The cosmopolitan blend of Vietnamese, French and Chinese blood known as Vĩnh Thụy returned to Vietnam and the fashion game recently after a two-year stint in France as a businessman.

The model and part-time actor is a leading contender for the male title in this year’s Vietnam Supermodel Contest, which will be concluded on June 28.

It’s little known that Thuy was an aspiring football player in his teenage years.

After he and his mother moved to France in 2001 and settled down in Ferenchies, Thuy joined a football program for teenagers with aptitude and soon won a spot in the town’s under-18 team.

It took only four years for nostalgia to bring him back to Vietnam.

After he arrived home in 2005, Thuy mislaid his identity papers and was unable to leave the country again for a whole year.

His reputation as a footballer earned him an invitation to join the now-defunct Ho Chi Minh City Police team, but the relapse of an old injury prevented Thuy from becoming a professional player. It was the turning point of his life.

Feeling stranded in a life “as dull as ditch-water,” he made a foray into the glamorous world of fashion and soon found himself in a love affair with modeling. His self-confidence blossomed.

Still, it didn’t prevent Thuy from returning to France in 2007 and taking a shot at being a businessman.

He says he felt too young to settle down and wanted to try everything life had to offer.

The two years Thuy spent selling expensive mobile phone brands taught him a lot about people, and also made him realize that modeling was his true calling.

So he left the phone business to his partners, packed his bags and headed home again.

“The first time I stepped out on the catwalk was a very new feeling for me. Now I’m more assured and want to succeed internationally,” he says.

Thuy is a leading contender for the male title in the 2009 Supermodel Contest.

Yet his entry in the competition nearly came to grief when a rumor surfaced that Thuy sported a tattoo, which is against the rules.

He was rescued by Amanda Delepine Scott, winner of the French Elite Model Look in 1998 and a jury member for the Supermodel Contest, who said a small and modest tattoo was okay as long as it was not offensive.

Thuy has been romantically linked with Miss Universe Vietnam 2008 Nguyen Thuy Lam, and many photos of the pair have surfaced recently.

He often gets quizzed about their relationship. It turns out that Thuy and Lam have been friends since childhood, and he looks upon her as a sister. It’s not to his taste to be thought the boyfriend of a beauty queen, he says.

Several film offers have come Thuy’s way of late, and while he’s keeping mum about the details, he has accepted at least one role, that of   a fisherman in “Chuyen tinh dao ngoc/Love story on Pearl Island.”

In fact, the shooting is already done and the film should be released in July.

Thuy says his character, Bien, is totally unlike him and difficult to portray.

Bien is a needy orphan who had two childhood friends named Yen and Sua. The film begins when they are grown up and Yen wants to find her lost father. Bien falls in love with Yen, so he decides to follow and protect her on her quest.

To prepare for the role, Thuy spent over a month in Nha Trang observing the fishermen and their lives.

He has fond memories of the filming, like the amusing times when the cast and crew were stuck in storms and torrential rain.

“I hope the public likes my new film,” says Thuy, sporting his trademark grin.

Taken from ThanhNienNews.