Thai princess graces Cannes festival
Princess Ubol Ratana is in Cannes to promote her first feature film she wrote and stars in.16 May 2008
CANNES - Look out Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Sharon Stone and the rest of the Hollywood royalty in Cannes. A real princess has arrived to promote a film that she wrote and stars in.
Her royal highness Princess Ubol Ratana held court at the Cannes film festival here Thursday to publicise her first feature film, "Where The Miracle Happens," which will premiere out of competition.
The princess, the eldest child of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, said she decided to make the film to help highlight the economic and family problems facing young Thais and to inspire more fortunate people to help where they can.
"It is a great way to reach out to people who are not as privileged as us," she told AFP, adding, "I think that it will make a great impact."
Princess Ubol Rata studied in the United States and eventually married American Peter Jensen.
She gave up her royal title and raised her family in the United States. She and Jensen divorced in 1998, and three years later she moved back to Thailand.
Asked why she had decided to play the leading character, she said she felt uniquely suited to it.
"I knew the character and the concept of the movie so I decided that I might as well play the part myself," the 57-year-old said.
A drama based on a book she wrote, the film focuses on a woman who suffers the double trauma of losing her daughter in a car crash and then undergoing a transplant in which she receives the heart of her deceased daughter.
This experience transforms the main character, Pimdao, from a driven business woman into caring philanthropist who travels around Thailand's rural regions to help develop schools in a drive to improve education.
The princess lost a son, Poom Jensen, in the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004 and says she travels frequently to remote parts of the Thai hinterland to promote education.
But she brushed aside comparisons with Pimdao.
Dressed in a short, silk dress and sporting spectacular diamond chandelier earrings and diamond bracelets, Princess Ubol Ratana looked every inch the Hollywood diva during her stop at the world's premier film showcase.
While she has also acted in a few television movies, the princess said she would wait to see if her film was a success before deciding whether to trying her hand again.
[AFP / Expatica]
We invite you to contribute to this article by sending related photos or videos. You can either send them to email@example.com or add them to our newly-created flickr group at http://www.flickr.com/people/expatica/. All contributed material will be credited accordingly.