When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you a second chance, you grab it and make the best out of it. And when you’re a stray soul that’s just been given another shot at living, you make sure to do anything—or everything—to not screw up. That’s, essentially, what Homestay is all about.
Adapted from the Japanese novel Colourful by Eto Mori (which was also made into an anime), GDH559’s new thriller/fantasy flick follows a wandering soul as he’s awarded the chance to live again in a host body that previously “belonged” to a high school boy who took his own life. The catch? He has 100 days to figure out why the boy committed suicide—and if anyone is responsible for it—or risk being removed from his host body and remain a stray soul forever.
Teeradon "James" Supapunpinyo of Bad Genius fame plays the spirit that takes over the vacated body of a boy named Min, while BNK48’s Cherprang Areekul portrays Pie, Min’s love interest. It all sounds surreal but, as it’s young lead explains, the flick packs punches of reality as well. “I don’t think the movie focuses only on the fantasy element,” James explains. “It’s part of it, yes, but the core storyline focuses on the emotional aspects of being human. I have learned so much from portraying this role, that of a spirit observing someone’s life from a third-person perspective so he can see the bigger picture. [Therole] has taught me to always step back and look at life from a different angle.”
"I don’t think the movie focuses only on the fantasy element. It’s part of it, yes, but the core storyline focuses on the emotional aspects of being human."
James isn’t the only one who’s benefited from taking on the challenges of this film. In her acting debut, the leader of Thailand’s most famous idol group found herself letting her usually stringent guard down and relaxing into her role. “Acting has given me a chance to understand who I really am, and has allowed me to look back and see how I became who I am today,” Cherprang relates. “Before, I would barely cry, scream or fully express my emotions. Acting has made me realize that I have suppressed a lot of emotion deep inside me, that I built a wall around me because I wanted to be strong. The movie gave me a chance to rethink myself—why I have never cried and that maybe I don’t have to be strong at all times.”
"Acting has made me realize that I have suppressed a lot of emotion deep inside me, that I built a wall around me because I wanted to be strong. The movie gave me a chance to rethink myself."
While Homestay has provided Cherpang with the opportunity to test her acting chops, in addition to a renewed sense of purpose, working with BNK48 remains her priority. The showbiz newbie plans to remain relevant in the music industry for as long as she could, and hopes that her fans can appreciate her talent in both aspects. “If you take out the idol part of my life, Pie and I are so much alike, [but] I expect my fans to see me in the movie as Pie and not myself. There are so many things in the movie that I wouldn’t do in real life,” she laughingly says.
"If you take out the idol part of my life, Pie and I are so much alike."
“I think most of her fans will understand and support her in this movie. I also have my favorite artists and I love to support them as they take on new steps in life,” James encouragingly says, in response to BNK48 fans’ concerns that the film may have a controversial impact on their idol’s image. “This is her great opportunity and she did her part very, very well. We had discussed and agreed on the proximity limit with BNK48’s Japanese headquarters prior to the filming. I respect her, we respect the rules.”