ALL GROWN UP
Uttsada Greg Panichkul, affectionately know to the masses as Utt, took up modeling at 17. From fashion spreads and commercials, he soon crossed over into hosting andd acting. Afer a short stint on Thai TV, he joined MTV Asia in 1998 and now – at the ripe old age of 32 – he wants to jump behind the camera.
Some people would kill to work in television. Then there are those, such as Utt, who happened to be there at the right time. “When I ws 17, my parents sent me to Thailand with a one-way ticket to get to know my Asian roots. To them, I was too American, which was pretty annoying,” he chuckled. “So I started to work and earn myself a ticket back to the States. And guyess what? I’ve earned it and I haven’t gone back.”
Since last June, Utt has been busy filming and hosting in Thailand. Now he’s back in Singapore to shoot a new melodrama (details are not confirmed at the time of interview) and the third season of Incredible Tales. “Seems like people just can’t get enough of ghost stories,” he adds. “I’m spending more time in Bangkok. My relationship with MTV is still ongoing; I come back to Singapore once a month for recording. I was away from Thailand for three years. I miss my family, my house But it’s a o-win deal – I miss Singapore when I’m in Thailand.”
Utt’s plan to work in Thailand is not just about seeing his family; it’s part of this plan for his career. “I’d like to move behind the scenes and do some producing work. I used to have this small production company before I moved to Singapore, but I also wanted regional exposure – that’s why I came here in the first place. I like producing; I’m quite good at managing. “I’m being myself andgoofy” – acting—“I don’t have to be me and I’m exploring” – and modeling – “I don’t have to talk”. He does have a strong favourite for his most sinful indulgence, however: “ Buying cars. They’re expensive toys for big boys like me.”
FEAR OF FLYING
I don’t like flying, I hate planes. I hate heights, basically. Before I get on the plane, I’ll knock on the door twice. It’s like saying to the plane, “Hello! I’m on the plane. Please land! I did that once on Singapore Airlines and the attendants all came out. They probably thought I was planting some bomb on the plane or something.
GHOST STORY MASCOT
I’ve become somewhat like a mascot because, everywhere I go – especially when I eat at hawker centres – taxi drivers and flight attendants, somebody is always telling me about their ghost stories. I wasn’t used to it in the beginning. I remember one guy went, “My mum came to visit me last night. She’s dead.”
I’m a soap-and-water guy when it comes to skincare. I don’t take care of my skin very much. I’m slowly learning and have started using a Lancome cleanser. I’m always in a hurry, so spending time putting on moisturizer and stuff is really not me. I don’t like to use makeup, so I’m really glad we’re not using any for this shoot.
I take my work seriously, concentrate on my scripts –but, at the end of the day, it’s not a big deal. You come into this world; you don’t know when you’re going to leave it. So it’s no use racking your brains, trying to figure things out, getting all stressed about thouw you could have done things better. You also stress out the people around you. So as long as you put our heart and mind to what you’re doing, and if you know you’ve done that, you’re pretty much all right. Just remember, it’s not a big deal.
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