Upcoming BL series Call It Want You Want (CIWYW) is destined to be a controversial title. Inspired by a real behind the scenes scandal in the Thai BL industry, the series will reveal how actors are mistreated and controlled by their production agencies. We had the chance to sit down and talk with the series director, Aam Anusorn, about the motivations behind this groundbreaking show.
1. What made you decide to tell the story of Call It What You Want?
During the past years working in the BL industry, I have witnessed a lot of unfair situations for the BL actors and directors: sexual harassment, extreme diets, social media restriction and discrimination… Those are the real issues that the BL actors are suffering. Ironically, when I brought these problems up on social media, people thought I just wanted some attention. But, no, these are the real things happening within the BL industry. It really has a long way to come, especially for the BL film crew who cannot accept LGBTQ+ rights and just wants to earn money from it. I remember once when I filmed a BL love scene, the crew was pretending to throw-up and that really disgusted me. So, through Call It What You Want, I want to let the audience and fans know about those serious problems. I hope fans can understand that these actors are human too.
2. Many of your previous works are based on your personal experiences. Is it the same for CIWYW?
Yes. Just like I just mentioned, this series is also based on my personal story but I added something interesting and dramatic, making it more of a political BL series.
3. The character of Bas in CIWYW had to go through surgery and dietary restrictions. What is the most outrageous thing you’ve heard about actors in the BL industry?
I think there are two things that really marked me. One thing is that BL actors are supposed to love each other, right? But some of them actually hate each other when thy are off-set, and even comparing the number of likes privately on social media. What these actors do is more of "fan service" which I am so tired of. Another thing is that I had been falsely accused by the production manager of flirting and sleeping with my actors, only because I drove my actor to the filming set. That was nonsense and I even got fired after the serious accusation.
4. Daniel, who plays Marco on CIWYW, told us that behind the cameras you are like everybody’s big brother and onset you are all professional and strict. How is Daniel on and off the set?
Daniel on set... he is very professional as well. We respect each other, he respects me not because I'm older but because I'm a director and I respect him as an actor. During our working experience, we chatted a lot, since Daniel was not so good with Thai. I remember, we had a big fight before we started filming the series, itt was during a workshop. I asked him about why his character has a cat as a pet, and he said, I don’t know, and that made me really mad. We had a fierce debate upon this for about three hours until Michael and Time asked us to stop. Yeah, I think he is one of my best friends, I really like him.
5. If there were a second season for CIWYW, how would you continue the series?
I would say maybe to expect the unexpected! In the first season, we introduced the reality of the BL industry. If there were a second season, I'd want to show how much the actors are manipulated through this process. I cannot tell you too much about season one, all I can say is that it is going to be a tearful romance and you are going to learn something and maybe change your attitude towards BL drama which I think is kind of great. I want to make a good impact and let the fans and the audience know what happens to those BL actors.
6. How would you recommend CIWYW to all the fans out there?
Call It Want You Want is the most personal series that I have made in my life. I want to thank GagaOOLala for helping me to create the series. There are lots of things you can find in the series and they might touch your heart. This story is a beautiful, honest, straightforward defense toward the systematic problems in the BL filming industry.
Call It What You Want premieres on April 9th globally on GagaOOLala.