Rebecca Lim’s bleeping frustrations on the set of ‘Eat Already? 4’

“I think that was the first time anybody ever saw me get angry on set” – what could have set the mild-tempered actress off?

Rebecca Lim’s bleeping frustrations on the set of ‘Eat Already? 4’
Rebecca Lim’s bleeping frustrations on the set of ‘Eat Already? 4’
02 Feb 2018

Rebecca Lim’s bleeping frustrations on the set of ‘Eat Already? 4’

Photos: Tammi Tan

Rebecca Lim has been a very, very busy woman lately, which explains why we’ve been seeing her everywhere and so often (nope, it isn’t just your imagination). The actress had and still has a ton of things on her plate, from Channel 5’s Missing to Channel 8’s Blessings 2, and her first dialect drama Eat Already? 4 airs next week.

Despite her insane schedule, the 31-year-old has no plans to embark on a long break à la Carrie Wong, who recently announced that she is going on a two-month sabbatical. In fact, diligent Becks appreciates her workload, saying that “it took a while for [her] to get so busy” and now’s the time for her to hustle before she has a well-deserved rest (which may not happen any time soon).

Her dedication to her craft was apparent in the anecdotes she shared with us in our interview (which was occasionally interrupted by excited fans clamouring for her attention or autograph from behind a barricade) at the public media launch for Eat Already? 4 yesterday. To prepare for her character, single mother Swee Hoon, Rebecca had to learn Hokkien in a very short time.

“All the things they said on stage [about my Hokkien] are true,” said Rebecca sheepishly, referring to the good-natured jabs by her more fluent co-stars during the cast’s sharing session. She went on to rate her own Hokkien a measly 0.5 out of 10, quipping that it’s still an improvement from her previous score of 0 before filming commenced.

“It was like acting in another language and there was a lot of memorisation,” she elaborated. “Mandarin only has four tones but Hokkien has eight, so it was really difficult to get the right one, plus I had to learn all the different terms and formal lingo and how to use them properly.”

Rebecca’s language crash course included having the show’s producer send her recordings of parts of the script in Hokkien, and then listening to them over and over again whenever she had time. She also got her good friend Ian Fang – who was in Eat Already? 2 and speaks Hokkien, Cantonese and Shanghainese – as well as her grandfather to help her out a bit, but lessons from the latter backfired as his Penang dialect was different from what was required for Eat Already? 4 (awww, but it’s so sweet that he tried, right?).

Continued on next slide: What (or who) made Rebecca mad on set?

Rebecca waves to fans in the crowd
Rebecca waves to fans in the crowd
02 Feb 2018

Rebecca waves to fans in the crowd

While things were generally quite smooth-sailing during the shoot, there was one particular scene that left even mild-mannered Rebecca…swearing? “I think that was the first time anybody ever saw me get angry on set,” she reported. Yikes. What went wrong?

Apparently, the person Rebecca was losing her patience with was none other than herself. “It was a very emotional scene and the script consisted of a whole big chunk of text, which I kept getting stuck on and had to do again and again,” she recalled. “I got very upset with myself because I didn’t want to slow down the entire process, and I think I scolded a vulgarity.”

Needless to say, the unexpected outburst from the usually sweet – and certainly not foul-mouthed – actress shocked everyone, but they carried on with their work, and when the scene finally wrapped, Rebecca was “back to normal” again. “[I was tough on myself] because I set very high standards,” she explained. “I didn’t want to use being young and not being fluent in the language as an excuse to not give my best.”

Speaking of the best, we took the chance to congratulate Rebecca on her Star Awards Best Actress nod, which she gushed that she’s “very happy” about. “I think this year’s competition is really tough and it’s a huge blessing to be one of the five nominees,” she said.

She went on to say that she’s glad it’s her part in The Lead that’s being recognised, not just because it was “a very intensive role” (she only took four or five days of leave during the six-month shoot), but because it was filmed during “a difficult time” due to family issues.

However, she won’t be worrying too much about her chances of actually bringing home another trophy. “I don’t have any high expectations for winning, I’ll just keep calm about it,” she declared. “I’ll just worry about what to wear! (laughs)”

Continued on next slide: Elvin Ng “felt like a fish back in water”

Elvin Ng “felt like a fish back in water”
Elvin Ng “felt like a fish back in water”
02 Feb 2018

Elvin Ng “felt like a fish back in water”

Despite his initial fears about his Hokkien-speaking abilities – which, like Rebecca, were pretty much non-existent at first – getting rusty since his involvement in the very first instalment of the popular franchise, Elvin was delighted to discover that he was a lot more fluent upon his return to the Eat Already? family and could get by mostly on his own.

“When they first told me I was going to play an ah beng and speak Hokkien for Eat Already?, my face turned green at the meeting and I was very stressed out,” he told us. “But this time, I felt like a fish back in water!” (He still modestly rated his skills a 5.5 out of 10, though.)

Delivering his lines as Ah Bee was especially smooth-sailing and NG-free when it came to telling someone off (even Rebecca remarked that she thinks Elvin enjoys reprimanding people in Hokkien). “It’s probably because I’m such a nice guy in real life, so when I get the chance to scold, I let it all out,” he joked.

Since he no longer struggled with the language, the 37-year-old actor shared that his biggest challenge for Eat Already? 4 was having to sometimes switch between his character’s three phases – from a hardworking farmer to an arrogant gambler to a repentant, more mature man – in a single day of filming. “It’s not just their looks, but also their mannerisms, that differ from one another,” he said.

Elvin may undergo an even more drastic change in appearance for his next project, a WaWa Pictures production that’s based on the classic Journey to the West folktale. “I’ll be playing Tang Sanzang in the prequel,” he said with a grin. (A little Chinese lit 101: the White Bone Demon is constantly trying to make a snack out of the revered monk as legend says that consuming his flesh can make one immortal.)

While Elvin’s storyline takes place in ancient times, he is unsure if he will get to don historical garb, or if he actually needs to shave his head bald for the role. In any case, he is excited to be working with WaWa again after Let It Go and Who Killed The Lead, and will spend two weeks filming in China.

Click through for more pictures from the Eat Already? 4 media launch!

A big group photo with the cast, crew and Mr Chee Hong Tat
A big group photo with the cast, crew and Mr Chee Hong Tat
02 Feb 2018

A big group photo with the cast, crew and Mr Chee Hong Tat

Everyone is all smiles during the yusheng
Everyone is all smiles during the yusheng
02 Feb 2018

Everyone is all smiles during the yusheng

Huat ah!
Huat ah!
02 Feb 2018

Huat ah!

Since Chinese New Year is just around the corner, yusheng (or Prosperity Toss) is in order.

Chen Shu Cheng strikes a pose during the yusheng
Chen Shu Cheng strikes a pose during the yusheng
02 Feb 2018

Chen Shu Cheng strikes a pose during the yusheng

Young Huang Kai En plays Oliver, Rebecca's son in 'Eat Already? 4'
Young Huang Kai En plays Oliver, Rebecca's son in 'Eat Already? 4'
02 Feb 2018

Young Huang Kai En plays Oliver, Rebecca's son in 'Eat Already? 4'

Look who showed up!
Look who showed up!
02 Feb 2018

Look who showed up!

Mediacorp's Chinese New Year mascots for 2018, Agogo and Ameimei, made a special appearance at the event.

The cast played games with two lucky audience members
The cast played games with two lucky audience members
02 Feb 2018

The cast played games with two lucky audience members

The cast takes a pic with two lucky audience members
The cast takes a pic with two lucky audience members
02 Feb 2018

The cast takes a pic with two lucky audience members

Lin Ruping and Zhu Hou Ren show off their ballroom dancing skills
Lin Ruping and Zhu Hou Ren show off their ballroom dancing skills
02 Feb 2018

Lin Ruping and Zhu Hou Ren show off their ballroom dancing skills

Lin Ruping,  speaks at the media launch
Lin Ruping, speaks at the media launch
02 Feb 2018

Lin Ruping, speaks at the media launch

Singer Serene Koong (who sings the theme song) and Zen Chong share a laugh
Singer Serene Koong (who sings the theme song) and Zen Chong share a laugh
02 Feb 2018

Singer Serene Koong (who sings the theme song) and Zen Chong share a laugh

Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Health and Communications & Information
Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Health and Communications & Information
02 Feb 2018

Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Health and Communications & Information

Eat Already? 4 debuts on February 9 and airs every Friday at 12 noon.
Catch up on the firstsecond and third seasons of Eat Already? on Toggle.

Related:
Rebecca Lim, Sheila Sim get into reel-life catfight over Elvin Ng

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