It isn't everyday that we get to see A-list Thai stars in the Klang Valley. So, when online streaming service dimsum brought the U-Prince Series: Handsome Cowboy stars to the country, hundreds of lakorn (Thai term for TV drama series) fans thronged Sunway Pyramid in Petaling Jaya to catch a glimpse of their favourite leading couple Puttichai Kasetsin (aka Push or DJ Push) and Esther Supreeleela.
The two easily charmed fans with some Malay words they picked up upon their arrival in Malaysia like, "Apa khabar?" and "Aku cintamu".
Push, who has been filming in China lately, also added his favourite Chinese phrases, "Ni hao ma?" (How are you?), "Wo ai ni men!" (I love you all), "Ci bao le ma?" (Have you eaten?).
Handsome Cowboy is the first of 12 parts of the U-Prince Series Thai romantic dramas, which revolve around the love lives of undergraduates from different faculties of a Thai university.
In Handsome Cowboy, Push and Esther portray a mismatched couple who starts off on the wrong footing.
Push, 30, plays the dashing yet arrogant cowboy Sibtit who is a university student majoring in agriculture. He meets his match in a down-to-earth girl named Prikkang, who is played by Esther, 23.
Like their names suggest, Sibtit (10 directions or 10 times) is a rich playboy who is full of himself while Prikkang (chilli paste used to make Thai curry) is a feisty girl who prefers to keep her distance from him due to his flirty reputation.
During a recent interview, the two recalled their most challenging experiences shooting Handsome Cowboy. Since there were scenes involving horseback riding, Esther admitted it was quite a challenge as it was her first time doing so.
"It was quite scary and a rather painful experience, and even quite dangerous. The crew had to be on standby to ensure our safety," the actress recalled.
Being new to horseback riding, as well, Push revealed that their two-day training session barely prepared them for the shoot.
"The scene was shot using a different horse, which we were not familiar with. We rehearsed the scene while riding another horse during the training sessions," Push said.
Despite their experience, when asked to describe their biggest challenge, Push replied that it had to do with fleshing out his character. "It was more of a challenge playing Sibtit because he is such a playboy, while I am nothing like that," said Push, who described himself as a one-woman man.
"But when Sibtit meets Prikkang, he tries his best to change himself to show that he truly loves her."
As for Esther, who describes herself as a girl of few words, she said it was different playing a character who's feisty.
"Prikkang may be a beauty, but she is not like the other girls. Since, she was already aware about Sibtit's reputation, she initially does not want to have anything to do with him."
Apart from that, Push and Esther shared that their most memorable moments were their time shooting on location.
Esther said she enjoyed the scenery and quiet surroundings: "We loved spending our time on the farm. It was very beautiful and peaceful, away from the hustle and bustle of city life."
As for their dream roles, Esther said she hopes to push her boundaries by playing a psychopath in a horror movie while Push looks forward to acting as a secret agent, or playing an effeminate man or cross-dresser in a comedy.
Also, Esther professed an interest in the action genre, as it is something she had never done before. But, she reasoned that it would take some work to prepare herself for such a role. "I am too skinny right now. I have to build up my body first," said Esther.
With Thai dramas gaining traction in China and Taiwan as well as Malaysia, Push has been getting acting offers outside of Thailand.
So, apart from his acting, deejaying and charity work in Thailand, Push
is also busy with overseas projects, mostly in China.
Last year, Push starred in China drama Stairway To Stardom alongside Chinese actress Song Yi (Detective Dee The 5th and The Disguiser).
"I was really happy to shoot the drama in China with famous film actors," said Push, who got the chance to star alongside Orlando Bloom, who had a cameo appearance in the mainland web drama.
As for his next Thai project, Push will be seen in the rom-com Game Maya along with his real-life girlfriend Warattaya Nilkuha (a.k.a Jooy). In the drama, she plays a big star in Thailand who hires him as her bodyguard to protect her from a mysterious stalker.
Esther's schedule is packed as well as she will star in a couple of new Thai dramas that are remakes of popular Asian dramas.
One of it is the remake of the popular 2008 Taiwanese series Fated To Love (starring Joe Chen and Ethan Ruan). This series was so popular that it spawned a South Korean remake in 2014 starring Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara.
She will also star in the Thai remake of the South Korean drama My Girl (starring Lee Dong-wook and Lee Da-hae).
Both Push and Esther made their names in an earlier Thai idol series titled Ugly Duckling Series; Push starred in Perfect Match while Esther appeared in Boy's Paradise. Both titles are also available on dimsum.