Conspiracies, lies, and dark secrets waiting to be uncovered. This is the formula for a thrilling suspense story and they’re all coming to the new Thai series on Netflix, Bangkok Breaking. Premiering on September 23, the new show will put Thailand’s road rescuers in the spotlight while telling a gripping tale of a mourning brother searching for the truth.
In a recent roundtable Zoom interview, the Asia-Pacific press got to ask some questions to its main stars Weir-Sukollawat Kanaros who plays Wanchai, and Aom-Sushar Manaying who stars as the reporter Kat. Check out some of the highlights of the interview below.
It all begins with a man named Wanchai traveling to Bangkok to meet with his brother, Jo– a road rescuer at the Ruampalangjai Foundation. Just as he reached the city, however, Wanchai becomes part of a tragic road accident that’s caused by a speeding sports car. Before he loses consciousness, he sees a mysterious figure pulling out the driver of the sports car, and when he wakes up again, he sees his bloodied brother coming out of the vehicle. Before he could talk to his ailing brother, the road rescuers of Ruampalangjai Foundation arrive, and soon after, Jo dies.
Sensing that something is amiss, Wanchai becomes a road rescuer himself and investigates the foundation to find out the truth behind Jo’s death. Wanchai also meets the rookie journalist Kat, whose colleague was also investigating the Ruampalangjai before they got involved in the accident that supposedly took Jo’s life. Together, Wanchai and Kat try to uncover a city-wide conspiracy that’s tied to the road rescuers.
Making the crises look real
Being a crime thriller about road rescuers, Bangkok Breaking also offers gripping action scenes. For Weir who has worked on other action projects in the past, this production from Netflix makes such scenes even more realistic.
“It’s so realistic that it made me question, ‘can I really do this?'” shared Weir during the interview. “There’s fire around everywhere, there’s a car, it’s flipping – I’m in the car. There’s an explosion, I’m nearby. [And] even the different things that are going in the teaser, I was actually in those scenes.”
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“But, it wasn’t that scary because everything was made to be safe, but we had to make it look as realistic as possible, so I had to be in that environment as much as I could, as long as it was safe. And because of that, [the visuals that you get are] more realistic. Because everything about this is about emergency rescuers, and about
the different situations that can happen where emergency rescuers will come and rescue people, so there’s a lot of scenes like that. So, I think that if everybody sees these different action scenes, they’re going to be excited because it’s very realistic,” he added.
Representing the road rescuers
Wanchai gets involved in these crises after joining the road rescuers. But what exactly are they? “An emergency road rescuer is an occupation that, I think, you see in Thailand only,” explains Weir.
“Most of the other countries don’t have emergency road rescuers like this. They are working by sacrificing their own time. It might not be their primary job and occupation. The emergency road rescuers are volunteers, it’s not a full-time thing.”
To fully immerse into the role, Weir also had workshops on how real emergency rescues are done, noting that safety was still the priority.
“We learned about how to rescue different people before you send them to hospital. You have to do it correctly. Even the scene where there’s fire, it’s a big scene that I’m proud of. It’s a big scene that happens in this series. Like I mentioned before, everything was safe. I wore a real fire uniform from a firefighter. It was very heavy actually, and there was a real fire, but we made sure that everything was safe. It was really, really hot, but it was also fun to shoot,” the actor said.
Playing a feisty journalist
Aom plays the feisty journalist Kat who, despite being assigned to entertainment news, is committed to uncovering the truth behind the city-wide conspiracy Wanchai and her colleague got involved in. According to the actress, it is her first time to play the role of a reporter.
Asked how she perceives the profession now that she has played the role of one, Aom says she feels that journalism requires a lot of bravery, “where you have to bring the truth out, and I feel that you have to balance everything out amongst your own feelings and views versus the facts that you have to present.”
In preparing for her role, Aom also revealed that she had on-site workshops with real journalists. “I was actually able to follow and see real journalists work in the field. It was almost like real-time observation. I went to go and talk to them and interview them, and whenever they got a phone call saying that something had happened, I was able to jump into the car with them and I was able to go to the site to capture the news.”
“So, I observed them from a distance. I observed how they dealt with that situation, how they asked their questions, and they’re very fast thinkers and their energy for wanting to know the truth and facts was really great to see and that’s how I did my homework. It was great to be able to see and go to observe their energy,” said Aom.
Telling this story to the world
Bangkok Breaking is not the kind of series that are typically seen on Thailand’s free TV, as its stars revealed. And so they were excited and ready to participate when they read the script for the series which they believe will be appreciated not just by viewers from Thailand, but also by viewers from different parts of the world.
“I feel that what’s interesting about this is that Thailand has never really created a series like this before because of the different conditions from the local platforms,” said Aom. “But now, we have the opportunity through Netflix to give us the freedom to create a series that is different from what Thai people have traditionally made. I think that many different countries will be able to see the potential of the production team in Thailand and we’ll be able to show that we’re modern and we’re up-to-date.”
Weir agrees, stating that it will give foreign viewers a closer look at Bangkok– both the bad and the good. “There are black sides, there are white sides, and [we] will also tell you the story through these little characters that are trying to fight for justice, and I believe that the things that happen in this story can happen anywhere in the world.”
“I’m sure that when the viewers watch this, they’ll be able to understand. Just like Aom says, this is very modern and I feel that our production is just as good as the Netflix series in other countries,” said the actor.
Catch this new thrilling series on Netflix when it premieres this September 23.