Exactly one year after Men’s Folio first met Dew Jirawat, we catch up with the trailblazing Thai actor for our January 2024 digital cover to talk about the past year in review, walking through a highlight reel of meaningful moments coming from honing his artistry on screen and record, finding his voice in the fashion conversation, lots of travelling and learning to remain steadfast in his quest for success with utmost sincerity and drive.
Hi Dew! How was your New Year?
My New Year was pretty average, my routine is quite typical. I didn’t engage in any activities on New Year’s Eve. Typically, during this holiday, I prefer to stay at home.
Are you one to make New Year’s resolutions? How did you fare in 2023? What goals did you set to accomplish in 2023 and eventually achieve?
Not particularly for the New Year, but I consistently set goals that evolve with time. In 2023, my emphasis was on my acting endeavours, with numerous projects where I aimed to take on lead roles. I was more focused during the year 2023.
What new kinds of acting roles or genres are you looking forward to trying next?
Currently, I have new projects on the line, and while they may not be drastically different, they align with my preferences. They involve portraying darker and morally ambiguous characters, which is something I find appealing.
Jacket, shirt, pants, tie, sneakers, all Bottega Veneta
In Faceless Love, you play the main character of Vikij, who has prosopagnosia or “face blindness”. It’s a very interesting role to play given the prevalence of social media now and the importance of first impressions — what was the biggest challenge you faced while preparing for this role? What were some things you paid special attention to when expressing this trait of face blindness?
Although I play the main character role, I would say that the storyline would typically revolve around and centre on the female character. In this particular project however, the focus was on my character, Vikij, so this was a challenge for me, especially since the character’s traits and their problems are all quite complex and demanding. I dedicated a considerable amount of time to practising and preparing for the role, attending workshops and classes to enhance my acting skills so that I can convey emotions without relying on facial expressions. There are various methods to practice, and I acquired the ability to act without depending on facial cues.
So how do you feel you have grown as an actor over the past year? What do you want to work on more and what are you proud of?
If I were to liken this acting experience to driving, it feels as if I’ve just obtained my driver’s license after a period of learning and practice. It’s like venturing into real-life driving for the first time – there’s a lack of experience. I am aware that mistakes, crashes, or small accidents are inevitable at this stage. However, I hope that with time and continuous effort, much like becoming proficient in driving, I’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of acting. My ultimate goal is to become a professional in the field.
Music-wise, you released Blindness as part of Faceless Love’s OST, and also released North Star. Will we be seeing more music projects in 2024?
I truly hope so. It’s a personal aspiration of mine. Undoubtedly, you will continue to see more projects of this nature.
Jacket, shirt, pants, tie, boots, all Bottega Veneta
People tend to turn to music for different reasons. What is your favourite way to enjoy music: casually/on the go, when you are stressed, when you want to feel inspired, or perhaps when you are feeling nostalgic?
I listen to what resonates with my current mood and preferences. The unique aspect of music, for me, lies in its ability to evoke memories of specific feelings from the past. For instance, if you listen to a song during a time when you’re in love, coming back to it can transport you back to that emotional state. While love songs are one category, each song, with its distinct mood, elicits different feelings. Personally, I don’t limit myself to just love songs; at times, music serves as a motivational tool, influencing my mood and mindset.
The same can be said for dress, and you made leaps and bounds in the fashion sphere in 2023; attending shows all over the world. What is your favourite part about attending the shows and events overseas?
For example, I attended the Bottega show in China, and it left a lasting impression. The event was memorable, given its grand scale and the multitude of exciting elements. Witnessing the show in China, despite having been to France and Italy before, felt distinctly different. Different places indeed evoke unique atmospheres and experiences.
Do you think that travelling has helped you understand your own personal style more?
Absolutely. Travelling has played a significant role in enhancing my understanding of personal style and fashion. I’ve come to realize that my style was previously limited, but through exposure to different places, I’ve learned that there are many more diverse and enriching aspects to explore. Travelling has broadened my perspective and allowed me to learn more about various fashion influences.
Jacket, shirt, sweater, pants, tie, medium Andiamo bag, all Bottega Veneta
How would you describe your fashion style today? Is it any different from last year?
I believe there are discernible differences in my style, and it often depends on the current trends. My fashion choices are influenced by my mood, and as I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed a shift towards a more mature and refined wardrobe. Even my hairstyle has evolved over time. Ultimately, my style is adaptable and varies based on different factors and trends.
It can get quite hectic with back-to-back schedules. Do you have a routine or activity you do to keep your cool in these busy periods?
To be honest, my current routine revolves around prioritizing self-care and personal time. I make it a point to have a designated day for myself, where I can wake up without setting alarms, tidy up my room, and engage in activities that I enjoy. It serves as a reset for me. There’s something therapeutic about cleaning my room; it has a calming effect on my soul. During busy periods, I often find solace in singing to stay composed. Additionally, I occasionally invite friends over to my place as a way to unwind and share some quality time together.
What do you miss the most about Thailand when you are overseas?
I resonate with that feeling of missing everything. While I had dreams of exploring different places when I was younger, being away has made me appreciate Thailand’s culture and environment even more. Surprisingly, certain things I took for granted, like Grab Bike and the occasional traffic jams in Thailand, evoke a sense of nostalgia when I encounter similar situations abroad. The convenience, especially with services like Grab Bike, is something I miss the most. Additionally, the allure of Thailand’s street food is a constant reminder of the unique and accessible aspects of life back home.
Jacket, shirt, pants, tie, all Bottega Veneta
You’ve also visited Singapore multiple times in 2023. Is there something you look forward to doing, seeing or eating while you are in town?
I personally believe that Singapore is an ideal place for further studies, especially considering the numerous businesses and headquarters it hosts. While I may not know much about Singapore, I often hear people talking about pursuing higher education there. The city appears peaceful and conducive to a positive learning environment. The thought of attending classes and then leisurely walking around, meeting friends, and exploring the city after is quite appealing. If I were to choose, I might opt to study art and drawing. Focusing on becoming proficient in one specific skill seems like a promising idea for personal and professional development.
You had your first solo fan meet in Manila last year. What was that like?
Solo fanmeets are some of my best memories, and the location doesn’t diminish their significance. The fan meet in Manila stands out as particularly memorable because the fans there are incredibly energetic. Their enthusiasm brings me immense joy, and I often find myself wondering if it’s the impact of my presence that makes them happy or if their vibrant energy contributes to my happiness. It’s a beautiful exchange that leaves a lasting impression.
What is a memorable fan interaction that you treasure the most?
One of my most memorable fan interactions occurred when the fans in Manila turned on a popular song, prompting everyone to stand up and dance. The energy was so infectious that I couldn’t help but exclaim, “Oh, I thought I was in a club!” It was a moment filled with so much fun, and the spontaneity of the experience made it truly special.
Shirt, pants, medium Canette bag, all Bottega Veneta
Let’s slow it down a bit. If you could time travel, would you go to the past, stay in the present, or travel to the future? Why?
I would choose to stay in the present. Reflecting on the past, there have been moments of disappointment and sadness due to challenges and mistakes. However, I’ve come to appreciate that these experiences have been valuable in shaping who I am today. The lessons learned from mistakes and disappointments have contributed to my growth, and I am grateful for the wisdom they brought. Similarly, I prefer not to know the future, as the unknown adds an element of excitement and opportunity for personal development in the present.
When we met you last year for the Feb 2023 cover, we asked you to write a letter to your younger self. If you could write a letter to Dew from 2023, what would you like to tell him?
I would tell myself, “You will encounter situations that may disappoint you, but remember to have fun and be happy. Thank yourself for the journey, as you will always find a way through. Trust in your ability to overcome challenges and appreciate the lessons learned along the way.”
Photography Chee Wei
Creative Direction & Styling Izwan Abdullah
Interview Charmaine Tan
Fashion Coordinator Manfred Lu
Grooming Sukwasa Khadphab
Hair Yothin Chuaysri
Production Ratchada Tuptimphet
Outfit & Accessories Bottega Veneta