mental or emotional suffering - ความเจ็บปวด
performance : the act of carrying out some type of entertainment or sport - การแสดง
popular (adj): a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
positive : in a good way - ในทางบวก
positive (adj): showing clear evidence that a particular substance or medical condition is present มีประจุบวก (การทดสอบ) - มีประจุบวก (การทดสอบ)
professional : doing something as a paid job rather than as a hobby - ที่ทำเป็นอาชีพ
proud : feeling pleased and satisfied about something that you own or have done, or are connected with - ภูมิใจ
reprise : to repeat something; to do something again - ปฏิบัติอีก
role : an actor's part in a film or play - บทละคร
scared : frightened, or worried - ตระหนก, ตกใจ, หวาด, ผวา
scream : to cry or say something loudly and usually on a high note, especially because of strong emotions such as fear, excitement or anger - กรีดร้อง
script : a written text of a play, film/movie, broadcast, talk, etc - ตัวเขียน,ต้นฉบับ, บท
second-hand (adjective): not new; owned by somebody else before - ใช้แล้ว, มือสอง
separated : apart from - ห่างกัน, แยกกัน
silent : very quiet; without sound - เงียบ
soundtrack : all the music, speech and sounds that are recorded for a film/movie - เสียงในฟิล์ม
straight (adj): heterosexual (not gay, not homosexual) - ชอบในเพศตรงข้าม
sufferer : a person who suffers, i.e., who is badly affected by something, especially somebody who is suffering from a disease - ผู้ป่วย, ผู้เจ็บป่วย, ผู้ที่ได้รับความทุกข์
visualise : to form a picture of someone or something in your mind, in order to imagine or remember them - จินตนาการ