Rebecca Lim is best known for being the sweet, charming girl next door on our small screens.
But in Channel 8 blockbuster series The Journey: Our Homeland, the 28-year-old local actress shows her flirty side as a bar hostess who is "hard to get" and often clad in sexy, revealing dresses.
Premiering on July 16 at 9pm, the period drama set from the 1960s to 1980s is the third and final season of MediaCorp's nation-building trilogy.
It also has stars like Felicia Chin, Rui En, Romeo Tan, Andie Chen, Shaun Chen, Ian Fang and Julie Tan.
To prepare for her role as Wan Feifei, a factory seamstress who becomes a bar hostess to cover her mother's hefty medical bills, Lim recalled the research she did when she portrayed a prostitute in 2009 Channel 5 drama Fighting Spiders.
Lim told The New Paper at the press conference of Our Homeland yesterday that she was "excited" to see herself in a new light on screen.
She said: "It's very different from my usual roles. I become a bar hostess and go through a lot. It's one of the most difficult roles I've done."
Of her character, she said: "I won't voluntarily touch the clients and I'm not overly vain. That's why the guys all want me. I drink with them, but I don't sleep with them."
Lim added: "We had our shoots at the older bars in Singapore and it was an interesting experience.
"I was fine with it when I was filming, but when I went home and thought about how men treat these women in a disrespectful way, I felt uncomfortable."
But what was more traumatic was re-enacting the collapse of Hotel New World in 1986 for one scene.
She said: "We were filming in total darkness and I was trapped in the rubble for three to four days. I'm quite claustrophobic in real life, so filming it was quite bad. I kept wanting to pee all the time."
She added: "I thought about what the people must have gone through back then, it must have been terrifying. For two to three weeks after filming that, I didn't dare to park in the basements of carparks."
Lim, who recently bagged the highly coveted Best Actress title at the annual Star Awards in April, gives herself more pressure these days when it comes to work.
She said: "If a scene requires me to cry, I really hope I do. If not, I'll feel like I don't deserve it. But I know people don't expect me to be perfect so I try not to be too hard on myself."
Lim, who had a health scare last month, also wants to reassure fans that she has recovered.
On the night of June 7, she went to Mount Elizabeth Hospital after experiencing sharp pains in her ribs following a three-week bout of flu.
Lim uploaded a picture on Instagram showing her lying on a hospital bed in the wee hours of June 8. It shocked and worried fans and colleagues and caused a stir online.
"I had a viral infection and there was no air going through my right lung, making it very swollen and it pressed on my ribs," she said.
"I have finally been sleeping well for the past two days without coughing much. I'm feeling much better now."
This article was first published on July 9, 2015.
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