Although he’s a star in his own right, actor-host Utt still has his own fanboy moments all the time – like when he froze upon seeing singer Jennifer Lopez on the Oscars red carpet.
Former MTV VJ Uttsada Panichkul, who is better known as Utt, was recounting his experience interviewing stars on the Academy Awards red carpet event for HBO Asia in 2015. He will be hosting the same event a second time on Monday (5 March).
“My jaw dropped! She was incredibly beautiful and gorgeous. I think my producer had to hit my head to wake me up. I was just stunned,” said the 44-year-old in a telephone interview recently from Los Angeles, laughing at the memory.
When asked about the stars he’s most looking forward to meet at this year’s Oscars, Utt named Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman.
Utt said he tries to keep his cool whenever he meets celebrities but he might have trouble doing so in the presence of his biggest idols. “Personally, I think Meryl Streep is a legend. But if I see Denzel Washington, I think I’m gonna go crazy. He’s an incredible actor.”
Utt, who is currently working full-time producing video content for a music app in Thailand, is excited to be back on television.
“It feels incredible representing Southeast Asia. And being Thai, it’s an even bigger honour to represent Thai people. I’m excited to reach out to my Asian fans,” he said.
The host even went so far as to choose an Asian designer for his outfit on the red carpet. He will be wearing a tuxedo by Thai designer Vvon Sugunnasil, made from silk fabric from Thai brand Jim Thompson.
The movie buff says he has seen all nine films nominated for the Best Picture award. His favourites are The Shape of Water, Call Me by Your Name, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
He calls Three Billboards a “tormenting, haunting story”, saying that the movie lingered in his mind even as he was going to sleep at home after watching it.
As for The Shape of Water, he praised director Guillermo del Toro for making a “whimsical” film that didn’t feel cheesy but was instead relatable.
Utt considered Call Me by Your Name a well-crafted yet deceptively simple film. “For the actors to come together, and the director to convey something so simple is not really easy. It takes a lot of effort behind it.”
Viewers can stream the Oscars Red Carpet live from 7.30am on 5 March, followed by the Academy Awards show at 9am on HBO GO, or watch it on the HBO TV channel. Both programmes will be broadcast again that night on HBO at 7pm and 8pm, respectively.
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