Timothee Yap's a national sprinter, and that may have given him an edge when he took on acting. An edge that makes him look sleek and sharp, and gives him an air of mystery and aloofness. But Yap's not hard to understand: he's driven, he's open, and he does things so that he can leave his mark. Here's four things you should know about athlete/actor/future-lawyer Timothee Yap.
1. He's new to acting
Sports fans would probably recognise him as the national athlete who sprinted against — and lost to — Usain Bolt in the 100m heats at last year’s Rio Olympics. Others may have seen the 22-year-old NUS Law undergrad on 2589 Days Apart, the Toggle serial where he makes his acting debut as a troubled JC student who falls for his counsellor, played by Felicia Chin. (The title refers to the characters’ seven-year age gap.) Shortly after the Olympics, Yap signed a two-year contract with Dasmond Koh’s talent agency NoonTalk Media. Says Yap: "[Dasmond and I] want to inspire people to become athletes, and prove that you can capitalise on a sports career to open doors for other opportunities [like in other arenas like showbiz]."
2. He’s in awe of Felicia Chin.
Outside his NoonTalk peers Aloysius Pang, Xu Bin and Kimberly Chia, Yap counts his 2589 Days Apart co-star as his "first" celebrity friend. "I think she’s one of the kindest and most genuine persons I’ve ever met," says Yap, who got to lock lips with Chin on the show. Was it nerve-wracking for a newbie to kiss a veteran? "I didn’t think much of the kissing scene," he quips. "It was more like a prolonged peck. It was very short and sweet, and we did it in one take."
3. He’s in awe of Usain Bolt, too.
"He became my idol in 2008 when I was in Secondary 2, after I saw him at the Beijing Olympics’ 100m final. Who knew I would race against him eight years later? It was quite surreal and amazing. He’s very down-to-earth and extremely focused. He knew exactly what his mission was and was dead set on achieving it. He’s able to focus and still be this fun-loving party guy. I really respect that he’s able to separate the two personalities so well."
4. Acting takes a backseat for now.
Right now, Yap alternates between school and training for the SEA Games in August. "Until I graduate, I will definitely continue running," says Yap. "I want to see if I can make it to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. After that, I’ll have to start the next phase of my life as a lawyer. I’ll most likely act only when there’s a suitable role or if it’s a role Dasmond thinks I should do for exposure. To be honest, it has never been my dream to be an actor."
2589 Days Apart is on Toggle.sg.