When was the last time you felt the pangs of true love?
Among the sea of rom-com productions, My School President has managed to capture hearts with not only its heartfelt story of teenage love, but also the unrivalled chemistry between the protagonists. In the Thai hit series, leading actor Fourth Nattawat, who plays the leader of music club Chinzhilla, has pulled its fans into his orbit with his remarkable grasp of emotions and distinct vocal style, quickly burnishing his status as one of the up-and-coming stars to watch.
This October, the young star graces the cover of our ‘all together now’ issue and gets candid about trading in his youth for a shot at stardom.
On the cover: Top, pants, boots, all Onitsuka Tiger
Hello Fourth; we’re excited to have you as our cover star in our October 2023 issue. Shall we start with an icebreaker? What’s one interesting fact about yourself that no one knows?
If everyone observes carefully, I have a scar on the left side of my forehead. Only a few people notice it because the makeup artists usually cover it up.
But this scar didn’t result from a fight; it was from a childhood teasing incident instead. And it wasn’t malicious either; it was my younger sister who did it. When I was a child, my family sold furniture, and I enjoyed playing with the paints and thinners that were constantly around. These thinners were kept in containers with a metal rim lid. While I was playing with it one day, my younger sister wanted to join in. She used a pen to poke me while playing to get a reaction and being easily startled, I jerked forward, and my forehead came into contact with one of the metal rims, causing my left eyebrow to bleed. I had to go to the hospital and received about seven stitches.
Let’s talk about the Gemini Fourth My Turn concert. Do you ever get nervous in front of such a big crowd?
I felt extremely excited about this series of concerts because it was held at the massive IMPACT Arena (in Bangkok), which meant we had a massive crowd. I mean, it’s natural to feel excited. But what makes it even more special is that I get to do what I love at the concert. I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience that I had.
Hoodie, jacket, all Onitsuka Tiger
When you said you could do all you wanted, can we also talk about how you were suspended mid-air during the concert? I don’t think many artistes can say they have done that.
It was something I hadn’t done before. Being on the hanging sling was a lot of fun for me. I got to see IMPACT Arena from a different perspective, an experience that not many people will have the chance to witness. It was incredibly beautiful, especially when I could see the large crowd looking in my direction while singing.
Do you ever feel worried about how people perceive your performance on-screen?
When I first started acting, I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to watch the series I was on. It’s a thing about confidence; I felt like I lacked a lot in that, but I gave it my all and put my heart into the filming process. It was quite a stressful experience because I thought I wasn’t a good actor, so I shifted my focus to improving my acting and singing to ensure the series would turn out well. I just wanted everything to be perfect.
Top, pants, all Fendi
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received thus far?
Opportunities: we must seize every opportunity. Had I chosen to focus on school, there might have been better opportunities out there. But I believe I’ve made the right choice, and I don’t regret it because I’m sure it’s way better than anything else.
We’ve also learnt on set that you’re still in school. Could you tell us in detail what a day in your life might look like?
It’s been busy. Right now, I’ve just entered my first year in university, and the workload is quite heavy. Occasionally, I can handle it, but there are times when I can’t. But I wouldn’t give it up because I truly enjoy studying and working a lot, especially when they’re both done simultaneously.
Coat, Onitsuka Tiger
Was it like that when you were growing up, too? Did you always want to be an actor?
I wanted to be a football player or a pilot, but my mom wanted me to be either an artist, an actor or a singer since I was a child.
My mom would sign me up for acting and singing lessons, and honestly, I didn’t really enjoy it then. I wanted to study more, play football more and work on achieving these ambitions. It wasn’t until my first job that I realised that acting and singing had substantial rewards. I began earning a significant income, and when you’re a student, honestly, it helps. Also, doing these things while you were in school was cool. I thought this might be “another thing” I’d try, but as I kept doing it, I also experienced this sense of fulfilment, knowing I could somehow bring happiness to those who watch me. It’s a wonderful feeling, and that’s how I ended up here.
Did you watch a lot of television and movies growing up?
I mean, we were all kids once, and you can’t take TV away from them. I grew up immersed in Thai drama series, and one that truly captivated me was The Gifted by GMMTV. I admired Nanon and aspired to be just like him someday. Now, because of work, I’ve been given the chance to collaborate with him, and it makes me feel a certain sense of fulfilment in life.
Hoodie, pants, all Diesel
What were some moments in school that you will always remember?
Being with friends and participating in activities with them — such as going to university, playing sports or even just singing — are moments that are hard to come by nowadays. These experiences bring me a lot of happiness and wonderful memories.
Sounds just like what Gun would feel, too, in My School President. Do you relate to him in some ways?
Yes, and because it was filmed just as I was in high school, what transpired in the series was just like the school depicted in it. There are similarities in the activities we did and the bonds we formed with friends. I was from an all-boys school, and I was surrounded by Thai classmates despite being in a private school. The strong bonds I formed helped me understand the significance of friends, which made acting more natural because the story is all about friendship.
Coat, Onitsuka Tiger
Do you ever feel being an actor at such a young age meant you had to give up some of your childhood?
Absolutely. It’s an exchange with childhood but doesn’t feel like a loss. I like to see it this way: It’s an experience I gained more than others. I don’t see it as something I lost but rather as something I gained.
Are there things that your friends can achieve or dream about that you had to give up because you chose the career path of an actor?
What did my friends have that I didn’t? It’s the opportunity to participate in certain school activities that I genuinely liked. There were times when I couldn’t join due to other commitments, and it felt like a loss to have missed out on those activities. But I’d like to think that what’s more important is the opportunity to work and earn an income; having some financial stability is something I would consider more valuable. [Laughs] But okay, I’ve studied a little bit about economics, and here’s what I learnt: the opportunity cost of not participating in school activities — honestly, if I had just chosen that path — I wouldn’t have been so lucky.
Sweater, t-shirt, jeans, shoes, all Ferragamo
What are some things you’re trying to improve as an actor?
There’s a lot to improve in my acting career. I don’t think I’m a great actor, but I have to keep developing myself to get more roles.
What kind of characters would you like to portray in the future?
Playing a set of twins who each have different personalities. [Laughs]
Jacket, shorts, all Onitsuka Tiger
Who’s been the most supportive person in your career so far?
My family are my source of support. However, the ones who have been providing me with the most support and encouragement are my fans. If it weren’t for them watching my series and attending my events, I wouldn’t be able to be who I am today.
What’s something you’d like to say to those who have been supporting your journey?
Thank you. Thank you so much for your support in everything I do — from my series, events, work and even real life. Thank you for always encouraging me in every aspect.
Photography Waroon Kieattisin
Creative Direction & Styling Izwan Abdullah
Interview Manfred Lu
Grooming Tong Sutipat
Hair Kongkiat Krissakree
Photography Assistants Ratchapoom Yaemnet, Django’s Anurak, Thanakit Meecharoen, Wanchai Arreeru
Styling & Production Assistant Ratchada Tuptimphet
Set Design Yukon Boonprasart
Production Aung Apichai