Stars of Thai romance series Bed Friend felt ‘awkward’ filming steamy scenes
Thai romance series Bed Friend may be a work of fiction, but lead actors Net Siraphop Manithikhun and James Supamongkon Wongwisut say their roles reflect their off-screen personalities perfectly.
In the boys’ love drama, Net, 25, plays the flirty, sociable and proactive King, while James, 24, takes on the role of quiet and withdrawn Uea.
Boys’ love dramas are an increasingly popular genre of television which depicts romantic relationships between men.
The stars say their characters fit how they are like in real life – Net is an extrovert while James is an introvert – but their first meeting several years ago went a little differently.
James tells The Straits Times over a video call through an interpreter: “The first time we met was in a group setting and everyone was gathered at a table and talking. But Net was off to the side, sitting on a sofa by himself. And I thought, ‘Oh, poor thing’, so I went up and talked to him first. He’s actually a much more active person than that, which is very different from my first impression of him.”
Net and James – who previously guest starred in another boys’ love series, Cutie Pie (2022) – reunite in Bed Friend as colleagues who develop a friends-with-benefits arrangement, but gradually begin to fall for each other.
The series is available with English subtitles on YouTube under Mandee Channel and is slated to air on iQiyi International.
So what do the pair think of an office romance in real life?
“I don’t think it’s wrong. Love is not wrong. If you fall in love, you fall in love. As long as you’re responsible in your work and your relationship, I think it’s fine,” Net says.
James adds: “I don’t think it’s wrong either, but it feels very far away from me. I would not want to date someone in my workplace because I think that would be a very inconvenient situation.”
While Net and James say their previous working experience had strengthened their chemistry, doing Bed Friend still took some getting used to.
The series’ risque premise meant the leads had plenty of steamy, intimate scenes together.
“It was genuinely very awkward at first and very difficult to film, but the director, staff and everyone around us really helped us to learn how to express ourselves,” James recalls.
Net says: “Yeah, it was really embarrassing, but I think with time and us getting to know each other better, our chemistry got better too.”
Getting in shape was another challenge. Their toned bodies and flawless skin took a lot of behind-the-scenes work.
“I have to work out every day,” Net says. “And I have to be very strict with my carbohydrates like rice and noodles. If I know I have a topless scene, I won’t have rice at all and I will hit the gym the day before.”
James, whose character Uea is known in the workplace for his fair, flower-boy looks, adds: “To maintain good skin, I have to be very careful with my diet. I don’t eat anything too salty or fried.
“I take vitamins, moisturise and drink a lot of water. It’s very tiring to keep up this diet every day, but I’m used to it now and I allow myself occasional cheat days too.”
Bed Friend is available on Mandee Channel on YouTube and is slated to air on iQiyi International.