On March 2, exactly 366 days ago, I left Buenos Aires to begin my year of living dangerously on the other side of the world. Four months in Melbourne were followed by six spent gallivanting around Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on Bangkok. After January and February in Melbourne again, as of three days ago, I'm back where I belong, in the place where my Asian adventure began, Bangkok.
So far there have been no wild nights at DJ Station (coming soon, for sure), only intense writing sessions, intense workouts (squats with two 20-kilo weights is murder on the ass, but it hurts so good!), intense jet lag, and the highlight of Bangkok 2012 so far: my Thursday evening rendezvous with Kristin Scott Thomas in the penthouse suite of one of Bangkok's most glamorous boutique hotels.
Actually, it was a 20-minute interview for a Scott Thomas profile that I'm writing for the Bangkok Post's bi-weekly themagazine supplement, but who knew I'd be celebrating the one-year anniversary of my departure from BA with the Oscar-nominated star of The English Patient? She's in town for work, shooting Only God Forgives, a film with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, in which she plays Ryan Gosling's gangstress mother from hell. She's also the ambassador for MGallery Collection of hotels, whose Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan opened in September of 2011, hence her presence at the opening gala. I pretended it was all about me, though, a celebration to mark one full year as a wanderer.
Scott Thomas was everything you would expect her to be if you know her best from her work in English-language films, such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, The English Patient and Gosford Park, all Best Picture Oscar nominees in their respective years. Beautiful, slightly aloof and an interesting mix of French sophistication (she's called Paris mostly home for years) and British candor.
I was surprised that she hadn't even seen the trailer for Bel Ami, her upcoming period drama with Robert Pattinson whose preview I wrote about so rapturously at the beginning of 2012. In fact, she had to ask me about the release date. Though I had no idea, and neither does anyone involved with the film, it seems, I said March or April because it sounded good.
My favourite revelation: She admitted that she was genuinely disappointed when she didn't get an Oscar nomination for 2008's I've Loved You So Long, despite collecting lots of pre-Oscar buzz and a Golden Globe nomination. I didn't have the heart to tell her that Sarah's Key, another French-language film with Scott Thomas in the lead that's about to open in Bangkok, has been available as a pirated DVD on Silom Road since last year.
Hadn't she suffered enough? I was so impressed that she wasn't too proud to reveal that being snubbed by Oscar hurt that I just couldn't bring myself to break the bootleg story to her. As I debated it in my head, I decided that since Oscar has rarely been able to resist a mother from hell, Scott Thomas might already be a 2013 Academy shoo-in in the Best Supporting Actress category. Maybe Oscar will stop ignoring both her and Gosling and invite them back to the party in 2013, just in time for my next anniversary.