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Multi-sided STAR

Girly Berry sex kitten Wanida Termthanaporn bears another side in new film

By: Yanapon Musiket
Published: 27/06/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Muse

It was almost two hours after the scheduled appointment time when Wanida "Gybzy" Termthanaporn entered the room. 'Muse' had been informed earlier that the interview might be delayed due to a long queue of media personnel waiting to get a piece of her. For the Thai pop idol-turned-actress whose film was the sole Thai representative at this year's Festival de Cannes, it was, after all, worth waiting.

In her vintage minidress, Gybzy stunned every pair of eyes in the interview room. The photo shoot took almost as long as the interview. With a subject like Gybzy, it was rather hard for the photographers to put down their cameras. Hers is the kind of beauty and allure that leaves any snapper thinking they don't yet have enough shots even for a two-page feature.

"I am so sorry," Gybzy said. "My schedule has been very tight since I returned from France. I have been doing interviews all day."

"So, shall we begin?" she said, putting on her sexy smile.

Six years ago, Gybzy became widely recognised as a singer from the pop girl band Girly Berry. Since being labelled a sexy icon, she has become a star whose professional career is overshadowed by her personal life and relationship status.

But last year, her name courted unexpected headlines.

It was not in reference to how short her dress was or who the paparazzi caught her with. This time, Gybzy surprised the entertainment industry when she was cast by internationally acclaimed director Pen-ek Ratanaruang to play the lead in his seventh feature film, Nangmai (Nymph), a co-production between Five Star Production and German film house Fortissimo Films.

"When I was told Pen-ek had cast me, I was very surprised," she recalled. "After reading the script, I thought the role was not exactly for me. The lead character is a housewife in her mid-thirties and I am just a childish 25-year-old girl."

In Nangmai, she plays May, an urban housewife who is married to photographer Nop, played by Nopachai Jayanama. One evening, the couple go on a trip into the jungle where Nop plans to take photos and spend time with his wife. In the jungle, he stumbles upon a mysterious tree, underneath which he believes there is something that calling out to him. When he fails to return to the tent, May sets out to look for him only to find his mobile phone and one sandal. She is then struck by the premonition that she has lost her husband maybe forever.

"I guess it was my hairstyle I had at the time of the audition. It was a bit short and it made me look a little older. So, I assumed it was the reason why he cast me," she said, jokingly.

In an interview with the Bangkok Post's film critic Kong Rithdee, Pen-ek shared that a minute into watching the tape of Gybzy's audition he found in her what he felt was missing in his script and in the rest of the candidates.

"It was guilt. Gybzy looked as if she had done something wrong and was afraid people would find out. So I chose her based on that fact. My casting director protested that she wasn't at all like the May in the script," he said.

In the end, said Pen-ek, Gybzy inspired him so much that he decided to re-write the script just to have her in his film.

And this May, Nangmai, was selected from 1,500 films worldwide to be one of 20 candidates in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival. Gybzy, together with Pen-ek and leading actor Nopachai flew to Cannes to be present at Nangmai's world premiere.

"I was thrilled when I was told about my trip to France, the fashion kingdom!" she said, laughing. One thing that shines brightly in Gybzy's words and personality is her innocence and unpretentiousness.

"To be honest, I knew very little about Cannes, and had no clue why people would rave about it. Before, my life had been heading in a dance and music direction," she said. "Once I got to Cannes, I wondered whether a girl like me would ever have the chance to attend such an important event again in her life."

"There, I learned what the film industry is all about. It is incredible how millions of people around the world admire the art of cinema. I'm so glad to have landed this role and be heading in this direction."

At the premiere, the starlet stirred a thunderous storm of camera flashes from guests and the international media. Since returning home, she has fast became the "it" girl of the Thai film scene.

"Ten years ago, I was just another young girl, hanging out around Siam Square," she recalled. "One day, I was approached by an agent from a modelling agency. That's how my life in showbiz began.

"And Nangmai is my second film so far," she added. In 2003, Gybzy first appeared on movie screens in the teenage film Club Zaa Pid Tamra Saab.

"What has happened to me was unplanned, being a singer or an actor. My biggest dream when I was a child was to become a teacher. It was the only practical career I could see myself in."

Wednesday, July 1 is marked for the Thai premiere of Nangmai. According to Five Star Production, the film was recently invited to be screened at the Pusan Film Festival. Gybzy said she is excited that Thai people will get to see the film. However, Nangmai, for her, has more meaning than just a trip to Cannes.

"Since the day I stepped into the entertainment industry, many people have judged me from the way I look, the outfits I wear and the way I dance with my band mates."

"I do care, but all I can do is be true to myself and never let people's comments drag me down," Gybzy concluded, keeping herself sassy and cool right to the last minute.

"Nangmai is a chance for me to show everyone a different side of Gybzy than Girly Berry. And that side of me is the one I want people to know."

Relate Search: Gybzy, Girly Berry

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