A star with a cause

Actress-cum-singer Chit Thu Wai has received recognition for her acting skills and choice of films and direct-to-home videos known for their unconventional plots. Her excellent acting in the recently released direct-to-home-video “Hna Lone Thar Ka A Naing Ya Twar Taw A Khar” (“When the Heart Wins”) has won high praise from the audience. In this exclusive interview with Myanmar Eleven, Chit Thu Wai shares her views on the film and music industries and her future plans.

Tell us about the filming of “Hna Lone Thar Ka A Naing Ya Twar Taw A Khar” that has been receiving positive feedback from the audience. 

The audience really likes this direct-to-home video. In Ko Wyne's films, each character gets more chances [for character development]. I'm satisfied with my acting. This was filmed two years ago, but it has only been released recently. I put the same amount of effort into what I do, whether it be a film or a direct-to-home video. That's why I'm satisfied to hear that the video has been well received by the public. 

Do you feel that it should have been made into a feature film?

Well, making a feature film would depend on sheer coincidence and a strange quirk of fate. Having worked in the industry for a while, I was shortlisted for the film “Nge Thu Moh Ma Thi Par”. Whenever I got offers for films, most of them were comedies so I had to put them on hold. I've only been able to play the characters I like in videos. I don't think I'm fated to act in [feature] films. I will act in films when I have a chance. I don't feel dissatisfied with my acting skills. I make the same effort for both feature films and direct-to-home videos. I believe the audience will give the same 'grade' too.  As I'm acting in the videos with good plots and 'normal' plots, I'm worried that bad videos will end up in the hands of the audience. That's why I have decided to only act in feature films [and direct-to-home videos] with good plots and unique characters.

Is it difficult to pick the right character you want to play among these film offers?

Yes. It has become more difficult in terms of character selection and communication. The working system has become difficult to operate within these two months. I feel really sad since I love this industry. Everything has become like “marketing” and there isn’t much respect between each other like cancelling the filming only two days before it starts. They couldn't give a good reason. So it will become more tricky [to work] if they can't decide whether they want to hire actors well suited to the characters given or do whatever they want within budget.

What's your view on those emerging budding actresses?

Everyone welcomes hard-working newbies whose foray into the showbiz has do to with their passion for acting. Each generation must welcome the new generation. I really want them to come to the field because they really value the [performing] arts. In the market, the number of actors hasn't increased. Only the number of actresses has gone up. We must be able to accept that senior actors and actresses may one day be outnumbered by youths entering the field.

Chit Thu Wai and her husband Lin Lin (Photo - EMG)

When is the [music video] VCD of “Mee Eain Kabyar” (“Lantern Poem”) due for release?

We handed over the job to the producer within a few days after the release of the audio CD. We asked everyone in the industry to help us in the filming. All the filming was done last year. Only the producer knows why it's taken too long to release it. Its release has been delayed for many reasons. I have done everything right up to the stage of putting the finishing touches. One thing that I'm sad about is that I wanted to include our wedding photos in the VCD. It's been nearly a year now so I feel guilty about not being able to release it.

Is your new album in the works?

[My husband] Ko Lin and I are both working on the album. It's nearly finished now. The album will feature upbeat songs with percussion instruments. Half of the album is devoted to upbeat songs encompassing various genres like Brazilian and European style. It will include songs composed by Ko Lin and U Shwe Jaw Jaw.

What's in the pipeline for this year?

I will be shooting commercials throughout the whole year and participating in social activities related to their brands. I will also focus on music activities. As I want to release my VCD shortly after the release of my album, I will work on the VCD after I've finished the recording. I plan to make half of the music videos by myself. As for filming, it depends whether I receive any offers. You can be sure I will choose the best out of them.

With more cases of sexual violence, human trafficking and forced child labour, how will you handle these issues as children’s ambassador?

I believe [these issues] are happening because of our culture and custom. Things may get out of control if adults avoid giving [sex education] to children because they think it is inappropriate or they are being overprotective. So it has become easier for them to become victims of sexual abuse and child violence. The laws that should protect the children and women shouldn't remain only on paper. It's quite sad that such kind of important issues are not being solved effectively. In the film and video [market], they should make films that highlight human trafficking and child abuse instead of looking for profit. 

As 2015 is a crucial year for Myanmar, what message do you want to give your fans?

Our entire generation has suffered and we are unable to stand shoulder to shoulder with others because we were caught unawares. I want to pray for my fans to be able to make good decisions with both their brains and hearts without being swayed by outside influences in order for prevent our next generations from suffering the same fate.