Not Coul­ing down

The gor­geous and tal­ented So­nia Coul­ing is still heat­ing it up.

The Star Malaysia - - GLAMOUR GODDESS - By NA­DINE FER­NAN­DEZ [email protected]­tar.com.my

SO­NIA Coul­ing strolled into the new Crab­tree & Eve­lyn store right on time for her in­ter­view and im­me­di­ately greeted me. The stat­uesque and grace­ful Thai-English beauty is a fa­mil­iar face in Asia, be­ing a model, TV per­son­al­ity, pro­ducer and ac­tor.

Coul­ing who is based in Bangkok was in KL re­cently for the open­ing of the Crab­tree & Eve­lyn con­cept store in Pavilion KL.

“The store is ab­so­lutely gor­geous! Ev­ery­thing looks so lux­u­ri­ous es­pe­cially the beau­ti­ful pack­ag­ing and the scent of the prod­ucts. It’s just so fruity and fem­i­nine and invit­ing!”

Hav­ing grown up in Eng­land, it came as no sur­prise that Crab­tree & Eve­lyn played a ma­jor role in her day-to-day beauty regime. “I’ve used their prod­ucts for over two decades now and I highly rec­om­mend the La Source, Gar­den­ers and Eve­lyn Rose ranges of award-win­ning prod­ucts which of­fer hand ther­apy creams, body lo­tions, body creams, body per­fumes and fra­grance can­dles,” she shared.

For those who don’t know, Coul­ing, who is also known amongst friends and fam­ily as Pim, was born in Thai­land and has been work­ing as a pro­fes­sional model since be­ing dis­cov­ered at the age of 13.

She at­tended board­ing school and univer­sity in Bri­tain and worked with Storm Agency where she did ads for L’Oreal UK. Upon re­turn­ing home, the mul­ti­lin­gual lass who speaks five lan­guages, landed a job as the first Thai VJ for MTV Asia. It was this move that launched her ca­reer. Coul­ing then gained pop­u­lar­ity in Asia, get­ting of­fers in film, TV and endorsemen­ts.

“The last two years of my ca­reer see me on TV a lot as I had a show on HBO Asia; I ap­peared on Chal­lenger Muaythai on AXN as an an­nouncer as well as on Jes­sica Simp­son’s show, Price of Beauty, as one of six world­wide beauty am­bas­sadors on VH1,” she says.

Sexy and so­phis­ti­cated, the beauty with brains has also done some work be­hind the cam­eras when she pro­duced and hosted

Thai­land’s Next Top Model in 2005. This year, she was an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer for the movie A Stranger In Paradise which she worked on closely with her hus­band, Paul-Do­minique Vacha­rasinthu, a busi­ness owner and event pro­moter whom she mar­ried in 2007.

Re­veal­ing that she has ex­panded her work into the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, Coul­ing joined the big leagues as she now has a con­tract in Hol­ly­wood.

“I played a guest role in an Amer­i­can movie called Glory Days as well as in the hugely pop­u­lar French film Largo Winch 2. Apart from that, I also re­cently starred in a US movie tril­ogy called The Mark along­side Eric Roberts and Craig Sh­ef­fer,” she says, adding, “Last De­cem­ber, I played a femme

fa­tale in a Hun­gar­ian short film called Blood

And High Heels which was the of­fi­cial se­lec­tion at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val this year and is do­ing quite well. It’s a re­ally short but in­tense film that is for Hun­gary.”

Though she’s got a busy sched­ule, main­tain­ing a proper skin­care regime is im­por­tant as it’s part of her job to look good.

“My beauty regime, es­pe­cially be­cause I travel a lot is skin­care, skin­care, skin­care! I truly have no shame in putting tons of cream on my face and body when I am on an air­plane. I can sit there with an oily face just as long as my skin is hy­drated and looks good when I dis­em­bark. That and def­i­nitely drink a lot of wa­ter too.

“I eat re­ally healthy too. My hus­band and I eat a lot of fruit and veg­eta­bles ev­ery­day with a blended fruit juice ev­ery morn­ing and a plat­ter of fruit ev­ery evening. My hus­band drinks a litre of wa­ter ev­ery morn­ing too al­though I can only do half. Wa­ter is re­ally im­por­tant es­pe­cially if you run around a lot. Apart from that, I use sun­block es­pe­cially when I am out in the sun.”

Coul­ing may seem like she is con­stantly on­the-go but she stresses she still is very much the girl next door: “My most favourite past time is rid­ing my horse Marengo in the morn­ings, with the feel of fresh air on my face. Apart from that, I crave to chill out and lis­ten to opera by the beach and just think of noth­ing fol­lowed by a sooth­ing mas­sage on a lazy af­ter­noon. I guess with my hec­tic sched­ule, I do en­joy a lot of alone time.”

Her ex­tra ac­tiv­i­ties don’t stop there. She also be­came in­ter­ested and, even­tu­ally, ob­sessed with fly­ing. She’s cur­rently a re­serve pi­lot for the Royal Thai Air­force, where she was priv­i­leged to have been a guest pi­lot on the F5 and F16 fighter planes.

“It ac­tu­ally be­gan as a dare by a friend to fly a plane about 13 to 14 years ago. So, I en­rolled my­self in the Air Force, the civil­lian sec­tion that is, and told my friends that I will fly. I was one of four girls and 50 guys and I am proud to say that I came in sec­ond in class!”

De­spite her go-get­ter at­ti­tude, Coul­ing did have her fair share of chal­lenges with her big­gest con­cern be­ing her­self.

“I am my big­gest and worst critic. I tend to do ev­ery­thing per­fectly and yearn to do it bet­ter than expected and rarely com­pli­ment or pat my­self on the back. In a way, it makes me look out for how I can make my­self bet­ter,” she ex­plained.

Hav­ing been in the in­dus­try for 25 years, Coul­ing says the key to stay­ing rel­e­vant in the in­dus­try is to al­ways re­main pro­fes­sional.

“Be­ing pro­fes­sional is what keeps you around and that means to be on time, do your home­work be­fore any shoot or in­ter­view, know where you’re go­ing and what you’re get­ting your­self into and al­ways be po­lite. That’s al­ready a good start.”

She also voiced that she didn’t know how some mod­els went for jobs with­out look­ing prop­erly groomed: “I can’t un­der­stand how girls come to work with makeup on their face and body and funny coloured nails! Those lit­tle things make a dif­fer­ence.”

Coul­ing says while she is con­tent work wise, it’s her hus­band that makes her happy.

“I do feel that it is ev­ery woman’s wish to have that dream wed­ding and to be mar­ried and to have ev­ery­thing pan out like a fairy­tale. That, to me, is my great­est achieve­ment be­cause with this one, I got lucky!”

Hav­ing been the best of friends for 13 years be­fore they started dat­ing seven years ago, she gig­gled as she said, “He pro­posed three months af­ter we kissed. He must’ve sat through all my failed re­la­tion­ships and thought to him­self ‘when it’s my turn, I’m go­ing to show her!’”

As for chil­dren, she’s hop­ing to have a child in the next five years.

“I do hope to continue in my cur­rent line of work as ev­ery­one that I’ve met in the in­dus­try have been great to work with and ev­ery per­son has given me cer­tain mem­o­ries. But I sup­pose when my hus­band and I are ready to slow down, we would love to have chil­dren.”

Now that she also gets to do projects with her hus­band where she jokes that he pays and she works, slow­ing down might just be in the pipe­line af­ter all.

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