The best acting is instinctive. It’s not intellectual, it’s not mechanical, it’s instinctive- Craig MacDonald
While good pairings and intelligent storytelling are composites for an exceptional drama, the pros and cons are always weighed based on the actor’s individual performances. They can either make or break a drama’s popularity, with their phenomenal acting talents or lackluster rendition. A good director lays the groundwork, but it is upto the actor to execute those scenes flawlessly. The purpose of today’s feature is to announce the winners of the “Best BL Actor- 2021”. Some responses left us surprised; while it was a tough competition, the results are both conclusive as well as stealthy. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the fan favorites!
10) Earth Pirapat
This was actually sur3prising, wasn’t expecting to find Earth Pirapat at the end of the list. With decades of acting experience, Earth is one of the most remarkable actors on the GMMTV roster. Having starred in BL romances like “Water Boyy”, “Kiss Me Again”, “Love By Chance”, Earth earned his first major breakthrough by playing the main lead, Phupha in popular adaptation “A Tale of Thousand Stars”. While each of his works display different nuances of his acting talents, ATOTS literally turned him into a star. Earth portrayed Phupha with utter honesty and unspoken confidence; so much so that the character has become ingrained in everyone’s memories. Phupha’s reserved nature and smooth mannerisms were iconic and watching his endless banter with Tian was endearing. Earth delivered a praiseworthy performance and left us spellbound. I’m totally looking forward to his future projects in 2022.
Yu is one of those talented rookie actors whose undeniable charisma and acting chops will you speechless. While the prequel “No.1 For You” highlighted his character Zhou Shu Yi’s spoiled nature and gullible attitude, the sequel “Fighting Mr.2nd” was focused on depicting Shu Yi’s vengeful side. Even with the time leap, it is difficult for most seasoned actors to depict two different sides to the same character. However, Yu managed to blend Shu Yi’s unpredictability with his wavering emotions. It was heartbreaking to watch the ensuing tug of war as Zhou Shu Yi came to terms with his repressed feelings. A commendable actor embodies his character’s veneer and intricacies. Yu managed both feats with ease, while establishing his mantle as a bankable actor.
8) PP Krit
PP Krit’s daring portrayal of OhAew will forever be etched in the minds of the BL fandom. While “I Told The Sunset About You” was trained on highlighting Teh’s insecurities, “I Promised You The Moon” dealt with Oh Aew’s journey of self-discovery and inner struggles. PP Krit’s depiction was praiseworthy and his retrospective was seemingly flawless. He projected OhAew’s fears and rebellious nature with a daring attitude; his brilliant characterization left the ardent fans speechless. OhAew’s unconventional approach became an inspiration to the harried teenagers from the LGBTQ community, while his calm demeanor advocated rational thought. PP Krit is one of those few actors who can drive the narrative solely based on their expressions and are laudably unparalleled. While his sensual chemistry with Billkin Putthipong is definitely a cherry on the top, PP Krit is definitely an actor par excellence.
7) Simon Gong
Simon Gong is one of those rare actors in the fanatic Chinese BL industry, who has the courage to challenge boundaries and restrictions. With two BL dramas under his belt, Simon Gong’s onscreen persona reflects his gusty nature. While his first BL show Advance Bravely received mixed reviews, Simon rose to instant fame with his formidable portrayal of Wen Kexing, the dreaded Chief of the Ghost Valley (Word of Honor). His rendition was perfect and in sync with the character’s overtly flirtatious mannerism and unpredictable nature. Playing an invincible yet vulnerable role like Wen Kenxing isn’t an easy feat; as such, Simon Gong’s performance was truly awe-inspiring and creditable. Most BL shows in Chinese industry are dubbed as Bromances, but Word of Honor was an exception. Wen Kexing wore his heart on the sleeve and Simon Gong’s vivid expressions betrayed WKX’s love for his childhood Senior, Zhou Zi Shu. Truly exceptional!
6) Michieda Shunsuke
The latest entrant on this block, Michieda Shunsuke became popular for portraying the main character Aoki in the recently concluded romcom, Kieta Hatsukoi. Basking in the limelight, Michieda Shunsuke’s teenage romance with co-star Meguro Ren rewrote history. Devoid of explicit scenes and yet beautifully scripted, Kieta Hatsukoi is as memorable as Cherry Magic. While the focus remained on the issues like “Coming Out” and “Societal Rebuke”; Michieda’s impression was in sync with the manga. He embodied Aoki’s fears and inhibitions while paving the path for self acceptance. While Aoki does spend a lot of time being unsure about his affections for love interest, Ida; once he accepts his feelings, there is no stopping him from pursuing Ida. Michieda Shunsuke and Meguro Ren have a believable chemistry and their pairing was especially endearing.
5) Zhang Zhehan
Facing rebuttal and ridicule, 2021 was indeed a dark year for this outstanding actor. But let’s rewind and talk about his portrayal of Zhou Zi Shu, the disciplined and formidable leader of “Window of Heavens”. Playing the assassin game isn’t an easy task, specially when you are on the death bed; but Zhang Zhehan managed the impossible. Word of Honor is one of the few BL romances where both main leads are powerful and inevitably dominant. It was interesting watching Zhou Zi Shu sway, as he slowly fell in love with Wen Kexing; while battling the martial arts veterans as well as his illness. Zhou Zi Shu and Wen Kexing’s combination was rather intriguing; one refuses to talk while the other is a chatterbox yet an irredeemable villain. Zhang Zhehan had to rely on betraying Zhou Zi Shu’s moods and overtures via his micro expressions. This pairing won’t have worked if Zhang Zhehan didn’t have a tight control over his emotions. Definitely the mark of a true actor!
4) Sam Lin
Taiwanese BL romance “We Best Love” became the talk of the town in 2021, because of its gritty portrayal of love and relationships. The prequel “No.1 For You” was loosely based on the “Enemies to Lovers” trope, where the main couple slowly recognize and accept their inevitable attraction. Playing a character with restrained emotions is a difficult task, specifically when paired opposite of a diffident character like Zhou Shu Yi. Sam Lin’s rendering of his character Gao Shi De was realistic and honest. Gao Shi De’s patient demeanor was much appreciated and even in the midst of a storm, he never gave up on loving Shu Yi. “Fighting Mr.2nd” was practically tethered to Gao Shi De’s undying love and devotion for Zhou Shu Yi. The revenge game was well played and as such, the resultant reconciliation was that much sweeter. Sam Lin has a comfortable rapport with co-star Yu, which translates into excellent, sensual chemistry on screen. Definitely a treat for your eyes!
3) Mix Sahaphap
This year definitely belonged to Mix Sahaphap who received a lot of attention on the social circuits with his BL dramas, “A Tale of Thousand Stars” and “Fish Upon The Sky”. Practically a rookie actor, Mix Sahaphap became famous for his distinctive portrayal of the main character, Tian. Paired opposite a veteran actor like Earth Pirapat, Mix held his ground and added his own nuances to this tailored role. Tian’s journey of self-discovery, inevitable romance with Phupha and his acts of redemption were well executed. The anticipation surrounding this drama was fever pitch and Mix rose to the expectations with his commendable performance. His picture perfect looks are just an added advantage and his pairing with Earth is swoon worthy. The actors have bought home several awards, as the drama continues to make waves across the entire Asian Subcontinent. Looking forward to 2022, where we will get to watch Mix flex his acting chops in two upcoming BL dramas. Fingers crossed!
2) Ohm Pawat
The current sensation on social circuits, Ohm Pawat is an enigma. Having starred in BL dramas like “Make It Right”, “He’s Coming to Me” and “Dew the Movie”, Ohm Pawat is already well known as a multi faceted actor. His on-air show “Bad Buddy Series” is the current flavor of the season and people are literally obsessed with Ohm’s soulful yet thought-provoking rendition of Pat. While the character itself is majorly portrayed as goofy and happy-go-lucky person, Pat’s profile is unbelievably realistic and humane. Though temperamental, he always puts other’s needs before his. His onscreen romance with love interest, Pran is enviable and the fandom is absolutely in love with this impossible love story. The fact that Ohm’s personality is quite similar to his onscreen persona is definitely an added advantage. Ohm’s interpretation of Pat is daringly honest, inspiring and riveting. As long as he is onscreen, you can’t take your eyes off it. That’s the kind of hold he has on the general audiences. Seriously, who won’t want a boyfriend like Pat?
1) Nanon Korapat
It was indeed a tough competition between our apparent onscreen lovebirds, and clearly Nanon is a winner. Starring in his first BL role, Nanon Korapat is now an international icon for his veritable portrayal of Pran. While this loosely interpreted “Romeo & Juliet” romance has its own rustic flavor; Pran is strong yet vulnerable. While the character will forever be immortalized as a LGBTQ champion, Pran is quite daring in his convictions and remarkably smart. Nanon embodies Pran’s desires and yearning realistically, that the ensuing result is unforgettable. Obviously, his onscreen and offscreen chemistry with co-star Ohm Pawat is off-the-charts and they have collectively spearheaded the BL agenda to global recognition. Frankly, Nanon has become one of my favorite actors and he definitely deserves this win for depicting an unapologetic yet likeable version of Pran!
We will back with more exciting and exclusive BL contents, so keep watching this space for future updates!