TA MAEOW (DiamodEye Cat)
This ThaiTV Ch. 5 prime time miniseries (lakorn) was based on a popular Thai cult hit novel 'Petch Ta Maeow by Pradit Kanjaluek, the founder of the Thai entertainment giant Kantana Group. Petch Ta Maeow hit the Thai air waves for the first time over 40 years ago as a live horror radio drama (Niyai). In 1972, Kantana & Lavoa Motion Pictures teamed up and made 'Petch Ta Maeow' into a movie produced by His Royal Highness Prince Anusorn Mongkolkarn and directed by Pradit Kanjaruek. Staring Pairoj Jaising & Naiyana Cheewanan, the movie Petch Ta Maeow was an instant hit when it was released into the theatres across Thailand.
The tail of a cat with diamond eye came alive once again when Kantana announced the plan to commence its new partnership with Thai TV 5 called 'TeleFive' with a big budget remake of the cult classic action/fantasy miniseries 'Petch Ta Maeow.' Premiered in February 1999, this made for TV version was set to be directed by Kantana's own Ta Nirattisai Kanjaruek who spared no expense on the latest and best technology available in computer graphic to ensure the most realistic fantasy-like diamond-eye cat. The freshly crowned 1998 Miss Asia Pacific, Emma Wararat Suwanarat was the director's first choice to take on the role of the female lead but the search for male lead continued.
The director envisioned the male lead to be like Hollywood action hero with big muscles but must be able to speak Thai fluently. In 1998, it was almost impossible to find a Thai actor with muscles to meet the director vision. Finally, the pressure to start the production as soon as possible to make the launch date for TeleFive forced the director to almost agree to cast a newcomer hand-picked by the management at Kantana.
Meanwhile, Emma told her manager, Nattavadee Vinsiri, that they found someone to fill the role of the male lead already, but she felt that the director was not happy with this choice and still looking. Realising that she still had a chance to present someone from her agency, Nattavadee went to work immediately and came across the profile of a relatively unknown muscle-bound Thai/American model turned actor named Art Supawatt Aumprasit. She thought that Art's good looks, well-built physiques packed with lean muscles mass together with his ability to speak Thai fluently was exactly what's the director's been searching for. Though she realised that Art spent most of his free time in Paris as of late, but he probably most like was not in Thailand. Nonetheless, Nattavadee took a chance and try to reach Art anyway, and finally got a hold of him that night around 9pm, 5 hours before Art would leave for Paris for 3 weeks. She told him about the role and convinced him to drive with her that night to Kantana Bang Yai to meet the director before his flight to Paris. Art reluctantly agreed and both of them drove out to Bang Yai arriving at the director's home around 10:30pm.
Not long after arriving, Art was interviewed by the director himself with his wife, the production manager, by his side. Art gave his best at the interview that lasted just a little over an hour. Art never thought he could ever get the part, not in his wildest dreams. He honestly never even dreamt of having a career as an actor, let alone a leading man in a big budget sure-hit action-packed cult classic like 'Petch Ta Maeow.' In addition, Art's got a plan to move to Paris to live with the love of his life so landing the part was not something he had hope for. The reason why he went along with Nattavadee to meet the director was because he did not want to disappoint her. After all, she did everything truly in the name of Art's best interest.
As luck would have it, a few days after arriving Paris, Art got the news from Nattavadee and was requested to return to Thailand immediately to begin the filming of Petch Ta Maeow in the role of Pol.lt. Kongyos, the male lead & the hero of the story. In February of 1999, Petch Ta Maeow premiered on Thai Ch.5 TeleFive time slot for Kantana (Mondays & Tuesdays night after the evening news). It quickly climbed to the top of the rating. Art & Emma began their acting career with a bang, thanks to 'Petch Ta Maeow.'
Since its debut, 'Petch Ta Maeow' has always been considered as Art's signature work and one of the most successful and most watched miniseries thanks to countless reruns over that past 20 years. During his prime years as an actor, Art had an opportunity to star opposite some of Thailand's Best Leading Female in some of the most memorable series of all time, like 'Khon Reung Muang'.
Petch Ta maeow (Diamondeye cat)