Film and theater director, Ekachai Uekrongtham

Awards and standing ovations aren’t new to film and theater director Ekachai Uekrongtham. His works such as Beautiful Boxer, Chang & Eng and Ka-Ra-You OK? were the talking points of several film and theater goers.
What is your current state of mind?
Calmer than I should be.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a doctor. Then I discovered movies. So I fooled myself into thinking maybe one day I could become a film director.
How does it feel like to be back in theater after delving into film production?
Excited. Nervous. Full of expectations. Like going on first dates—all over again.
What is your biggest achievement?
Making my parents smile.
What inspires you?
Paintings, architecture, moving clouds, splashing waves, grass swaying in the wind, body warmth, rain, empty spaces, silence.
What personal trait do you appreciate the most in others?
Laid-back, nonchalant air. Quiet confidence.
Which living person do you admire most and would like to invite for dinner?
The person that I admire most and the person I want to have dinner with are different. It would be nice to have a long chat with Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Bright Future). Quiet dinners with my mum and my brothers keep me grounded, sane and human.
What is your first love still?
It depends on the time of day. Most times, I just love to tell good stories that make people look at life a little differently.
What are you reading?
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I started reading it when I was doing research for my new film The Coffin. But I got a lot more than information out of it.
How do you spend your Sunday mornings?
In Bangkok, eating roast pork rice (with lots of green chili) near the Thieves’ Market. In Singapore, having Ampang yong tau foo near Still Road.
What is your idea of hell?
When you don’t even know you are in one.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Flossy buns from Breadtalk. Coke chilled till almost frozen. Little Thai pancakes with calories high enough to knock out giants.
How do you recharge?
Watch a good movie with large Coke in one hand and large popcorn (sweet below, salty on top) in the other. Looking at the sea and pretending that the world has stopped moving.
What’s playing in your iPod/MP3/CD player?
“A Love That Will Never Grow Old” (Emmylou Harris). “Don’t Compete, Lose More” (Bird Thongchai).
What do you collect?
Good memories, humbling moments and kindness from strangers.
Where would you like to live?
Three days in Singapore, three days in Bangkok, and one day in peace.
What is your favorite item of clothing?
A pair of old jeans that makes me feel like new.
What accessory sets you apart?
I don’t accessorize. It’s not a good look for me.
If you had to play a character in a movie, which movie and which character?
I’m a bad actor. I don’t think anyone should take that kind of risk with me.
What did you believe at 18 that you wish you still believed now?
I can’t remember what I believed when I was 18. But I still try to believe in what an 18-year-old should.