Cris Horwang: From lingerie ads to Justin Bieber
I first saw current Thai ‘it’ girl Cris Horwang several years ago at International School Bangkok. She was an after-school dance teacher and my sister was one of her students.
Until that day, I had never expressed an interest in picking up my sister from dance practice. Afterwards, my mother couldn’t have found a more willing helper.
Over the last couple of years I have had to share my adoration of the 30-year-old beauty with millions, as Cris Horwang has become a household name in Thailand since her breakthrough role in 2009 hit “Bangkok Traffic Love Story.”
From her lingerie billboards and funky fashion choices to her ongoing stint as a DJ on Fat Radio and blockbuster romantic comedies, she has captured the attention of the nation with her girl next door looks.
But unlike most Thai superstars, fame isn’t that important to Cris, who says she could easily walk away from the industry.
“If one day I woke up and felt like I didn’t want to go into work or I stopped having fun, I would quit then and there,” she says.
For those who have known Cris since before she became a star, this ambivalence isn't an act -- she’s not your stereotypical choreographed superstar.
This is the girl who, when asked if she thinks Thai soap operas are doing their share to educate the public, fires back with, “Why do you think I don’t do them?”
The only reason Cris fell into the entertainment industry in the first place was because her sister Ploy was a popular radio personality and, through her acquaintances, she began to be featured in numerous commercials. As Cris's reputation grew, so did her workload.
Capitalizing on 'Bieber fever'
Earlier this month, Cris was the envy of thousands of screaming young girls when she interviewed Justin Bieber in Tokyo on behalf of her friend Woody Milintachinda for his popular Sunday night TV show.
Naturally, the video of the interview has been posted numerous times on Youtube and viewed by legions of rabid Bieber fans -- some of whom now have a massive distaste for Cris given Bieber himself called her “gorgeous.” (Catch the interview here.)
But according to Cris, if there is a big event coming up, such as an interview with the world’s most popular singer, she doesn’t let it freak her out in the days leading up to it, preferring instead to take every moment as it comes.
“I don’t get stressed out easily,” she says.
The CalArts graduate wouldn’t have it any other way.
Since the age of five, hard work was the norm as she trained religiously in the hopes of becoming a star ballerina, going on to teach dance. She cites her dance instructor as one of the people who has had a profound impact on her life.
Nowadays the only chance she gets to slip out of her hectic schedule is when she takes on a new movie role.
“The most wonderful thing about acting is that it is the only job in the world where you can be somebody else,” she says.
Away from the lights, Cris maintains she’s just the same as every other flawless, beautiful woman (my words, not hers).
She insists that money and fame are only a small part of it. She is not looking to take on every endorsement under the sun -- just enough to feed her shopping addiction.
But she does miss the freedoms of youth. She reminisces on those years in university and high school and admits that they were “probably the best times of my life.”
Nowadays she fills up that void by shopping like a maniac, keeping busy and spending time with her dogs.
Catch Cris in her latest film, “Saturday Killer,” now showing in Bangkok cinemas.