What makes an idol?
Talent is obviously a significant factor. Most idols from countries like Thailand and Japan are not only good actors, they also sing or dance or have some other truly outrageous talent. Passion is essential, and the look. Thai idols are some of the most beautiful men and women on the planet. But there’s another aspect – something more important than all the others combined. It’s that spark. Something almost magic, it’s impossible to define – but you recognize it immediately. It’s what sets an idol apart from run-of-the-mill celebrities.
Gawin Caskey, more commonly known by his nickname Fluke, has that spark.
Signed to GMMTV, one of Thailand’s most prominent entertainment conglomerates, the twenty-five-year-old has appeared in some company’s most popular dramas (Girl Next Room, and Enchanté, just to name a few). Now, he’s about to step into his first role as part of the main couple in the upcoming BL Series Be My Favorite.
Taking time out of his busy filming schedule to chat with me, he’s charming, charismatic, and incredibly earnest.
“It’s going to be challenging,” he states when asked about taking on his first lead role. “But what I’m looking forward to most is the chance to grow as an actor. I think it’s really gonna help me learn some new skills,” he continues. “This is a new type of character that I have never played before. So, I’m looking forward to the experience.”
Caskey started with a role in the GMMTV series Kiss Me Again. His character, Mhork, a trouble-loving teenager, traveled through two of the franchise series’ three installments, including the worldwide hit Dark Blue Kiss.
“I really enjoyed going through his character growth because starting out in the first episode, he was really a childish guy with an attitude problem and anger issues,” he laughs. “He was trying to fight all these people and was always getting into trouble.” As Mhork grew, so did his relationship with the character of Sun (Pod Suphakorn), who was the older brother of his best friend. “Sun was trying to help Mhork grow up,” he continues. “Get him a job, get him away from all the fighting, and basically, get him off the street.”
“I really love how he grew as a person, and he grew to like care for Sun,” he smiles. “If given the chance to play him again, I think I would. But I might have actually done something different because, during that time, acting was really new for me.”
While he’s always enjoyed film and television, acting wasn’t necessarily something he set out to do.
“I have to tell you first when I did the first audition,” he sets up the story. “I graduated from high school and didn’t really know what I was going to do. I took a year off and was working part-time as an usher in a movie theater, and P’ Peng, who was working here (at GMMTV) at the time – or maybe he knew someone who was working here, but he asked me if I wanted to audition. I said yes, without really knowing anything about what acting was like or what it involved.” he laughs. “It was tough, but they sent me to some acting courses, and I got better.”
His first day on the set of Kiss Me Again involved him fighting one of GMMTV’s biggest stars Tay Tawan.
“I met P’ Tay first on the set, and he was really nice to me, talking to me, asking me all these questions,” he recalls with a smile. “P’ Tay has always been a kind person, and he’s really passionate about acting. Our first scene was a fighting scene. He was lying down on the ground, and I was on top of him, punching him, punching him. That was my first day on set with the GMMTV,” he laughs.
“I was really a shy and awkward person because I was kind of more like an introvert at the time,” he continues about how he’s changed since that first day one set. “Maybe I still am, but I would like to say I have more experience and I’m older and a little bit wiser about these areas about acting and about working for GMMTV, so I would say I’ve gained a bit more confidence since then.”
Last Year, Caskey had a role in Not Me with another of the company’s pillar couples, Off Jumpol and Gun Atthaphan. A drama about serious social issues, Not Me was another worldwide success.
Caskey plays Dan, a cop trying to make a difference – even though his methods are sometimes less than legal. It’s been his favorite role to date.
“It was a chance for me to do something that I’ve never really imagined myself doing,” he says of the series’ action sequences. “I really love physical activities, and it was really easy to get in character,” he stops to think. “Well, I wouldn’t say easy, but easier to get in character because you actually have to move your body. I did a lot of exercising at that time. I played basketball and went running. So, that was like physically getting into the physical part of the role because you have to do a lot of physical activity to run, to do a lot of fighting, but it was really fun overall.”
In addition to being a cop, an artist, and a general badass, Dan was also an incredibly emotional character. “When I prepare for a role, I really have to dig into the story of the script,” he explains. “Sometimes they do the last scenes of the series on the first day of being on set. So, you have to be really prepared with the entire story. You’ve got to know the whole thing, what emotions that character went through, and the changes with that character.”
While the character has been his favorite to play, Dan is also the furthest from his real-life personality. The closest, he says, is SaiFa from the light-hearted rom-com series Enchanté, “He’s a musician, he plays guitar and writes songs, and likes to perform.”
When it comes to music, Caskey has one of the smoothest voices I’ve ever heard, and while he lists artists like Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and even Led Zeppelin as some of his musical idols, when it comes to himself, he hasn’t written his first song yet.
“I have some phrase that I really love written down, and I have all the equipment ready,” he says. “I just haven’t found the time, but I want to.”
When it comes to BL dramas and how these series are helping the cause of furthering the quality of LGBT+ people, Caskey is very proud of the series he’s done. “If you think about it, people who are just trying to be themselves and they’re trying to live their life find a person that they love – whether it’s male or female. It really doesn’t matter because they’re not hurting anyone,” he says seriously as he continues to talk about the growing popularity (and effect) these series are having worldwide. “I think, in a way, these series help the cause and indirectly help people to know and understand more about these issues. It can be like an eye-opening experience for a lot of people too that never actually know about these kinds of issues in their normal life, without knowing what’s going on around the world regarding these issues. It can really be kind of like a soft power to help people to better understand the culture, so I think it helps in the way regarding this issue.”
So, back to my original question, what makes an idol? I think a lot of what goes into that undefinable magic is heart. You can have the talent and the look, but if you don’t have the heart, the spark just isn’t as bright. I have a feeling Gawin Caskey’s spark has just begun to ignite. He’s got it, and I cannot wait to see where this new adventure takes him.
You can also see some of his music videos through GMMTVs official YouTube
More from Gawin and his upcoming series Be My Favorite soon, so…
This article is adapted from Life in Cartoon Motion which aims at providing articles, reviews, and even interviews!