“Hello. I came from Thailand.”
These are, aptly, the first words uttered by Natthew on tvN and Mnet’s music drama, Monstar.
Singer/actor Natthew is, just like his character, from Thailand, here in Korea to further his career.
While to many, Natthew’s face is a new one, others will recognize him either from his many activities in his home country of Thailand, or his brief promotion period in Korea.
In 2012, Natthew embarked on the ‘New Natthew’ project, flying over to Korea to further his career. The project resulted in the single, She’s Bad, featuring B2ST’s Yong Jun Hyung.
Now Natthew is back, elevating his K-Pop star status in the hit music drama, Monstar, starring his previous music partner, Yong Jun Hyung.
“It’s a new experience and a big challenge. Last time it was a music project, but this time it’s an acting project, a drama,” said Natthew. “But half of it is music too, since I have to do busking, so it’s piano, guitar, singing and acting together.”
Natthew admits that he was startled when he learned he would have to play the guitar and piano for the drama, and more than a little worried.
“But I’m a musician, I can play the saxophone and read notes, so I applied the same theories and worked on learning the piano and guitar,” said Natthew.
Natthew is playing Namin , who runs into a few of the main characters while busking in Hongdae.
Though as of now, Natthew has only had a brief scene with Kang Ha Neul, who plays the second male lead, Sun Woo, he’s set to reappear in the coming episodes.
Though acting is something Natthew has done several times in Thailand, this is his first attempt at acting in Korea.
“But acting in Korea and Thailand, I think it’s similar. I can apply what I know from acting in Thailand to Korean acting,” said Natthew. “At first, I wasn’t that comfortable, because I wasn’t sure about expressing emotions in Korean. But then after I tried it, and the director was okay with it, I thought, ‘Okay, I can do this.’”
And of course, though Natthew is learning Korean, he’s a ways away from being fluent -- but he had some help on set.
“I was really, really impressed with Sun Woo [Kang Ha Neul]. He’s very friendly! He reminded me of Seo Ah [Brave Girls member who acted in Natthew’s She’s Bad music video] because he helped me like Seo Ah helped me when filming,” said Natthew. “Some of the technical terms, I couldn’t understand, because the director went back and forth between Korean and English, so Sun Woo would translate for me.”
And Natthew has been keeping up with Monstar himself, as both a member of the cast and a fan of Korean dramas.
“It’s good! I think it’s similar to Glee and I like Glee,” said Natthew. “I think it’s very impressive, and appealing to the people who like music and like to sing.”
But Natthew is hoping for more than just music fans to tune in to Monstar.
“I hope that the Korean people and anyone else who watches me in Monstar like me, the way I act and the way they sing,” said Natthew. “And the Thai people who supported me in Thai dramas, I hope that they’ll support me in this next step too!”
Make sure to catch Natthew on Monstar, on Mnet and tvN, every Friday.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Eun