An actor. Artist. Dutiful son. Humble. Down to earth. A sweetheart to many endearing fans who have followed his work since his debut. These are a few words to describe this underrated actor. But the road to fame for Pope was neither an easy nor smooth ride. Contrary to popular belief, to be where he is at today required heartbreak, tears, discouragement and setbacks (that are anything but his fault.) But ultimately, it is his perseverance and humble heart that pushes him to continue the pursuit of his dreams and become the most heartfelt and versatile actor in this business.
Pope was born on December 27, 1982; to a family with two children, he has one older sister. Pope received an undergraduate degree in Communication Arts and Design from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology. He worked as a graphic designer prior to pursuing a career in acting, which explains his talent in drawing and passion in teaching arts to students. Pope also teaches children soccer. Shortly after his promising career as a graphic designer, in 2006, Pope decides to audition for a leading role in a drama for channel 9. He won the audition and immediately starts practicing for the role, and resigns from his graphic designing career. Never did he imagine that the dream of being an actor could come to fruition. And never did he imagine the road could be so hard and disappointing.
Two years of hard work and practicing, the project was cancelled. He blames the setback on his unfortunate fate, yet he continues to persevere. Sometime later, Pope earned a minor casting role in the Legend of King Naresuan and was able to put the horse riding and fighting skills to use. The opportunity to play a leading role finally follows as he is casted for the silver screen in October Sonata, supposedly a very good movie but for whatever reason did not resonate with the public at the time.
It was one disappointment after another. Pope could not help but feel discouraged and heartbroken at his waning career. There were many reasons to cry, and he leans on his mother and advisor. Feeling that he needed to fulfill his duty as a son, as well as freeing his mind of his failures, Pope decides to ordain as a monk. He did quite the duration, but it was necessary. Coming out of the monk hood allowed him to let go of the pain and move on.
And good things do happen to people who wait, no matter the pain. Pope was pursued for a role as Nat in the lakorn called Dok Som See Thong, and although he was a minor, supporting actor (a friend of scandalous Reya) his performance was etched in fans’ minds as well as producers alike. He was then signed with channel 3 and featured as another supporting cast in Tawan Duerd as Nai Singh, a rough around the edges character, but so beloved by the fans with his puppy dog eyes and chemistry with Ploykwan. Pope received additional roles thereafter as Dr. Wattana in Game Rai Game Rak, and a playboy in Buang. No matter the role, he is very popular, and amazingly so among his fans eyes even for his non leading roles.
After 7 years of hardship, and the break through role in Dok Som See Thong, Pope Thanawat has finally been presented with his first leading role as Khun Chai Pawornruj in the Supaburoot Juthathep series, channel 3′s largest production to date. Upon which, he nails his character to a tee.
Behind that sweet face and adorable smile lies a man who has endured the failures and finally successes within the entertainment business. It is enough to break many men, but Pope is such a hard worker and perseveres through the foggy and fickle terrain we call the entertainment industry, thus making his victory all the more sweet. He stays humble and grounded, he even maintains his extracurricular activity of teaching kids how to draw and play soccer.
He has risen to be one of my most favorite leading men not solely because of his acting skills or his loveable smile, but of his grounded character. I typically don’t care or follow a celebrity’s life or personal trials, much less write a biography, but after scouring the Internet for his background, and watching how the pain has made him into the man and actor he is today, it just makes the shipping for him even more meaningful. Oh those angsty eyes get me every time! He won’t take his status for granted: the status that is well deserved. He will always be a pr’ek in my eyes.
I am also a sucker for artists. Pope draws and paints amazing work of art. Nescafé hired him for their commercials. If you’ve seen Nescafé commercials before, than you would know that they are inspiring and typically surrounds breathtaking sceneries. Pope was able to incorporate his own drawings: the traditional, exquisite gem necklace and a painting of a serene temple, coupling it with his poignant acting, it’s quite something.
He hasn’t received the opportunity to draw for lakorns yet, but if the producers are smart, they should utilize his skills. How about a premise about a man who draws his dream girl from his mind and she happens to come to life?
I am so pleased that he will be the pr’ek in Samee Tee Tra alongside Ploy Chermarn and Jui, and of course produced by the Thongprasom.
At 31 years old, Pope Thanawat, our smiling pr’ek only gets better with age. Not only is he a person to be reckoned with, but his talent acknowledgement is a long time coming.