Well-known as a Thai sex symbol and nude model in the 70s, the wrinkle-free Penpak Sirikul, 50, is now taking on new challenge playing a transgender role in the movie It Gets Better. She tells BK how tiring it is to be pretty and why life is happier without love.

I credit destiny for bringing me to this point. I never dreamed of being in the entertainment business. My mom was the one who pushed me to take part in beauty pageants in Chiang Mai, and here I am.

I chose to be a nude model. People might think it’s really provocative, and it sparks controversy, but I only think of it as being a professional model.

If you’re strict about only doing normal photo shoots or just walking on the runway, please don’t call yourself a model.

I have never had a worst moment in my life. I accept everything that happens. I don’t blame anyone.

My temper has softened as I get older. I used to be very impatient and always made decisions without properly thinking about them.

Meditating at a temple to improve your life is useless for me. You might feel good when you are there, but if you still have your worries when you come back home, then what’s the point? I don’t hold it against anyone who loves to go. It’s good for them, just not for me.

I don’t care about any gossip or rumors. I know what I am doing. If I paid attention to them, I would have gone crazy a long time ago.

I don’t read magazines or newspapers anymore. It’s all a waste of time. They just create exciting headlines, but when you read the story you will find nothing. Reading the news also stresses me out. I don’t want to be stressed, so I stopped buying newspapers.

I love politics. People might think it’s not important to get involved, but for me, it’s vital. We live in a society where changes in politics affects us. Even if it’s just some politician switching positions or changing sides.

The compliment about my “eternal beauty” puts pressure on me. People always expect to see me looking good. But I feel exhausted trying to keep myself like that all the time. Some days I just want to be an aunty. But I can’t do that because everyone expects to see me looking beautiful.

Everyone grows old. I’m 50. I can’t always be pretty. My body declines every day. I just try to slow the process as much as possible.

I won’t go for plastic surgery. It might be good for others, but not me. What we have been given naturally is already great. Just take care of it as much as you can.

I have no secret for my eternal beauty. I drink, I smoke, I go to sleep late at night and wake up early. I just opened, That’s Wine, a wine restaurant in Chiang Mai, which means I have to drink more, too. My real secret might be my mind. I don’t like to get worried about things.

I love to take part in movies. I like the fact that films usually look far more beautiful than lakorn (TV series). The working time is also shorter. Working in lakorn, which is my main income, takes at least 3-4 months to shoot, but a movie takes about one month.

My life right now is all about work. I’ve just participated in It Gets Better, where I have a role as a transgender. It was quite a challenge for me to play a man who becomes a woman. I had to imagine what it might be like. Luckily, I have lots of katoey friends, so it was easy to understand how they feel.

I think gay people are so talented and have a much better vision than normal people. It’s really obsolete to discriminate against them. I think it’s just jealousy from narrow-minded people.

I think women these days are more slutty than katoey. I think good katoey are more well-behaved than some bold women who run after guys.

My life is happier without having a boyfriend. I’m tired of being with someone. I want to be alone. I can do anything without worrying that I have to care about another person’s feeling.

Love is beautiful. Those who have it should really nurture it.

Jealousy is what destroys love . Everyone should have freedom and the right to do what they want to do. Couples should respect and give each other a freedom.

I don’t believe in marriage. It’s just an act for your parents or society or whatever, but not yourself. Marriage is all about two people. Will the thousands of guests at the wedding ever know that these two people actually have fights when they live together?

I don’t like women who show off their assets too much. Sexy doesn’t mean that you have to show your body to everyone. Who would you blame when you are molested?

Just wearing a T-shirt, plus personal charisma, are already sexy enough for me.

I don’t like to dream about the future. I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I don’t want to be hurt when I can’t do something.

Just do what you like best, then pursue it to the next level.

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