How did you get involved with this movie?
I’m often contacted by entertainment productions, both local and international, wanting me to show up as a guest actor but I’ve always turned them down as I’ve never really wanted to be an actor. My focus is my boxing career. When I was first contacted to play this movie, I turned it down right away but [director, actor and screenwriter] Bin Bunluerit came to beg me in person to take the role because no one matched the part of a great boxer and warrior in the time of King Taksin as well as me. Once I got the chance to read the part, I gave it a chance.
Did you take to acting easily?
It’s a lot harder than being a boxer! When I box, I just have to fight in the ring. But being an actor needs you to think about how good that kick’s going to look on camera, or deliver a punch in slow motion.
What was the hardest scene?
When I needed to ride a horse. I had never even touched a horse before. They sent me to train at a horse farm. When I arrived, I just jumped straight on the horse despite not knowing a thing about how to ride. I was afraid of falling off but thought, I’ve already said yes to this role so now I have to do whatever it takes. I learned how to ride successfully after just half a day.
We hear you’ve gone back to university? Why now?
I chose to be a boxer because I felt I wasn’t good at studying. Now though, I have the chance to look at education again. I have the power and passion to study, so have taken up business management since I own a boxing gym. I hope to use it for my business.
How does it feel to be back in school in your 30s?
I was super excited! Even more than when I enter the ring to fight. I missed the vibe of studying with friends and teasing each other. I was curious about how the other kids would treat to me, being so much older than them. I just told them to call me by my name, no pi. Now they’re my friends. I’m in my final year.
You are also in the military. Tell us about that.
I dreamed of being a soldier when I was young so just decided to apply. I got to train for three months and finally passed into the rank of lance corporal. I help with public relations work, traveling to meet people and other soldiers. I just came back from the three southernmost provinces.
What’s your daily fitness routine?
I wake up at 5:30am every day and eat a light meal before running about 7-10 kilometers, followed by boxing at the gym till 10am. Then I eat again and sleep before waking up around 2-3pm for more running. Then I train from 4-7pm. I have a day off on Monday but I don’t really like to go out—just play football with other boxers in my gym.
Note: Buakaw is set to fight again on Dec 30 at Wuhan, Hubei, China. His new movie 'Thongdee Fun Khao' will hit screens this Jan 26.