In the 1980s and 1990s, Japanese, Cantonese and Mandarin pop stars dominated the Asian cultural scene. In the last decade, the Hallyu wave swept the world by storm. With several Thai blockbusters like Pee Mak and Bad Genius gaining massive success worldwide, it seems that Thailand is poised to take the stage.
With Thai films and dramas gaining traction amongst the international audience, let’s take a look at 14 of the beautiful up-and-coming Thai stars that you should keep an eye out for.
Affectionately known by her nickname, “Aokbab”, the actress started her modeling career at the young age of 15. She made history in 2013 when she became the first Thai model to land a spread in Harper’s Bazaar UK. Aokbab successfully transitioned to acting, winning acclaim for playing the lead, Lynn, in the high school thriller, “Bad Genius”.
Even though this was Aokbab’s first foray into acting, the 21-year-old was able to impress critics with her acting skills, winning her the title of the Screen International Rising Star Asia award in the 16th New York Asian Film Festival.
Photo: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying/Instagram
With more than 6 million followers on Instagram, it’s safe to say Davika Hoorne is the Instagram queen in Thai showbiz. The 25-year-old actress rose to fame when she starred in the horror blockbuster, “Pee Mak” and romantic comedy, “Heart Attack”. When she is not busy acting, the trendsetter can be seen in the front row of fashion events like the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.
Photo: Davika Hoorne/Instagram
It seems like the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Naphat, who is the son of Thai actress and 2nd runner-up of Miss Thailand World 1988,Pimpaka Siangsomboon, has both the looks and solid acting chops. The dapper 21-year-old made his debut on-screen appearance in a Nivea for Men TV commercial. He catapulted to fame after starring in a commercial for Thai travel retail group, King Power. Since then, the charming actor landed leading roles in movies like “A Gift” and drama serials like “Rak Kan Panlawan”.
Amid his hectic schedule, Naphat is able to find time to pursue his passion in the arts, enrolling himself in the Communication Design course at the Mahidol University International College (MUIC).
Photo: Naphat Siangsomboon/Instagram
If you are a fan of Thai romantic comedies, Ice should already be on your radar. The sweet-faced 27-year-old earned the title of best actress for her lead role in the highest grossing Thai film, “I Fine…Thank You…Love You”, where she starred alongside actor Sunny Suwanmetanon. When she is not busy filming or gracing the covers of magazines, the Thai beauty maintains her svelte frame by practising Muay Thai.
Photo: Ice Preechaya/Instagram
Don’t let his boyish good looks and boyish charm fool you. The 23-year-old actor who rose to stardom in teen drama, “Hormones”, revealed to the Thai media that being in an all boys’ school all his life, he didn’t know how to get along with girls.
He also added that he’s a really shy guy and he gets embarrassed during kissing scenes. This reserved actor has come a long way and his meteoric rise saw him play the lead role in box office success, “May Who”. In spite of his hectic schedule, the superstar was able to complete his degree at the Kasetsart University and keep all 158k of his followers happy.
Photo: Thanapob Leeluttanakajorn/Instagram
The heartthrob became a star in the eyes of the public with his breakthrough role as Bank, a straight-A student who takes part in exam cheating scheme, in the widely acclaimed movie, “Bad Genius”, inspired by real life events of students cheating in the SAT. Fluent in English, the well-liked actor is a graduate of the Bangkok Christian College and is currently studying film at the Mahidol University International College.
With 1 million followers on Instagram, it’s clear that Chanon is well on his way to getting more attention from an international audience.
Photo: Chanon Santinatornkul /Instagram
The statuesque actress who is signed to Channel 3 Thailand has appeared in numerous Thai television dramas before making her big screen debut in the movie, “One Day”, starring alongside Ter Chantavit. Long before winning over regional audiences in the smash hit, “One Day”, it is not an overstatement to say that Mew can be seen everywhere in Thailand, from fronting shampoo commercials to appearing on the cover of fashion magazines. With more than 2 million followers on Instagram, you’ll definitely be seeing more of the Srinakharinwirot University graduate.
Photo: Mew Nittha Jirayungyurn/Instagram
Who says that nice guys finish last? Ter is leading man material precisely because of his nice guy charm. The 34-year-old bachelor gained popularity with his role in the movie “Hello Stranger”. He was even named a Star Hunter at the 2011 Shanghai International Film Festival, an accolade given to the top 10 most promising young actors in Asia.
His success in acting also saw him turning his hand towards screenwriting, Ter co-wrote for the 2013 movie “Pee Mak” and the 2016 movie “One Day”, both of which were box office hits across Asia.
Photo: Ter Chantavit/Instagram
Born in Yokohama in Japan, Violette Wautier, rose to prominence when she took part in the second season of reality singing competition, The Voice Thailand.
After singing came acting, the 24-year-old took on her first acting role, playing Mint, in the 2014 horror film, “The Swimmers”. She has since starred in movies like the 2015 film, “Heart Attack” and the 2016 movie, “A Gift”.
Photo: Violette Wautier/Instagram
Born in 1981 to a half-Thai-half-Singaporean father and French mother, Sunny Suwanmethanont, is known for his roles in films “Dear Dakanda” and “I Fine..Thank You..Love You”.
The 36-year-old heartthrob isn’t afraid to shed his pretty boy image. In the film, Heart Attack, the actor had rashes and pus-filled spots painted all over his body to play the role of an ill ridden graphic designer.
Photo: Sunny Suwanmethanont/Instagram
With more than 2 million followers on Instagram, Mike Angelo is one of the most followed stars in Thailand. The hunky 28-year-old was first gained popularity as a member of the duo, Golf & Mike, with his brother, Pichaya Nitipaisankul. The pair would go on to release four albums before disbanding in 2010 to pursue their solo careers. Recently, Mike has been very active in China, appearing in variety shows like Chinese Restaurant that stars Chinese celebrities like Vicky Zhao.
Photo: Mike Angelo/Instagram
Always smiley and bubbly, the petite actress has appeared in a host of TV shows on Thailand’s Channel 3. She got her big break after appearing in the highly successful movie, “Bad Genius”, in which she played, “Grace”, an academically challenged teen. In addition to her role in “Bad Genius”, the 21-year-old is also known for her role in the horror flick, “Siam Square”.
Photo: Eisaya Hosuwan/Instagram
With over 1 million followers on Instagram, this 20-year-old actor isn’t a force to be reckoned with. The Journalism and Mass Communication student at Thammasat University first began his acting career after taking part in, “Hormones:The Next Gen”, a talent-searching competition produced by Nadao Bangkok. Since then, James has appeared in several TV shows. He made his debut big screen appearance in “Bad Genius” where he played a spoiled student that takes part in a test-cheating scheme.
Photo: James Teeradon Supapunpinyo/Instagram
The actor of Thai-German descent started his career as a model after being scouted at the age of 16 at the Siam Square shopping mall and he has not looked back since. He reached A-list status with his breakout performance in the 2010 romantic comedy “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and 2013 horror comedy, “Pee Mak”.
A man of many talents, apart from acting, he recently completed his master’s degree in political communication. With his face plastered on magazines and billboards all over Thailand and his impressive social media presence of 5.8 million followers on Instagram, it won’t be long before he moves on to bigger things.
Photo: Mario Maurer/Instagram