Lim Kay Tong: I wish Mr Lee could have seen 1965

Lim Kay Tong: I wish Mr Lee could have seen 1965
Veteran local actor Lim Kay Tong (with flower garlands) plays Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew in upcoming local film 1965.

Veteran actor Lim Kay Tong, who plays former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in the film 1965, regrets that the late Mr Lee will not get to watch the film when it hits the cinemas.

Mr Lee died on March 23 at the age of 91.

Lim, 61, studied Mr Lee's archived footage for two hours daily for almost a month as part of the preparation for 1965.

He told The New Paper: "It would have been nice to have him watch it, even though I think he would be highly critical.

"I was very sad when he died. I got to know him so well while doing the research because of the role and I found out everything I could about him, so there was a deep sorrow.

"So many people showed up to pay respects, which is a mark of the man."

Lim (right) didn't feel too much pressure portraying Mr Lee, especially when the public had agreed unanimously that he is the best person to do the job.

In fact, he feels honoured to be cast.

He said: "I am just glad that people approved of me playing this role. It's a privilege, given all his achievements. He is an outstanding leader and portraying him is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Lim emphasised that his depiction is "not an impersonation but more of an interpretation".

"I had to balance it because sometimes it can become a caricature. It's a fine balance," he said.

This article was first published on June 18, 2015.
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