Performing with Flying Colours: Rebecca Lim

by Susanah Cheok

Friend of Longines, award-winning actress Rebecca Lim speaks candidly about how taking the unexpected road less travelled has led her to stardom, and the perfect partnership with the luxury timepiece brand, whose tenets are elegance, precision and performance.  

When the stunning and model-y Rebecca Lim first appeared on the local TV scene, her name was already being mentioned positively by many established celebrities. With her quiet but confident demeanor, the statuesque film and TV actress turns heads every time she walks into a room. Little wonder the question – “Who’s that girl?” – whispered on the lips of the well-known back then about her. Especially since she seemed to stumble into showbiz by chance, all elegant and poised no doubt. And many predicted correctly that she would eventually head for stardom.

In the beginning, she was seen a lot, but not heard from much, and, inevitably, at least for a while, she was branded cold and private. Misunderstood, in other words.

During her ingenue days in 2008, as a fresh grad with an Accountancy degree and a major in Law from SMU, Rebecca took on her first leading role in the drama, The Truth, with veterans Tay Ping Hui and Joanne Peh. Fast forward to 2022, and her previously perceived ice-queen persona now seems totally out of sync with the open, warm, professional Rebecca, who is often seen comfortably interfacing with the press and the public.

An Accidental Actress

“Everyone who knew me since I was a little girl will find this career path (I’ve taken) surprising as well. I was never the extrovert, nor did I enjoy being fussed over, but, like I said, I stumbled upon it due to a few interesting turns and crossroads in life, and from taking a leap of faith and choosing the paths less travelled at each juncture,” she says.

For her, an inter-Uni pageant led to an invitation to participate in Miss Singapore Universe. While still an undergraduate with SMU, Rebecca was spotted as a talent and signed on as a part-time actress with MediaCorp. She made the transition to being a full-time actress after graduation.

Not one to mince her words, the former beauty pageant contestant and Miss Photogenic in 2005’s Miss Singapore Universe pageant tells it like it is, without getting over-philosophical or over-sharing.

The prolific and successful film and TV celebrity has starred in more than 50 TV serials and 8 movies, and bagged many awards for Best Actress roles, yet she maintains this: “I wouldn’t say I’m successful. I am just extremely blessed and fortunate. There are many people who are more talented and more beautiful than I am, but I’ve been given opportunities.”

Being ready when it mattered made things possible and happen for me. That to me is extremely important and I constantly seek to improve myself as well.

Lest one mistakes her professional commitment and achieving stance for the pursuit of personal gratification, Rebecca the realist is quick to add that acting doesn’t actually fulfil her. In all honesty, “It doesn’t actually. It is a part of me now, my career, my passion, sure.

Good roles and great scripts excite me, of course. But family and loved ones are what truly fulfil me.


Work, Family and Love

Trying to get Rebecca to wax lyrical about the highs and lows of such a stellar career to date is like squeezing blood from stone. She simply will not make a big deal about it. Her practical thoughts about them are that “the highs and lows actually happen at the same time. Most people only see the glamour and the awards, the picture-perfect versions of me in photo shoots and on-stage. But there have been so many sacrifices and hardships. Time lost with loved ones while spending endless hours on set, and such moments can never be replaced.”

In her case, less said is really saying so much more, about a life of discipline and making hard choices, and that the road to fame is not always being paved with roses. While she enjoys the experiences that work has paid her in, you know she’s not one to feel entitled nor to take anything for granted when she describes “being kind even when no one is looking” as her greatest achievement.

The Making of Rebecca

She asserts about what shapes her: “It’s everything. The good and the bad in my life. I’ve been asked many times if I regret anything in life. Oh yes sure I do! Many things! But they all had to happen for me to be who I am today. There are many lonely, sad and miserable moments that I have to go through and I don’t wish that on anyone ever.”

And Mother knows best (about Rebecca) and has been instrumental in shaping the person that she is. “My mum is my role model. She lives with so much grace, kindness, courage and strength. And she always walks her talk. That I truly respect.”

That sense of sweet fulfilment and bliss extends to the rest of the family, and new family too. “Just being home with my family. Having a great meal, lounging on the sofa, playing with my niece, planning for my upcoming wedding… so many things make my life sweet.

My family brings me so much joy. I’ve also found someone who can make me smile every single day. And I look forward to our future together.

Longines Colours

Rebecca’s experience as a friend of Longines “has been absolutely amazing. Longines places so much importance in precision, professionalism and performance—those are also the things I have to embody and live up to as an actor, doing the job that I do, and everything else in between. So, they resonate very much with me. Also,

the Longines woman is someone who is both graceful yet strong. Wearing the timepiece daily is a good reminder to me to be just that.

So, how does the colourful Longines La Grande Classique and DolceVita collections of timepieces in particular, which she wears in this feature story, complement her lifestyle, as well as her outlook in life?

In the collections, Carmine Red makes her think of “Grandma! It’s her all-time favourite colour! Spring Green: just nature and being at peace, which also describes my life now, the peace in my heart; Classic Black: my university graduation ceremony for some strange reason. Maybe because I spent such a long time searching for a pair of classic black pointed heels to go with it. Burnt Orange: my trip to Sicily, where I visited a blood orange farm. I still dream of owning an orange farm one day. Cobalt blue: that the sky is the limit.”

Colours have different meanings for Rebecca and they also conjure different memories for her. “They also represent different moods and times in my life. My life is made up of an array of different colours. Every day is a different tone. Definitely more colours than a rainbow”, with pink in the horizon “because it’s the colour of marriage and love is love.”

Enduring Style

Rebecca will never pretend to be who she isn’t, nor dress out of character. “Many people have told me that my personal style is too simple. But I guess I just like to be comfortable whenever I’m not at work,” she admits, but hers is a brand of simplicity born of elegance and the confidence to embrace who she is.

Elegance can definitely be developed. Elegance grows with age and your willingness to accept yourself for who you are and not be the person society pressures you to be.

Being confident of yourself and secure in your identity, you will exude elegance” like an icon.

“Icons are timeless,” she continues, “they stand the test of time. Kate Winslet is a gorgeous icon. She’s so good at what she does, she has an amazing, loving family and she seems genuinely a wonderful person all round. I also love how she embraces ageing gracefully.”

Rebecca’s simple style also belies her passion for fashion. She is curious about the aesthetics and construction aspects of fashion. “Creatively, fashion can tell a story too — your mood, your personality, your influences, your heart.

I love how you can express yourself in so many different ways through fashion. But I believe true fashion is not going along with trends. It’s knowing the trends but knowing your body and yourself even better to know what suits or doesn’t suit you.

This feature is produced in collaboration with Longines. Full production and artwork by Curatedition, all rights reserved.

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Longines: Bright And Bold

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