Man-eating role turned me off meat
In the 2009 Thai horror flick Meat Grinder, Bangkok-born actress-singer Mai Charoenpura played Buss, a street hawker who uses a very special ingredient in her meat-broth noodles - human flesh.
The movie will be screened on TV here this month as part of cable channel Thrill's month-long Asian Fear Fest, which starts tonight.
My Paper recently caught up with the 44-year-old, whose film credits include The Legend Of Suriyothai (2001) and Memory (2008), on what drew her to the gory role and the challenges that came with it.
What drew you to the role of Buss?
It's a great script that allowed me...to play a different kind of role. I believe that, as an actress, you have to improve yourself all the time and do many kinds of characters.
Was it difficult to get into the mindset of a killer?
It's not easy. It's kind of hard because (the character Buss) has been brought up that way since young - killing people for food.
You have to wake up every day and throw yourself into the script. I just had to really read and follow the script a lot, and try to believe in it as much as I could. I put all my mind and heart and soul into it. It's something you have to use your imagination for.
After doing the film, did your view on noodles change?
My view on meat changed. I did stop (eating meat for a while), because I didn't feel good about it. Now, I take pork, chicken and seafood.
Are there any similarities between yourself and Buss?
I'm quite a soft-hearted person. Like any other woman, you feel soft-hearted inside but you have to be strong and go on with your life and take whatever comes at you.
I think if Buss could choose any other way of living, she would. But she has no choice. So I think the similarity is that we're both strong, but soft-hearted, women.
What's your dream role?
I used to dream about doing a Charlie's Angels type of role, but maybe action is not good for me any more. I love dramatic roles, or maybe something light, like a romantic comedy like Pretty Woman. I also like films based on true stories.
The Asian Fear Fest starts today on Thrill (StarHub Ch 618/SingTel mio TV Ch 415). See sidebar for the shows to catch. Meat Grinder will be aired on Thrill at 9pm on Oct 26.