The chosen one

Typhoon stars in exciting new animation

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Since the release of its spectacular trailer, there has been a major buzz around the new Thai animation, 9 Satra: The Legend of Muay Thai.

Made on a huge budget of 200 million baht, the film features colourful characters and stunning design and marks a real leap forward for Thai animation.

9 Satra tells the story of a young man called Aod who must save his homeland from ogres. After learning muay Thai from a legendary master, he travels with a group of friends to rescue his people. Aod is played by singer and actor Kanokchat Munyad-On (Typhoon), who spent four years working on the part. The film uses motion capture, which involves recording the actors’ movements before rendering them into CGI.

S Weekly met up with the 26-year-old actor at Major Cineplex where he told us about his latest role and his acting career.

Photos by Varuth Hirunyatheb and courtesy of M Pictures

How did it feel to see the results of so many years of hard work?

Typhoon: I was delighted. I’m very proud to have been a part of this project.

Did you find voice acting for 9 Satra difficult?

Typhoon: Yes. It’s the toughest job, but it was fun as well. I had to act through my voice and the voice had to match the character. I once spent 45 minutes trying to pronounce one word correctly. It was hard because each tone creates a different mood. I had to get the right tone to fit the character. I also had to create different voices for Aod for different stages of his life, from childhood to adolescence.

How did you overcome challenges?

Typhoon: I was dedicated to the project. I didn’t feel irritated when the director told me to do something again. We discussed how I should act out each scene.

Were you able to adapt your experiences from working in TV dramas to motion capture?

Typhoon: Yes. Basically, I had to become the character. In one action scene, I had to do somersaults. There was lots of movements. At first, it was difficult to become the character because it required a lot of imagination. I’d never been face-to-face with an ogre before!

What makes 9 Satra different from other Thai animations?

Typhoon: It’s closer to a live-action movie. Actors play each character, so the movements are similar to real people. And it has a fascinating plot about muay Thai, mystery and magic, as well as spectacular imagery.

You play a boxer in the TV series Bangkok Rak Stories. Can you tell us about that?

Typhoon: I had to do a fighting scene. I didn’t know much about boxing, but I’ve been working out a lot lately, so it was fine. It took us the whole day to film the scene. We sweated a lot. They didn’t have to use any effects - all that sweat on screen is real!

Which genres do you like acting in the most?

Typhoon: I like drama because I can relate to the situations. Comedies are sometimes like comic books. Drama is more realistic.

When you’re working on several different characters at the same time, do you ever get mixed up?

Typhoon: Yes. But my role model, the actor Chai Chartayodom, advised me to write down details about each character in a notebook. Before I go to work, I look at my notes, so I remember the character I’m playing.

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