Thai actor Chaiwat Thongsang of Bangkok Love Story fame, whose nickname is “Tob,” was only 17 years old when he was cast in his first leading role in the controversial feature film Puen Koo Rak Meung Wah (Bangkok Love Story), released September 2007.
In the movie, he played “It,” a closeted gay man in uniform who is about to marry his pretty fiancée. But by chance he falls in love with a lone hit man hired to assassinate him.
The movie broke new ground in mainstream Thai cinema with the portrayal of two masculine men in intimate scenes including deep kissing and love-making. For decades, the big Thai studios produced movies with themes or sub-plots about sad transgender characters and comedies portraying gay men as drag queens.
Not so with Tob, who was 79 kg and 187 cm when he was cast and already looked like an aspiring body-builder. He said he became interested in body-building when he was 14, but only got serious about it after the success of Bangkok Love Story, which afforded him the time and money to devote himself to the sport.