The Malaysian-Singaporean version of “The Bridge” has made its debut on 26th November 2018 and it’s a proud moment for us South East Asians! Adapted from the original Scandinavian noir series, the plot follows detectives Megat (Bront Palarae) and Serena (Rebecca Lim), who discover a body on the link bridge between Malaysia and Singapore.
The body is right on the halfway point between the two countries… and split in two, with each half being different women. Ummm, creepy much?
Serena from Singapore is brilliant and talented at her job, but she’s somewhat socially awkward. Megat, who is from Malaysia, is charming yet impulsive and follows his instincts. With this winning combination of personalities, the two partner up to solve the double-murder mystery.
With the series currently being aired, #TeamCLEO got to ask Rebecca Lim about her experience filming the show. Rebecca is an award-winning Singaporean actress who has starred in films like Judgment Day and 100 Yards. She has also acted in TV shows such as Unriddle 2, The Dream Makers and The Lead.
Keep reading to see what she shares with us!
CLEO (C): Can you tell us a bit about how the opportunity to play Detective Serena Teo in “The Bridge” came up?
Rebecca Lim (RL): I’ve worked with Lee Thean Jeen, one of the executive producers of “The Bridge”, on my first ever leading role eight years ago. I’ve always been looking forward to work with him again all these years. So when he approached me to audition for the role, and even mentioned that this role would be extremely challenging cause I’ve not played any character like that before, I was pretty excited to challenge myself. So I auditioned and got the call three weeks later!
C: What was your interpretation of Detective Serena Teo that you brought to the Malaysian-Singaporean version of “The Bridge”?
RL: Everyone asked me to watch the original series to get a better idea of the show, but I deliberately only caught one episode of it — because I didn’t want to be too influenced by it. I wanted to have my own interpretation of the script as well as [the character of] Serena. Also, this is an Asian remake so I wanted it to be authentically Asian as well so that people could relate and understand.
Serena is a very tough character to play because she’s just so straight forward with zero EQ (emotional intelligence) so I had to believe that such a person does exist before anything else. I had so much fun playing her.
C: Detective Serena is a brilliant detective and she’s adamant on sticking to the rules and completing her tasks. Do you think she’s too single-minded in her pursuits or is that a good characteristic to have for her profession?
RL: It’s definitely a good trait to have. To be extremely focused and to be so good at what you do is actually a trait I am aiming towards. In life we have to always feel that we can do better but also know when to relax and give yourself that pat on the back. Work hard and enjoy life.
C: What was the process like of getting into the character of Detective Serena? How did you prepare for it?
RL: I honestly wished I had more time to prepare for it but I had to dive straight into it after I wrapped on my previous Chinese drama production. I always read my scripts again and again before any production and this time was no exception. We had a script reading session with all the cast members before production started and it was a good time to get to know each other and set the tone for the series.
C: Did you need to do any physical training for the role? If yes, what kind of physical training?
RL: I only had a very short one hour training before production begin. It was too short. I had so many action scenes and also because unfortunately, Bront injured himself while filming, some of his action scenes had to be done by me instead. So I just practiced shadow boxing in my hotel room and did short 15-20 minute workouts three times a day to increase my stamina. I also tried to eat healthier whenever I could. But it was so difficult cause Malaysia has so much good food!
C: How has playing Detective Serena shaped your own development as an actress?
RL: I believe that during different stages of your life, you have to embrace different characters and stories. Serena actually really taught me many things, [such as] to not assume that a seemingly strong person is strong on the inside and that it is okay to be weak at times. I was totally fine going bare faced on screen (with added freckles from special effect makeup) and I think we need to embrace how we look and how we grow.
C: Detective Serena’s character is a change from the previous funny and lighthearted roles you’ve played. How do you choose your roles? Do you intentionally try different genres and characters, or do you go with the flow?
RL: I’ve been going with the flow for the past seven years of my career but this year I’ve made a conscious effort to be more selective with the things I do. Also, because I want to keep trying different things and be taken out of my comfort zone so that I can grow as an actress and a person.
“I believe that at different stages of your life, you have to embrace different characters and stories. Serena actually really taught me many things. To not assume that a seemingly strong person is strong on the inside and that it is okay to be weak at times.”
C: We understand you have an educational background in accounting. How did you get into acting? Were you always interested in it?
RL: I’ve honestly never been interested in acting growing up. In school plays, I would always volunteer to be the prop master or to be in charge of Audio and Visual. Performing was never my interest. I wanted to be a doctor. I know it’s strange how my life turned out. But I’m glad that I got spotted by Mediacorp’s Artiste Manager then and he offered me a student contract which means I get to study and only act during my school holidays. When I graduated and was thinking whether to pursue accountancy or acting, I initially told myself that I would give myself just one year to be a full time actress. But it has been eight years since and I’m so glad I chose this path.
C: Was it important to you to complete a professional Degree before becoming a full-time actress?
RL: Very important actually. More for my parents and grandparents. I come from a very conservative family and my parents told me that I had to complete my Degree no matter what my choice may be further down the road so that I’ll always have something to fall back on. It was the right decision cause even while studying in university, I learnt so many things and met many people that actually came in handy while I took on certain roles.
C: How would you say you got to where you are now in your acting career?
RL: I would never dare take all the credit for everything that I have now. I am extremely grateful for everyone who believed in me when I was a nobody and was struggling and learning. I’ve got many benefactors along the way who were willing to give me second, third, and many chances so that I could improve and be better. I am really very blessed.
C: As an award-winning actress, what is your advice to Malaysians and Singaporeans who have dreams of becoming an actor/actress?
RL: I would firstly remind them that it really isn’t as glamorous as it seems. The hours are long and we hardly have days off. But if it truly is what you want, be ready to put in the hard work and to hang on when the going gets tough cause there will be instances where your hard work doesn’t pay off. It is also important to know who you are and what you stand for and to be responsible for your own decisions that you make. Don’t blame others for your predicament. Instead, never stop improving and learning new things.
You can check out the teaser for “The Bridge” here!