from Hamburger Magazine
Originally published on 22.10.18
Fan-translated by Typo (no copyright infringement intended)
Every time we see Cherprang Areekul or ‘Cap Cher.’ the BNK48 captain, we see the picture of perfection. She is the one on whom members of the band can rely. She is the idol that inspires and brings joy and happiness to everyone who see her.
And now, Cherprang has had a chance to meet with ‘Pi,’ a character from ‘Homestay’. Pi is a distinguished student, who hides her sensitivity behind her perfect appearance
Portraying this character not only gives Cherprang a chance to show her acting skill, but also somehow ‘unlock’ something in Cherprang that she has never showed to anyone.
How do you feel about your first time acting in a film ?
It’s quite exciting. I have never thought I’d ever have a chance to be on the screen. I like watching films. In the past, I went to the cinema almost every week, but I never thought that I’d one day became an actress. I never thought I’d have such an opportunity.
How did you become an actress in Homestay ?
The director, Mr. Pakpoom Wongpoom, called me for a casting without telling for which role it was. I didn’t think that I’d be chosen, because I didn’t know about acting back then. I told him so and added that I’d try my best in every chance I’m given. It turned out that he chose me, so I did tried my best to portray Pi like how she was described in the film script.
What are differences and similarities between Pi and you ?
Pi was a good student. Coming from the countryside, she got the scholarship to study in school, so she took the Academic Olympiad very seriously. As for me, I try to balance both studying and extracurricular activities. I’m not as bright as Pi, who is an Academic Olympian. (laugh) Characteristics-wise, Pie is quite similar to me, minus the idol part of me. She is cheerful and bright. Another similarity is that our hometown is the same, that is Songkhla. This is purely a coincidence. I didn’t know about it before I went casting; the script writer also didn’t know my background beforehand.
This is your first time for acting. How hard it is ?
I had no background nor experience in acting. I had to start from zero, actually below zero. I even didn’t know how to make a proper pronounciation, how to move around, how to speak clearly, how to play with the camera.
Well, you might understand the role you are about to play, but if you cannot express your feelings, then it won’t do. I have to learn all the basic things about acting including what ‘get into the role’,‘cut’ and ‘action’ are.
How many takes did you take during the filming ?
The director was quite strict. Sometimes it took quite a number of takes. But finally, I could do it. He drilled me until I could do it. I used to think that I couldn’t do acting, but now I could finally dismiss such an idea. Now I believe that we can do anything as long as we have enough time to learn to do it. I myself is a living proof.
Members of BNK48 also have to attend the acting class, as part of the training. Is it useful to you when acting in the film ?
Yes, there’s such a class, but it aims for training you to become a good singer or a good artist who can perform well on the stage. It also helps you understand the meaning of each songs. But that’s it. I think it’s different from acting in a film. When you are going to perform on the stage, we simply have to focus on our goal, that is to entertain people and to convey the feeling of the songs you are singing. If it’s a sad song, sometimes I cry along. If it’s a cheerful song, I will sing happily. Film acting is different though. There’s a role you have to play, which certainly is not yourself. You also have to synchronise your character with others. Before I acted like ‘Pi,’ I had to recall how Pi’s life was. If I were her, what would I do ?
And now, do you like acting ? Is there any role you like to play in particular ?
Yes, I like acting. After I learnt about it, I find it fun and challenging. I want to play a character who is totally opposite to me. In the past, I hardly displayed any emotion. When I cried, I might shed some tears, but never burst them out.
In the acting workshop, however, I had to do things I have never done like, throwing tantrum, crying hard, or screaming.
When I was a kid, I had never thrown a tantrum to my mum when I wanted something. Then I learnt in the acting class that, actually, it was not because I had no feeling. I have them, but I only kept them inside. I never feel the need to release my feelings. But now I learnt to do them. I never thought that acting was actually an art of knowing oneself, how to understand your feelings, and how to control them.
Have you ever felt that being an actress might suit you more than being an idol ?
Acting might suit me, but I still want to be an idol. I might not be good at acting. I only like doing something fun. I don’t know what is good acting, what is not. Only the director can tell. And my acting coach. And James. If the director said it’s ok, then it means I’m ok. (laugh) But the reason I wanted to do acting is that I want to try becoming other persons. I also wanted to play a challenging role to see what is more difficult: being a member of BNK48 or being an actress.
I found out, however, that it’s actually a different thing. As a member of BNK48, I might have a look of a cheerful girl, who is also the captain. But when I acted as Pi, I see what her limitation is. She is only a fearful highschool girl. Her point of view is limited and conditioned to the script. I mean if you know the whole story and what she has went through from the beginning to the end, you’ll understand her. But when you play her role, you have to think of her life only step by step, so she might be thoughtless as first, and become wiser later.
We learn more about BNK48 through the documentary : Girls Don’t Cry. Can you tell us what the message of the documentary is ?
I’m not quite sure. It’s up to each person to interpret the film. It simply tells the story of BNK48 and what each member is thinking. You might need to ask this question to Mr. Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, the director of GDC. Personally, I think it portrays how the real world is. BNK48 is like a miniature of how the world or the society functions. We need to compete with one another to survive. This is true to both how the real world and BNK48 is. Only that it’s more pronounced in BNK48 as we can see easily who are now in the limelight.
You once said: ‘this is the way of the world.’
Yes, this is what I see. Wherever I go, I always see the same pattern in each society I’ve been through since the first grade. Maybe it’s because I’ve had so many different experiences since my school is an alternative school. I’ve got the opportunity to see various kinds of people and to take different roles, such as the head of the classroom, the head of the club, the head of some projects, etc. I’ve seen the same pattern again and again, that is, there will always be winners and losers.
But where you are standing now is where everything is competitive, right ?
Yes it is, but I’m here because I see also the other side of the 48 Group that can also be beneficial to other people. I’m one of those who was inspired by AKB48. My idol helps support my morale when I’m down. So I think it’s a good system. But at the same time, I admit that there’s part of it that is cruel. Here I need to enter the competition and subject myself to rules and regulations.
Yet you accept the cold hard fact of the position you are standing on, right ?
I see the good side of this system. It can also inspires people. I myself have been through difficult times, and the thought of her, my idol, helped me get through it. She was also part of the system I’m in now. And this very thought encourages me to keep on fighting. People who feel depressed need morale support to go on with their life. So if what I have to endure can help others, it’s more than worth it. That’s why I am still here.
But I have to tell you about the making of the documentary. The interview time of each member was about 2 hours, but only 1/24 of it were featured in the film.
Come to think of it, I’m now 20 something. I can somehow do something good for the society, as a public figure, as an idol, as an inspiration. It’s more than I thought I could be. (laugh). Before, I thought that to simply have experience in the showbiz and make people happy was more than enough. Frankly speaking, I never thought I’d be here, part of the showbiz.
So now, how does it feel to be part of the showbiz ?
It helped me ‘unlock’ myself. I’ve much more relaxed and learnt to let things go. Actually even before I joined the band, I was very robot-like and felt indifferent to almost everything in the world. My friends told me that I was harsh and had no feeling. But I thought to myself that I only acted logically because I wanted to follow the best option. I chose logics over feelings.I could leave something behind if I thought it was logically to do so. I would not regret over it or cry. Well, it’s not that I never cried. I simply rarely cried, and it’d only be some tear drops, but a burst of tear. I felt back then that I had no feeling.
But after I joined BNK48, little by little, I’ve got my feelings back, since I have to pass on those cheerful feelings to the audience. But as the captain, I can be quite strict to my members.I like t to plan and manage everything.
So you realised what the fact of life is and learnt to let things go, right ?
Yes, I believe that everything will change, so I feel numb with everything around me. But after I took the acting class last year, I learnt how to release my emotions. It felt good to scream, cry, smile and laugh without worrying about anything in the world. Before I joined BNK48, I’m inclined to the logical side more than the emotional side. After joining BNK48, the emotional side in me mproved a bit. After taking the acting class, both sides are almost equal now.
In the gist: acting requires emotional expression, but you were not good at it.
No I was not. But acting made me learn to do it. Pi is more feminine than I am. She is strong, but still quite sensitive and emotional. To become her, I need to be more emotional. And that’s what is difficult for me.
Yet it feels good to unlock yourself, right ?
That’s why I said that performing in this film helped me a lot in a good way. In the past, I thought I would never cried. There was one time that I cried so hard, but no one heard me, so I stopped crying. I was a kid back then. I felt from my bike somewhere outside my home. I thought that if I cried loudly enough, someone would eventually hear me and come out to help me. Yet, no one came. So in the end, I stopped crying and went back home by myself. On the other occasion, my mum felt sad after she saw me crying. I then thought that I would not let anyone become sad because of my sorrow. So I built a wall in my heart, saying to myself that I’d not cry again. And I really became that sort of person. Then I had to perform as Pi, whose role needed some occasional crying. With this, I unlocked myself. I learnt that I didn’t have to be that cold-hearted to be strong, and that it is ok to cry.
So it is ok for the ‘Captain’ to be a little bit emotional
Yes, it is ok to be so. I used to thought that I should not have any emotional side, or if there is any, I need to keep it to myself, so that no one can ever see it. So I kept my a pile of feelings deep inside my heart. But as I said that acting required some emotional expression, I needed to display my feelings to other people, even though I didn’t want to. (laugh) I’m still a logical, compassionate person, yet I might be a little bit more emotional.
If I had a chance to tell myself in the past that ‘hey, you will one day become an actress,’ my old self would say : ‘you’re crazy. It’s impossible’.
Yet, here I am today. And it is a very good experience. I felt grateful for being given the chance to work in the art field. I am always the one who has studies in the scientific area, and thus shunned myself from the artistic fields. I knew it was also important. I only didn’t want to engage myself in that field. But now that it’s part of my work, so I learnt how to do it. It might take a bit of time, but finally I could do it.
So I learnt one lesson from this experience, that ‘everything is possible’. I can open every door, given that I have enough time and pressure. I’ll then be able to somehow do it. (laugh)
If you hear someone saying, ‘I cannot do this,’ what will you tell him/her ?
‘Have you tried doing it yet ?’ You say you cannot do it, but have you try doing it ? Have you given enough time to try it? I used to believe that I couldn’t sing and dance. But these are necessary skills for the band. I then tried practicing them very hard, so that I wouldn’t make the band looked bad. Now I think I’ve become a better singer than what myself was in the past. At least now our singing coach gave me some compliments. I feel very happy about it. Dancing too. Before I joined the band, I had zero skill in dancing. I then practiced dancing so hard until I became as good as others. You can go asking anyone about this. So does acting. I was terrible. I thought I could never become an actress. But in the end, I think the director was ok with me. (laugh)
from Hamburger Magazine
Originally published on 22.10.18
Fan-translated by Typo (no copyright infringement intended)