Meet Thai Phuong

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Thai Phuong. Photo by Lupo Porschen.

WHO:

Thai Phuong is an Asian-Australian actor. Born in a Thai refugee camp, his family fled to Melbourne Australia when he was just two years old. At seventeen his parents moved to the east coast of the United States, to North Carolina, to pursue the American dream. But Thai’s American dream lied elsewhere. At nineteen he packed his bags and hit the road, making the three-thousand mile journey alone to LA to pursue acting. Thai has had the fortunate opportunity to work with producers such as Todd Phillips, Scott Budnick and Joel Silver and opposite talent such as Ludacris, Terry Crews, Tia Mowry and Tichina Arnold to name a few.

AAFFN:

TV and films are some of the top mediums actors hope to work in, and you’ve been working in both on an international scale since at least 2009.  What types of characters have you found the most fun or rewarding so far?

PHUONG:

It’s funny you ask that because I thought my favourite characters to play were funny and quirky ones. But I recently got the opportunity to play a more dramatic character on a John Sayles film called “Go for Sisters”, and I got to say, that was one of the best experiences that I have had so far. Maybe it was because I got to step out of my comfort zone for the first time.

AAFFN:

Who have been some of your best supporters and mentors, or people who have given you golden advice in your journey as an actor and indeed, more recently as producer of the award winning The Boat? Who do you turn to for feedback when you need it?

PHUONG:

Definitely my co-producer Somchay Phakonkham, who is also one of my best friends. Somchay and I have been supporting each other since we began in this industry. He is always the one I go to for advice and he is always there to support me in this very hard journey. But I like to consider myself very fortunate to have many supporters in my life. My family and friends are all very supportive and believe in me.

AAFFN:

What are you currently working on and where can we catch it?

PHUONG:

I am currently working on a CGI sci-fi series called “The New Kind”. The script is amazing and there are over 200 people working in the animation department who have worked on some of Hollywood’s biggest films. The series is created and directed by Peter Hyoguchi and can currently be found on Youtube. I also just wrapped a feature film called “Go for Sisters”, directed by Oscar nominated writer/director John Sayles. It has recently been accepted into SXSW Film Festival, and is currently in the works for distribution.

AAFFN:

What would you love to do in the future?

PHUONG:

I would really love to have the opportunity to direct a feature one day. It has always been an interest for me, but that will happen when the time is right.

AAFFN:

What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?

PHUONG:

Well honestly it happened by chance. As a kid I just always knew I wanted to be good at something and be able to share it with the world. I had never considered acting because I grew up in Australia with immigrant parent who didn’t speak much English. The entertainment industry seemed more like a fairytale. Then when I was fifteen, I got a job working at a local supermarket and met a co-worker who had been in a Pepsi commercial. He recommended me to attend his theatre. I signed up, got trained there and immediately fell in love with performing. That was when I knew I wanted to entertain people all over the world. I want to have many professions in life, and acting allows me to do so. I can be so many different characters, live many different lives and when the director yells cut, I go home as me.

AAFFN:

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?

PHUONG:

Work your ass off! No but seriously, the entertainment industry is one of the hardest industries to get into, which makes it the most rewarding. Just be determined, persistent and proactive, and there is no reason you won’t succeed. But that doesn’t just apply to the entertainment industry, whatever field you want to get into, just believe in yourself and work hard. You WILL achieve what you want if you don’t give up and are willing to put in the work.

AAFFN:

An oldie, but a goodie. Or at least, this can be a fun question – If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

PHUONG:

That’s a tough one! I think I would have to say:

1. Michael Bay. The guy really inspires me. As a music video and commercial director he took two television actors and created a blockbuster. I feel that his creativity, inspiration, and visions are honestly mind blowing. I have heard that he likes to shoot fast, allow his actors the freedom to improv, but at the same time, push them to their limits. I would love to pick at his brain and see what he looks for in an actor. I honestly can’t think of any movie that he has made that I don’t find entertaining. He doesn’t just blow something up, he blows it up with style!

2. Mila Kunis, she has been my celebrity crush for the longest! I would love to have the opportunity to sit down and get to know her personally. On top of that, she is very talented and I would love to work with her one day.

3. George W. Bush. I know nothing about politics but there has never been a President in history that is as hilarious! Watching interviews on the man gives me a sense of his personality and he’s actually a really funny guy. I would love to sit down and get to know him and maybe have a laugh or two.

Folks can find out more about Thai Phuong and see his showreel here:

Thai Phuong was interviewed by AAFFN’s Indigo Willing.

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Posted on 28/06/2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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