For May and J, the tricky part is time, not age

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation




After weeks of increasingly saccharine posts about each other on Instagram, actress Pitchanart “May” Sakakorn and Muangthong United Football Club star Chanathip “J” Songkrasin finally made it official earlier this month that they’re a couple.

Fans wavered between delight and concern – concern mostly because of the 13-year age gap between them. But, for May and J at least, age is not the problem.

“I was a little worried at first because I’m much older than J,” May, 35, tells Dara Daily. “We’ve talked about it, though, and I’m fine with it and he’s fine with it. So I don’t see that as a problem for us.

“The only problem right now is time. J has to train a lot and I don’t get to see him as often lately. I’d love to be there in the stands supporting him when he’s training, but I don’t want to distract him. He’s very determined and I respect that.”

Footie fans are presumably relieved to hear that J’s as dedicated to the game as ever and that his new sweetheart knows she shouldn’t get in the way.

Meanwhile May has already met his mother – at least in the sense of talking to her via a phone video app. “I really feel closer to J now that I’ve talked to his mum,” she says. “I haven’t got to meet her in person yet, though. We just talk briefly on Face Time, just saying hi and all that.

“I know a lot of my fans and J’s have different opinions about our relationship. Some approve and some don’t, but I’m not worried about it – everyone has the right to their own opinion. I just want to say thank those that gave us their blessing for all the support and understanding. After all, we’re just two people in love, nurturing our relationship along like most people do.”

Hot, maybe too brainy

After spending five years getting a PhD in political science last December, you’d think multi-talented Natthaweeranuch “VJ Ja” Thongmee might find a little time for love, but alas it’s still not on the cards for the 36-year-old actress.

“I’m not shutting myself off from the world or anything,” Ja tells Siam Dara when prodded on the subject. “I guess a lot of guys think I’m too ‘difficult’ to be worth approaching, especially now that I’ve got my PhD!

“Being in showbiz somehow makes you unapproachable – you’re in the spotlight and might seem glamorous or somehow larger than life. But I’m just a normal, simple girl, to be honest, and being in a showbiz or having a PhD doesn’t change that.

“Anyway, I’m quite happy at the moment with my special friend, who I talk to a lot.” And is this “special friend” going to become even more special?

“Well, I haven’t got the impression he’s courting me, and I don’t want to assume that every guy who talks to me is interested in me romantically. I don’t know if this will ever become something more, but I’m happy enough for now.”

Seoul agog at K-pop star versus the bar girls

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Anytime Thai show business is having a scandal drought, we can always flip the page to South Korea.

ANYTIME THAI show business is having a scandal drought, we can always flip the page to South Korea. And the latest burning headlines there are pretty wild, relating to sexual-assault charges being brought against singer-actor Park Yoo-chun from the K-pop group JYJ.

Park, 30, has most recently co-starred in the TV soaps “Rooftop Prince” and “The Girl Who Sees Smells”. He’s good-looking – as of course is everyone in K-pop – but possibly getting a little out of hand. The guy’s actually been doing his mandatory conscription duty since last August, and choose to be a cop rather than a soldier, but June 4 was his birthday, so he was out on the town.

On June 10 a woman filed a sex-assault complaint against Park, saying he’d had his rough way with her amid the birthday festivities, in the toilet of the adult-entertainment venue where she worked. She even provided police with a pair of panties bearing “evidence”.

The cops indeed found male DNA on the underwear, but before they could figure out who the DNA belonged to, the alleged victim withdrew her complaint, saying there’d been “no coercion during sexual intercourse with Park”.

That was June 15, and the pop star might have been off the hook except that three other women promptly came forward with similar accusations against him. The second charge was filed on June 16 and two more the next day. All three women work in the same nightspot where the original accuser was employed and all cited the toilet as the scene of the crime, but the alleged incidents took place between 2014 and late last year.

By this stage Park might have been thinking about getting in touch with Bill Cosby’s lawyer, but whoever his lawyer is right now advised the old stand-by defence of filing counter suit. That’s what happened on Monday – naming the first accuser, who’d already withdrawn her complaint! Park is accusing her of blackmail, as well as making a false statement. He says she demanded a billion won (Bt3 million) from his employer, C-JeS Entertainment, but didn’t get it, so she went to the cops.

Park also has his fan club pulling for him. They keep records of his every bowel movement and can tell you where he was at any given time for the last, uh, 30 years. So they’re contradicting Alleged Victims 3 and 4 by pointing out that Park was in China on the dates they named. Unfortunately for him, he was indeed in Seoul the other times.

Whatever the verdict, Park’s future in showbiz is probably doomed. Beloved Thai stars can make amends for wrongdoings with a “heartfelt” apology and are allowed to resume their careers, but Koreans are not so forgiving. It’s a good thing they have a bottomless supply of celebrities.

Key to Filipino success: “We’re just very friendly people”

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Paul Abadilla is one of the key animators on the new Pixar film 'Finding Dory'. The Philippine Daily InquPhoto/The Philippine Daily Inquirer

Paul Abadilla is one of the key animators on the new Pixar film ‘Finding Dory’. The Philippine Daily InquPhoto/The Philippine Daily Inquirer

Soopsip just finished writing about Filipinos bragging how many shining lights they’ve got on the global sports and entertainment stages and now along comes Paul Abadilla, one of the key animators on the new Pixar film “Finding Dory”.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer understandably wanted to know what makes folks from that sprawling, spidery country so special.

“We’re just very friendly people,” the Filipino-American artist told the newspaper while lodged at the Makati Shangri-La during a visit to his ancestral homeland.

“It comes naturally. One thing that comes to mind is we’re respectful. The level of respect we have for others is always something I keep in mind.”

The 32-year-old, who moved from Manila to the US when he was seven, says he still hungers for Filipino food. “Being around family, we always congregate around food!”

Abadilla joined Pixar Animation Studios as an intern in 2008 and worked on “Brave” and “Monsters University” as a sketch artist. “Finding Dory”, the sequel to the smash 2003 feature-length cartoon “Finding Nemo”, brings back Ellen DeGeneres as the title character’s voice actor.

The Inquirer inquired about Abadilla’s relationship with other Pixnoys, as Filipino Pixar artists mirthfully call themselves. “We have a mutual understanding that this is pretty cool. We gather once a year – it’s pot luck. Again, it’s food. We’re really well represented in the company, in different departments.”

And what exactly is it they do? “My official title is sketch artist but my job entails environment design, which setting up the stage for our characters to live in.”

Dory is a dory fish with absolutely zero short-term memory, which is surely tragic for human sufferers but it’s hilarious in a cartoon fish. Abadilla said her predicament posed a challenge for the writers, but they overcame it in clever fashion.

Asked what advice he can offer aspiring artists (and especially aspiring Filipino stars of their various trades), he said they just have to keep practising. “Keeping a sketchbook is a good way to hone your observational skills, to draw loosely but clearly.

“A huge part of my job is being able to give the director – in this case Andrew Stanton – a lot of options. And you want to do that quickly and clearly, so he can read what it is you’re trying to communicate.

“Also, get feedback from your peers and teachers when you finish whatever it is you’re working on. Show it to people. Ask for their opinion on how you can be better at it.”

The Inquirer asked who his favourite artists are, probably expecting him to say Walt Disney or Stan Lee, but he came up with the name Richard Schmid, evidently some American painter. “I just love the way he portrays light. His technique is very loose and impressionistic, but I’m really drawn to his work.”

Ground up in the musical mill, Bie looks ahead

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



Cheers to Hamburger magazine for giving us an update on singer Sukrit “Bie” Wisetkaew, who had a concert last weekend to celebrate his 10 years in show business.

CHEERS TO HAMBURGER magazine for giving us an update on singer Sukrit “Bie” Wisetkaew, who had a concert last weekend to celebrate his 10 years in show business. Yep, it’s been a decade since Bie was first runner-up in Season 3 of “The Star”, but what a decade it’s been.

Quite apart from becoming a superstar in Thailand thanks to a lot of canny promotion, Bie flung himself into efforts to get the musical version of a beloved Siamese tale on Broadway.

He tells Hamburger there were a lot of sacrifices early in his career, back when he was still drawing taunts for his unpolished singing style. Hard work and practice turned that around, though, and he soon had millions of fans. Bie says he’s most proud of the fact that he’s been able to support his family and buy a nice house for his parents.

The greatest challenge – and the greatest joy – has been trying to get the musical “Waterfall” onto the Great White Way in New York, the world capital of song and dance. Bie’s boss, Takonkiet Viravan, has spent years (and plenty of money, surely) guiding and shaping the production as it makes its way slowly towards Broadway.

Unfortunately Hamburger is unable to offer any real news about the show’s progress. Like any play aiming for Broadway, “Waterfall” – which is based on the classic romance novel “Khang Lung Phab” – has had test runs elsewhere in the US, notably in Pasadena and Seattle on the West Coast.

Takonkiet, co-producing the show with a proven Broadway outfit, naturally wanted Bie to take the role of Nopporn, as he’d done on Thai stages already. Bie says he refused at first, fearing his talents weren’t up to international standards, but over the course of a year so many people urged him to accept the role that he finally accepted.

Life on the road wasn’t much fun, he says. On his own in New York City, he was homesick to the point of tears and worn out by the constant, difficult rehearsals, which stretched his abilities with the English language as well as singing and acting. He also struggled to adapt to the tougher work ethic.

“Being criticised by members of the team was one of the worst moments of my career. Everyone was speaking English all the time, so I didn’t always understand everything. When I came in for criticism, it hurt – a lot, because it was very true.”

With no indication whether “Waterfall” is getting any closer to Broadway, Bie is back home concentrating on other projects. He wonders if being overseas so long has undercut his popularity here but, knowing he’s done his best to help Takonkiet fulfil a dream, he’s confident his boss won’t let him down at this stage of his career.

Now 30, Bie knows he’s no longer the youthful pop idol he once was, and he’s adjusted his working style accordingly. Never one to rest on his laurels, he’s still honing acting and dancing skills and looking for sustainable ways to replace the pop star with an entertainer for all seasons and all stages.

Manny knocked ’em out and Clint’s costumes kill ’em in New York

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Costume designer Clint Ramos poses with his award for Best Costume Design in a Play for 'Eclipsed' backฌstage during the American Theatre Wing's 70th annual Tony Awards in New York, U.S., June 12, 2016. Photo/Reuters

Costume designer Clint Ramos poses with his award for Best Costume Design in a Play for ‘Eclipsed’ backฌstage during the American Theatre Wing’s 70th annual Tony Awards in New York, U.S., June 12, 2016. Photo/Reuters

Costumes from “Eclipsed” designed by Clint Ramos

Costumes from “Eclipsed” designed by Clint Ramos

With Manny Pacquiao (probably) retired from boxing, Filipinos are in need of someone else to brag about, and on Sunday they got one in the form of Clint Ramos, dressmaker to the stars.

With Manny Pacquiao (probably) retired from boxing, Filipinos are in need of someone else to brag about, and on Sunday they got one in the form of Clint Ramos, dressmaker to the stars.

The New Yorkbased designer of stage sets and costumes won the Tony Award for the latter skill as applied to “Eclipsed”, a hit Broadway play starring Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar for getting beaten up in “12 Years a Slave”.

In fact the play has an allwoman cast and crew (including playwright Danai Gurira and director Liesl Tommy), as Ramos acknowledged in his acceptance speech. “I just want to say thank you to everybody, to a group of women who are unbelievable,” he’s quoted as saying in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Ramos had earlier said on Instagram that being nominated validated his work. It meant, he said, “that design dealing with contemporary themes is worthy of rewarding, that powerful, modern costumes are just as complex as the pretty period ones”.


For the show about five women enduring the second Liberian civil war, Ramos combined traditional African fabrics like lapa, woven cotton with colourful patterns, and Tshirts emblazoned with American popculture images (Nyong’o wears the Rugrats).

He studied photographs of the war and found shirts and fabrics in shops selling vintage clothing and African merchandise. All the outfits were treated with dyes to mimic sweat or bloodstains that wouldn’t wash off when the costumes were laundered.

Born and raised in Cebu, Ramos took up theatre arts at the University of the Philippines, doing design work for Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. He got a master’s degree in stage and film design at New York University’s Tisch School on a full scholarship.

He has since designed costumes and sets for more than 100 productions around the world, most recently for “Frozen: Live at the Hyperion”, a musical based on Disney’s animated movie that’s one of the attractions at Disney California Adventure Park but will be tackling Broadway in 2018.

He also did the clothes (and rags) for the Broadway production of “The Elephant Man” featuring Bradley Cooper, and “Here Lies Love”, a musical about Imelda Marcos to be staged in San Francisco next year.

Ramos is assembling quite the trophy case, having won, among many others, a 2013 Obie Award and a National Commission for Culture and the Arts gong and Lucille Lortel Award in 2014. Now he’s got the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre.

Actually the Tony Awards have seen several Filipinos earn honours. Lea Salonga was best actress in 1991 for her star turn in “Miss Saigon”. Investing producer Jhett Tolentino has Tonys for the 2014 revival of “A Raisin in the Sun”, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” (Best Musical that year) and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (Best Play 2013).

And composer Robert Lopez, who’s of Filipino descent at least, claimed the prize for Best Original Score in 2004 with “Avenue Q”.


Career can wait as son samples his dad’s tough job

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



A young man in the Northeast has wowed people across the country with a wonderful show of respect to his parents.

Annawat “An” Dampatik recently graduated from Ubon Ratchathani University with a degree in engineering and could have got a job at any number of big-city tech firms – but, for now at least, he’s chosen instead to be a security guard.

That’s because his dad is a security guard. And in fact the 24 year-old is patrolling his alma mater alongside the old man.

“Seeing my father wearing this uniform since I was very young, I really appreciate the uniform and this job,” An says on the URU website. “I have special bond with the uniform because I see it as the uniform of a hero.”

An says he’s always been proud of both his parents. “My mother is a farmer and my father is a security guard and they supported me all the way through school.”

Somsuk Dampatik, An’s pop, who’s worked at the university for more than 25 years, says he was both surprised and delighted when his only son told him he wanted to follow in his footsteps.

“I’m glad my son isn’t ashamed of my job,” laughs Somsuk, “but, after all, my earnings put food on the table all these years and paid for his education.

“When he first started out as a security guard I was afraid he might do something wrong or lack discipline, but he’s been doing all right! I just hope he can adopt whatever he learns from this job to become a better engineer when he pursues that route.”

Standing side by side with his dad in their uniforms is like a dream come true for An, and seeing what he does every day at work has given him a better understanding of his father. “Before I started on the next phase of my life I wanted to see what was involved in my father’s work,” An says. “I wanted to know about all the hardships as well as the enjoyable aspects.

“I’m really proud to have this chance. Now I know how hard it’s been for my father, doing this. I know what he has to go through every day.

“It’s been a great experience. I’ve learned to be responsible and do my duty. I have to be concerned about the safety of other people and their property. I have to help people when they have problems around the campus.

“This job teaches you how to be both polite and compassionate. I’ve learned discipline and patience. I normally work about 12 hours a day, but there’ve been tough days when I’ve had to put in almost 24 hours. It’s made me tougher and more mature, which are valuable traits in daily life and in any career I might choose to pursue.”

An, who once almost decided to drop out of high school, plans to keep working as a security guard until November – but there’s one more thing he has to do before he gets on with his engineering.

“I’ve been drafted for two years’ service in the military,” he says. “Once I’m discharged, though, I plan to find work as an engineer, which is my true calling.”

It’s May and Jay racing toward the goalposts

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


May and Jay

May and Jay

Bo and Mali

Bo and Mali

SHOWBIZ COLLIDES with sport again as word spreads on the social networks that film actress Pitchanart “May” Sakakorn and Muangthong United Football Club superstar Chanathip “Jay” Songkrasin are dating.

The relationship had been more than a rumour for while amid sightings of the cuddly duo at football matches, and then Jay, 22, announced on Instagram a few days ago that he is indeed seeing the sexy 35-year-old actress.

“In fact we’ve known each other for a long time,” he confirmed under a photo he posted of May holding a trophy – one of his, presumably.

“We got talking and it just naturally progressed into love. We didn’t keep it a secret, but I only told the people closest to me. I didn’t want our relationship to be headline news – I just wanted to focus on football. I hope my fans will understand and don’t think I concealed anything from them.” Jay’s hashtag was “I’m so relieved”, evidently at getting it out in the open.

May, who starred in the second “Buppah Ratree” movie as well as “Pattaya Maniac” and “The Victim”, has long been a big fan of sports, so the speculation is that she met Jay in a footie froth.


Bo and Mali: The Movie

Vanda “Bo” Sahawong, who with her daughter Nong Mali has stuck to the periphery of the entertainment scene since the death in January of her husband, actor Tridsadee “Por” Sahawong, is now mulling roles in the same movie for both of them.

“I’ve turned down a lot of projects because I wanted to be fully committed to taking care of Mali after we lost Por,” Bo tells Siam Dara. “But I’m seriously considering this film because it’s very interesting. We’re in discussions and tweaking the roles to fit both Mali and I. Don’t expect me to be the lead, though!” she laughs.

“If I do accept the project, it’s going to be a lot of work for both of us, because we need training so we can give our best performances. I really don’t want to disappoint anyone.

“I want to start with a film rather than TV because it normally requires a shorter time commitment than a series.”

Bo says she and Mali have other projects to finish first, one of them being a photo book titled “Mali Thong Lok” (“Mali Travels the World”). The title’s a bit of an exaggeration because they only got as far as Vietnam, Laos and Maldives, but the pictures are reportedly adorable.

“They’re already taking pre-orders and we’re now choosing the photos that best represent who we are,” Bo says. “And don’t worry about Mali working too hard – the team took great care of her and she really enjoyed travelling to different places.”


GDH film plans draw cheers, the stars not so much

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



GDH 559, the studio amalgam that burst onto the showbiz scene late last year after the breakup of the GTH studio, has finally announced its road map to greatness, entailing both movies and TV series, naturally.

GDH 559, the studio amalgam that burst onto the showbiz scene late last year after the breakup of the GTH shingle, has finally announced its road map to greatness, entailing both movies and TV series, naturally. There are two films in the works, slated to hit theatres before the end of the year.

The first, shot in both Thailand and Japan, has stuck to previously announced plans and retained its working title, “Fanday”. Director Banjong Pisanthanakun hasn’t said much about it, apart from naming the stars – Chantawit “Ter” Thanasewee and Nittha Jirayangyuen – and a release date of September 1.

The second project was to be the first solo-feature effort by Parkpoom Wongpoom, Banjong’s co-director on the GTH hit horrors “Shutter” and “Alone”, but that’s on the back burner for now.

Instead, GDH 559 will release another of those ubiquitous omnibus films, an as-yet-untitled three-part romance with segments by different directors.

Studio co-founder Jira Malikool has already completed the opening segment, also starring Ter Chantawit. Part two is in the capable hands of Nithiwat Tharatorn, who had a hit with “The Teachers’ Diary” two years ago and is this time directing another GTH stalwart, “Freelance” and “I Fine Thank You Love You” leading man Sunny Suwanmethanon.

Closing out the triptych is a segment co-directed by Chayanop Boonprakob of “May Who?” fame and Kriangkrai Vachiratamporn from the teen TV series “Hormones”. Kriangkrai’s only other feature was “Phaun Mai Kao” (“Old Pals”), made for Sahamongkol in 2012.

What’s generating the most interest about the finale is the fact that it stars newcomer Napat Siangsomboon, the son of actress Pimpaka Siangsomboon. Having a new face to gawk at is an immense relief for many fans who have been complaining on that they’re bored to tears seeing Ter and/or Sunny in seemingly every picture being made these days.

The fan consensus seems to be that, as much as they love the movies of GDH 559’s predecessor GTH, there must surely be more than those two actors available. No one’s blaming Ter and Sunny for gobbling up every role around – it’s just a matter of, hey, how about giving some rookies a chance?

To be fair to Ter, he didn’t appear in any GTH movies for years following “ATM Er Rak Error” in 2012. He does, however, show up on TV all the time – in series produced by GTH as well as other companies. As for Sunny, well, yeah, he’s all over the place.

The fans aren’t grousing without coming up with suggestions of their own. Several have said we should be seeing new faces soon in GDH 559 films and shows because there’s a fresh crop ready to harvest.

Thiti Mahayotaruk from “Hormones” had the lead in “May Who?”, the final GTH film, and GDH 559 is giving him and his former co-stars regular work on the small screen. Once they start looking more like actual adults, count on Sunny and Ter being relegated to the game shows.

The last word in the discussion belongs to the realists in the crowd, who point out that, despite all the complaining, GDH 559 movies are always going to be guaranteed hits at the box office.

Fashion in a funk as temple togs fail to catch on

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation




Avert your eyes, because Kanthicha “Yui” Chimsiri has been stripped of her “Suwan Chedi” costume.

Okay, you can look again, because the sponsors of her bid to become Mrs Universe 2016 have come up with a much less controversial outfit for her to wear at the pageant in Guangzhou in August.

The most eyebrow-raising costume ever proposed for a Thai contestant in a “beauty” pageant, the Suwan Chedi replicated the sacred Sri Rattana pagoda at Wat Phra Kaew. The Culture Ministry was appalled and devout Buddhists everywhere were frothing.

A new outfit for 31-year-old Yui is now being prepared, a relieved Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanarat announced at a press conference this week.

“On the international beauty pageant circuit, Thailand is known for national costumes that reflect our abundance of cultural assets,” Veera said, “and we have won several prestigious awards.

“There are many other cultural elements that can be used to create a magnificent costume [besides, you know, venerated Buddhist monuments]. The new costume for Mrs Universe will have no religious references and instead take its inspirations from the palm-leaf-fish mobile and ears of rice to reflect the typical agricultural way of life. And it will be made with traditional Thai fabrics.”

Yui is naturally delighted to be getting a new wardrobe. “I’m very proud to be representing Thailand and showcasing our beautiful culture before the world,” she says. “The design and fitting process is underway and 70 per cent of the costume will be golden in colour.”

Singer In alters course

Nattarinporn “In” Yuenyong, singer for the all-female pop-rock group Budokan, has just got married – to a guy, surprisingly enough.

In has always dated girls and been quite open about that particular gender preference. But earlier this week it was a man, lucky restaurateur Suppachai “Jon” Prommin, who was swapping wedding rings with her. He’d proposed to her last year.

“It was love at first sight,” In sighs to “He’s very handsome, and he takes great care of me. I’ve never met anyone – man or woman – who treats me the way he does.

“And I wanted to get married too. I’m 41 and an only child, so my parents were fretting that I’d end up alone in life. It was just perfect timing that I met Jon.

“Of course he knows about my past relationships. We’re both mature adults and we know better than to dwell on the past.”

The wedding was a humble affair with just family and friends – and not even an Instagram snap to share with the multitudes.

“I didn’t want to make a big fuss of it,” In says. “To be honest I don’t know how to explain myself to the fans or the public. I am who I am, and I don’t need a gender label to uphold my identity. It’s just not relevant, especially when it comes to love. I’m just the same person, but now with a husband!”

Dr Lalana needs a cure for those incessant tom-tom drums

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



Back in 2006, Miss Thailand Lalana Kongtoranin was actually criticised because some people thought her profile as a medical student outshone her good looks and helped her win the crown.

BACK IN 2006, Miss Thailand Lalana Kongtoranin was actually criticised because some people thought her profile as a medical student outshone her good looks and helped her win the crown.

A few years ago she changed her look, cutting her hair short and dressing like a man. Fans loved the new Lalana, but ever since she’s constantly been asked in interviews about her “tomboy” appearance and her love life.

It’s still going on, with Lalana – now at the ripe old age of 28 – showing up on the cover of GM magazine, with another interview inside. It’s the usual stuff: are you a tomboy, do you like women?

“People keep asking me what I am,” she replies, “and I always tell them I don’t know, because I still love being beautiful, like any other woman. I still have breasts and I don’t bind them to flatten my chest like tomboys do.” She’s never considered having her breasts removed or reduced. “I like having breasts like a woman!”

Lalana says she prefers dressing like a man because it’s more comfortable. She feels ill at ease wearing skirts and putting on makeup. And, anyway, her boyish look today is just the way it was when she was a little girl.

The interviewer for GM being the persistent type (or perhaps just hard of hearing), Lalana is asked more than once if she “wants to be a man”.

“No!” she says, “and if you want to know the reason I don’t tell people I’m a tomboy, it’s because I’m not!”

Lalana explains with what we would characterise as superhuman patience that some people struggle to categorise themselves as tomboys, gay or anything else for that matter. And she doesn’t want to limit herself or her sexual orientation to being “just” a tomboy or “just” anything else.

Nor in her relationships does she restrict herself to either gender, she says. She gets involved with people based on how she feels about them and if they’re good-hearted, and it can be a man or a woman. Lalana’s dated a man, though she allows that she feels more comfortable being close to women.

Finally off the topic, Lalana gets to talk about her work as a resident in emergency medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital.

“I want to work on as many different kinds of cases as possible, so ER is the right place to be,” she says, adding that her ultimate aim is to run a free clinic for underprivileged people.

People these days view doctors in a different way, Lalana says. “They regard a doctor as someone who provides only the service, but for me the most important thing is being able to communicate with the patients properly. The better the communication, the less misunderstanding.”

Out of her doctor’s gown, Lalana is still working in show business, appearing on one television soap, hosting another TV show and modelling for magazines.