| 5 MIN READ |
written by Marco Neveu
– Asian Expat Community
– European Expat Community
– The Thais mixed (“Luk Khrueng”)
Bangkok is truly a metropolitan and cosmopolitan city with a population of approximately 10 Million in 2018, assembling a wide variety of ethnicities and cultures from all over the world, and for casting it means that there is an extremely wide variety of people you can choose from to suit your needs. The city has plenty of casting agencies with whom we have worked with closely and diligently to find models, actors, and extras who will fit with your image and narrative.
A community that is often sought after is the large expat community that brings virtually people from all over the world. If numbers are any indication; there is, according to the 2010 census, 567,120 Asian expats (notably 141,553 Chinese, 80,898 Japanese and 46,326 Indian nationals). This, of course, gives us a lot of flexibility in imitating other Asian countries for more targeted content. These diasporas are big enough to warrant their mark on Bangkok’s cityscape. For example, if you were to go on a night out around Phrom Phong you might be whisked into a Japanese izakaya brimming with drunk Japanese salarymen. And in the past 10 years, it is also fairly plausible that the number of expats has doubled.
There is also a large European expat community including (again outdated numbers from the 2010 census): 85,836 from the UK, 40,230 from the US, 24,383 from Germany and 22,486 from France. Now we have nothing concrete on the number of expats in Bangkok today, but a day out in town will show you just how much choice there is. And if ever there is a need for a voiced line, any specific language can be covered.
Emphasis also has to be placed on the large newer and younger community that we cast quite often that comes from Eastern Europe and Russia, who are in Bangkok purposely to seek advertising and modeling work. Another young community is the people coming from Africa, adding more choices and ethnicities to your casting possibilities.
A unique demographic often seen in local advertising and film are those of mixed ethnicities, called “luk khreung” in Thai and Eurasian, blasian, hafu, mestizo or hapa in other parts of the world.
Often seen as having inherited the best of both worlds, they are ever-present on the side of buses and billboards. They have of course a wide variety of features that are quite frankly impossible to pinpoint; a mixture of soft oriental features with a touch of middle eastern sharp features, or bearded with a tall build and freckles yet slanted eyes and jet black hair. Personally, I have been asked if I was Korean, Puorto-Rican, Japanese, Spanish and etc. Basically, possibilities are endless and generalizations are impossible, their unique features and mixed ancestry truly represent globalization.
Now finally, the largest pool you will get to choose from is, of course, the local Thai population. But, it is important to note that the Thai government does not record race, unlike countries like the United States. Thai people, for the most part, are a blending pot of many ethnicities that have come together over time and as recently as the last century. Now I really don’t want to debate semantics, history, and anthropology with you so I might not want make some things seem like a gross generalization; but I can say, the ethnic history of Thailand is as fascinating as it is complicated.
I will say it quite simply and plainly, “Bangkokians” are very diverse. The city’s history is deeply rooted in its pluralism. Many Bangkokians find their roots in Chinese, Tamil, Malay, Khmer, Isan, Vietnamese and etcetera. This once again gives you so much diversity to play with and choose from while casting. Given the locals themselves are diverse, it is no wonder that Bangkok is such a cosmopolitan city.
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If you want to know more on how Thailand is the perfect location for your next video shooting then you must read our Why Thailand? article.