Intense, dedicated, and possessing a youthful appeal that resonates with audiences worldwide, First Kanaphan Puitrakul, is – first and foremost – a model and then an actor. It was his acting though that paved the way for some amazing shows rather than modeling gigs. Yet it was in a commercial that gave BL audiences what was to come.
To veteran BL watchers like me, the first introduction (pun definitely intended) of First Kanaphan (เฟิร์ส คณพันธ์ ปุ้ยตระกูล) was in a lip gloss commercial with Up Poompat (Lovely Writer). You can imagine the attention those commercials brought to the BL scene at that time. While there are plenty of titillating and gorgeous commercials featuring handsome Thai boys, First and Up on-screen chemistry made those two commercials viral and maybe even pique the interest of talent agents to pursue both boys for BL roles. [ You can watch these commercials here – Video 1, Video 2]
Fast forward to the post-pandemic BL era, First made headlines with The Eclipse, and followed it up with what is now generally regarded as his most powerful performance to date – as Alan in Moonlight Chicken.
- Kanaphan auditioned (from more than 100 teenagers) and grabbed the main role for The Assassin (ฆาตกร), a movie produced for Children’s Day in 2016;
- In 2017, he participated in the “Cool Man Good Man” contest where he placed fourth and became part of KAZZ Magazine’s photoshoot in November 2017;
- Kanaphan was cast by KA Cosmetics, together with Up Poompat, for a BL-themed television advertisement which later on became viral;
- Took one of the lead roles in GMMTV’s The Blacklist, an all-star cast including Nanon Korapat, Chimon Wachirawit, Ohm Pawat, and Frank Thanatsaran, among others;
- Cast in The Shipper (2020) with Ohm Pawat as lead co-star;
- Portrays Akk, the student leader in The Eclipse, opposite Khaotung Thanawat;
- Kanaphan portrays Allan, Wen’s ex-lover in Moonlight Chicken (2023).
First Kanaphan: Spotlight Projects
The Shipper (2020)
In The Shipper, Kanaphan plays Kim, a conscientious student who swapped bodies with a girl. There were a lot of funny scenes meant to titillate and entertain and Kanaphan zeroed in on his role to perfection.
Says a commenter at MDC:
The idea of comparing boys and girls concept was done appropriately. I love the idea that they didn’t end that part as stereotypes towards a certain gender. Also, the chemistry of each ship is just commendable. Pan x Soda, First x Soda, Khet x Soda, and of course Way and First. This series offers a variety of ships that you can’t understand who to ship. I don’t know how this story will end but I believe this series will not end the way we think it will.the shipper episode three, mdc
The Eclipse (2022)
Posh Magazine interview excerpt follows:
First considered friendship as a relationship that requires no effort. Just do it well every single day. Be yourself and find no need to push yourself to make the other comfortable. That was what he once tweeted this quote to Khaotung. Also, he even mentioned in a TV show that they went out together and that if possible, he would like to build a house and share the same fences with Khaotung. It seemed like First profoundly valued friendship.First and Khaotung for POSH Magazine (+ Interview), article posted at reddit
With a Gestapo-like mindset, a select group of students led by Akk (First Kanaphan) is tasked to discipline rebels and troublemakers. Enter newcomer Ayan (Khaotung Thanawat) who always challenges the status quo. Sparks flew, and Akk-Ayan dynamics go into overdrive.
GMMTV’s The Eclipse puts the First-Khaotung ship in the spotlight, and it paved the way for calibrating the same for further character narrative – as evidenced by OurSkyy2 and Moonlight Chicken.
The Eclipse Episode 1 starts here.
Moonlight Chicken (2023)
As far as Kanaphan’s acting in all about, I consider his role as Alan to be a major career milestone. As the ex-lover of Wen (Mix Sahaphap), his characterization exudes both warmth and animosity. Here is a guy who is desperate to hang on to a love that does not exist anymore. The portrayal hits home for many (including this author) who felt the pain and the rejection of a former lover.
The thing with GMMTV BL show is that the realness factor is very high, compared to some lesser-known production companies. These companies like Mandee/Domundi (and to a certain extent Wabi-Sabi) continue to have this mindset that BL fans only want sex scenes and handsome boys. To qualify Wabi-Sabi, the show ‘Until We Meet Again’, is a model of dramatic restraint and utmost quality for a BL show.
Employing the right series directors also hold the secret of GMMTV’s almost universal success. First Kanaphan is a good reference to study character delineation and acting progression.
The Last Word
First Kanaphan Puitrakul, as an actor, remains a work in progress. Yet, he is developing his acting style in a series of progression. I think he knows what he wants and given the direction and vision of GMMTV for him as an artist, he is slowly but surely making progress.
For your reading pleasure:
An old-timer BL fan way back in 2007. I started out loving BL after watching the Takumi-kun series from Japan, went on collecting BL manga, and watched old BL anime such as Junjou Romantica and the likes. Love of Siam allow me to transition into Thai, while Amphetamine gave me glimpses of Taiwanese BL magic. I love to write reviews and I’m one of the administrators of Psycho Weird.