In Southeast Asia, Thailand has a high spot in the list of popular and frequently-visited countries. The gorgeous sights and their rich culture aside, they’ve got a super special entertainment industry. There has already been an international wave of craze for K-pop stars. For a change, let’s appreciate the beauty of some Thai actors and actresses. Give them a look, and they might just have you looking up their social media – that’s how good looking this list is!
Not to mention, they’re amazing at what they do as well. It’s not just their looks that mesmerize the viewers, but their deep dives into the characters they play. If you’re looking for some new people to swoon over these days, this list should be plenty for you!
1. Mario Maurer
When it comes to male Thai actors, you won’t find many that are more popular than Maurer. He’s of mixed descent, with a touch of German, Chinese, and Thai in his genes. He started off his career as a model in 2007. He found his first big break as an actor with a lead role in the movie “The Love of Siam”. That’s where his career as an actor began, and he has since become one of the most promising actors the industry has produced.
He has starred in hit dramas and movies which have made his name widely known not just domestically, but also in neighboring countries. One of his most successful movies – First Love – was his ticket to enter the hearts of the Philippines, especially the girls therefrom. The actor didn’t stop delivering hits after hits, and the movie “Suddenly It’s Magic” is enough to warrant sky-high fame beyond borders. He’s got everything you could dream of in an actor, that, and oozing good looks!
2. Nadech Kugimiya
Here’s a 25-year-old Thai actor and model, who’s also called by his nickname Barry. Some signature roles that propelled him to stardom were in dramas like “Rang Pratana”, “Duang Jai Akkanee” and “Game Rai Game Rak”.
These characters were in contrast with the personality of Nadech Kugimiya, and could test the mettle of any aspiring actor. He displayed versatility in every piece of work he’s put out, topped with a generous touch of charm. Nature and his genes have blessed him with dimples too – I know, pretty unfair. If that weren’t enough for girls to fall in love with him, his impeccable smile does the job!
3. Prin Suparat
Prin Suparat, nicknamed Mark, is also a 27 year old actor who’s been in the spotlight of Thailand’s drama industry. He’s known for his versatile roles in shows like “Ab Ruk Online” and “Punya Chon Kon Krua”. His pair with co-star Kimberly Voltemas has been well-received, and they naturally ooze great chemistry together. Prin Suparat is a humorous guy, on and off-screen alike. He’s got that irresistible boy-next-door look that makes it hard to look away.
4. James Jirayu
James Jirayu, or simply James Ji, started his acting career through a Thai drama back in 2013 that resulted in overnight fame. He’s not only an actor but also an accomplished model and a singer! He’s held numerous concerts and starred in movies too, making him even more popular among the viewers. His success charts have been quite exemplary, and he has achieved it all at a super young age of 23! One thing’s for sure, not only is his smile as bright as day but his future too.
5. James Ma
A man is best known for what the people around him have to say about them. If you go by that rule with James Ma, you’ll find him to be diligent, charming, and super kind. He’s a 24-year old actor of Thai/Chinese descent. His mixed blood has blessed him with uniquely sharp and appealing looks. His mother is from Hong Kong, and his father is Thai-Chinese.
He started off back in 2011, and gained popularity with the drama “Piang Chai Kon Nee Mai Chai Poo Wised”. He’s not just a pretty face, but a tremendous actor who has proved himself in many of his projects. He’s been a treat to watch, and definitely deserves a spot on this list!
6. Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying
Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, also known by her much simpler nickname “Aokbab” is an actress who started off as a model in Thailand. Her mega-hit ‘Bad Genius’ and the role she played in it was the driving force that propelled her to instant fame. At the 16th Annual New York Asian Film Festival, Chutimon became the sole recipient of the 2017 Screen International Rising Star Asia Award.
She became the first Thai actress, male or female, to be side-by-side with international megastars like So Ji-sub and Gong Hyo-jin of South Korea. Other big names include Takayuki Yamada from Japan and Taiwanese star Michelle Chen. Her career began with a modeling job for Harper’s Bazaar UK, which transitioned into a few appearances in music videos.
7. Urassaya Sperbund
As far as the Instagram stardom of Thailand is concerned, Urassaya Sperbund’s popularity is about as high as it gets. She’s of Norwegian-Thai descent, who has been consistently appearing in TV serials and campaigns for the last decade. Her nickname is ‘Yaya’, reportedly because her Norwegian father had a hard time pronouncing her given name.
Yaya isn’t just popular, but immensely hardworking too. It pays off as well, as she’s easily among the top-10 highest paid actresses in Thailand! She fluently speaks five languages and fashion circuits aren’t fully complete without her. She’s also got the honor of becoming the first Thai celebrity feature on US Vogue! A major turning point in her career path came in the form of a role in ‘4 Hearts of the Mountains’. Now, she’s the face of brands like Louis Vuitton and Maybelline!
8. Davika Hoorne
Davika Hoorne’s popularity skyrocketed through her iconic roles in horror comedy blockbuster Pee Mak and the Thai rendition of Korea’s “Suddenly Twenty”. She’s nicknamed Mai, and people have termed her as the ‘Queen of Presenters’ – it’s only fitting, as she’s a professional TV host and spokesperson.
She’s got a list of regional awards under her belt, the most important one being for “Best Actress” by the Suphannahong National Film Awards and the Bangkok Critics Assembly. She’s super hardworking and always has multiple projects in the pipe, giving her fans enough to watch at all times! If you couldn’t get enough of her dramas, you’ll probably see her on most Thai roads as a billboard beauty!
9. Patchrapa Chaichua
Nicknamed 'Aum', Patchrapa Chanchua is one of the leading actresses in Thailand. Having won not one, but two TOP awards, she became the highest paid actress in Thailand's entertainment industry. She's been around a long time too - though you wouldn't guess that considering how good she looks for her age! She won her second TOP award back in 2005, and has been nominated again a couple times ever since.
With impeccable acting skills, glowing beauty, and the sexiest figure - she's definitely an actress to ogle at. The fact that she's been Thai FHM's 'sexiest woman' for three years back to back proves that! Apart from all that, she's a successful businesswoman too. Her own perfume line called "SEXY ME by Patchrapa" launched back in 2009. If that's not the definition of beauty with brains, we don't know what is!
10. JeeJa Yanin
Initially cast by filmmaker Prachya Pinkaew, this actress can safely be termed as the female Jackie Chan of Thailand. She’s a pro at fighting and is known for performing a 100% of her action movie stunt. She’s got a pretty promising portfolio in learning fighting styles, with a 4th dan black belt in Taekwondo, studies in Thai Boxing, Muay Thai, gymnastics – you name it. Her richly empowering roles in the Chocolate 1 and Chocolate 2 have earned her a cult-following in and out of Thailand.
Her inspirations have been Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, but she adds her own feminine delicateness and acrobatics. She’s got a newborn son which has somewhat paused her career, but her fans can’t wait to see their favorite heroine jump around in movies once again!
The Thai film industry may have been overshadowed by the booming entertainment business in South Korea and Japan, but they’ve got an identity of their own. Every year, new faces show up in movie and drama debuts, and prove to be immensely talented at their craft.
The recent success of the blockbuster “Bad Genius”, and internationally acclaimed movies of this sort, have shed the spotlight on Thailand. Local directors are currently working on highly anticipated movies, and the future definitely seems bright. With this article, you’ve hopefully become aware of 10 of the leading faces of Thailand’s acting scene!