Mario Maurer and Baifern Pimchanok’s cute chemistry — and style
Four years after their sleeper hit “First Love (Crazy Little Thing Called Love),” Thai superstars Mario Maurer and Baifern Pimchanok still exude the chemistry which captured the hearts of fans all over Asia and catapulted the love team to fame.
But P’Shone and P’Nam (their roles in the film) have outgrown their baggy school uniforms from “First Love” and are now sporting cool outfits from Penshoppe. The globally competitive Cebuano fashion brand —to the delight (and luck) of Cebuano fans—brought the two in Cebu last week for their second Fan Conference in the country.
The two shared that the Pinoys’ hallmark hospitality has earned a soft spot in their hearts. Mario, who has a Filipino best friend and even did a movie with actress Erich Gonzales, has been exposed to several Pinoy traditions, like cooking adobo—his favorite Filipino dish.
Both Mario and Baifern were impressed with what Pinoy fans have done to them like handing them meticulous handmade gifts, like a miniature “bahay kubo” assembled inside a bottle or a photobook that story-told a fan’s love for them.
The Penshoppe icons are out to prove they are more than just pretty faces and good artists (they even have several awards to prove it!), as they share more of their personal lives and how they got to where they are now. (JSB)
This is your second FanCon here in the Philippines. What are some of your most memorable moments during your visits?
Mario: Everytime I come here, there are fans in the airport.
Everytime we have an event for Penshoppe, a lot of people surprise me. There are many fans here and they really surprise me and come (attend) to the event.
Baifern: The same thing as Mario, the fans. They have been telling me that they are waiting for me. They will go to the airport and go to the event. They always keep the promise. They always support me. The most impressive thing that happen everytime we come back here is the fans.
Aside from being in showbiz, what are your other interests?
Mario: I want to do business, sell something. My family owns a family business and one day I will take care of my family business.
Baifern: Aside from being an actress, I am helping our family business. If you would follow my Instagram account, you would see that there are creams, gels and other products. They are very good products, go check them out.
What Filipino food have you have tasted—and liked? Have you tried our world famous lechon?
Mario: Lechon? We are going to try it today. My other favorite food is adobo but I would suggest to eat balut. Lami!
Baifern: I will try lechon later tonight.
What are the highlights of working with Penshoppe?
Mario: Every time is a high-light, because the events that Penshoppe create… it’s big and a very good event. Each time is exciting and very nice.
Baifern: Same as Mario. Plus, every time there’s something new. The clothes, every collection that we’d shoot… there are new things. And they’re very comfortable and stylish.
When you are not dressing up for work or for the camera, what do you typically wear?
Mario: It’s the jeans because it’s for men and women, it’s very comfortable and tough. I wear jeans, T-shirt and shorts.
Baifern: Anything that makes me comfortable and makes me feel confident in them.
How is it working along with each other?
Mario: We did campaigns for Penshoppe twice. It’s very nice working with her of course.
Baifern: As always, it’s very nice working with Mario because it’s very easy. Mario is very professional and he is always very helpful.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a young Asian superstar?
Mario: The role in the movie is always challenging. I used to get a different role in the movie “Jan Dara.” One time, I had to play young and get old (80 years old).
Baifern: I try to push myself because people have a lot of expectations from my work. I push myself to work good and satisfy my fans and viewers.
What inspired you to try acting?
Mario: At first, I didn’t want to be an actor. It just came and I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t study acting. I don’t know absolutely about it. I went to a movie show and I met my teacher. He thought me about acting. So from that, I got to know what is acting and it’s a very hard job. You have to give your time and study about it.
Baifern: I started watching actors and actresses on TV at the age of five. I haven’t thought that I would be like them someday. When I had the chance to try, I am the one who inspired myself to improve as an actress especially the project that I did with Mario (“Crazy Little Thing Called Love”). Mario is one of the important people who helped me pursue my career. He was good, professional, and nice in the movie.
On your free time, what do you usually do?
Mario: I have a free time because I cannot work without a free time because I have to rest. So, in my free time I usually go with my friends and we ride bikes and sometimes we go workout at the gym.
Baifern: I try to give my free time to my family because before I got into the entertainment industry, we always go out. But since I became an actress, I hardly have time to spend with my family. So whenever I have free time, I usually go out with my family.
Mario, you have a Filipino best friend. What Filipino traditions or traits have you been exposed to? Like when you visit your best friend at home?
Mario: That was to make adobo at home. So I eat adobo every time I go there. And I meet Filipino friends like his father’s friends and they’re all Filipino. Yes, of course, they love to sing.
What was the best thing that a fan did to you?
Mario: Every time I come here in the Philippines, I always get a gift —something related to Filipinos and the Philippines. Like some time I got a very little house. How do you call it? Bahay kubo? It’s in a bottle, it’s very well made. I still keep that. I always keep all of what the fans give me. Sometimes, they give me the tricycle, because they know I collect cars so they give me something like a tricycle, a jeepney, a golden jeepney. I have a limited edition jeepney at home. Thank you.
Baifern: It’s very hard. Especially in the Philippines where it’s beyond my expectation. Like when we arrived yesterday (Aug. 16), the fans who waited at the international terminal ran after the car from that terminal to the domestic terminal, just to get to see me. And they passed me this little small photo book with all these little things. It takes a lot of effort so it’s very impressive for me.
Name one person you look up to.
Mario: My mom. Because she’s a very hardworking woman and she’s very, very kind.
Baifern: It’s the same. My mom. Because she does a lot of charity work so I want to follow my mom and try to do a lot of charity work.
Filipinos love the film you starred in together, “First Love.” The plot was a typical teenage love. Why do you think it was such a hit all over Asia?
Mario: I think because of Fern (Baifern). She really had a very good acting in it. And her friends too in the movie. I think it’s really touching. The first time I watched my movie with her, “First Love,” I cried. The scene that she’s with her friends, the one where they’re crying and singing. Like they’re coming to say sorry and they used this song to say sorry. I think that scene was very good and I think it’s what touched the people.
Baifern: Because Mario was the lead actor, that’s why the movie got so famous.
What was the best advice given to you in terms of dealing with fame?
Mario: He’s a comedian in Thailand, a very famous comedian. And he taught me that the more you get famous, you have to act small. You have to think small always because whenever you think you’re big, you are the smallest. But when you think you’re small, you will be okay and you will not be over your limit.
Baifern: I listen to people around me. I listen to a lot of advice. I listen to my parents, to my manager and also the more senior actors and actresses because they know the industry better.
What upcoming projects can your fans look forward to this year?
Mario: Right now in Bangkok, I have a drama which is “The “Rising Sun” and maybe you will have the chance to watch it. I also have a movie in Singapore. I shot it already and it’s now in the progress for edit.
Baifern: I am working on a TV series with one of the TV stations back home. It will premier on the 20th day of this month. I also have a new movie which will premier sometime in September this year.
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