Beyoncé has her Sasha Fierce. Mariah Carey goes by Mimi too. As for Rebecca Lim… well, she’s also Cheryl Chiltern, her sexy porn star alter ego.
Okay, don’t freak out just yet. The future queen of TV and Singapore’s most-loved girl-next-door has not embarked on a second career in the adult film industry. We had asked the actress to come up with her own porn star moniker by adding the name of her first pet with the street she grew up on. Which was how Becks arrived at the very, how shall we put this, commercially-appealing ‘Cheryl Chiltern’.
And no one is feeling the name more than Becks herself. “Oooh…” she coos. “It sounds like a legit porn star’s name! Hi, everyone, I’m Cheryl Chiltern (laughs).”
We guess Cheryl, we mean, Rebecca, is in a fun, uninhibited mood today. We’re now in the 8 Days studio, along with a 10 person-strong crew, watching Becks pose in an itsy bitsy bikini. While most people - if they ever found themselves in Becks’ situation - would shrivel into a ball of body image insecurities, the actress takes it all in her leggy stride. “I found my Star Awards outfit!!” she squeals as she peels off her bathrobe. “Would 8 Days give me an A+?” It’s a bummer she didn’t keep to her word. ’Cos if she had, she would have brought sexy back to the otherwise chaste fashion choices on Road to the Star Awards Show 1 night.
For many, sexy is not the first, or second, or even fifth adjective they would use to describe Rebecca. Stunning, sure. Sweet, but of course. Sublime, anytime. She's aware of this too. “I would say I’m more womanly now but [being sexy] is not something I associate with myself either,” she says when told of the shoot’s provocative theme.
“I only see myself as ‘sexy’ in a photoshoot after Photoshop,” she adds. “Like yeah, I kinda can be sexy… (laughs). But if it’s just like [how I am right] now... No, not really.”
We beg to differ.
For starters, Rebecca, who has just finished filming her new Ch 8 drama, The Lead, has helped make gold sexy again. We're sure everyone has seen how she smoulders from those Goldheart ads at bus stops. And to think we thought waiting for the bus couldn't get any hotter.
The brand ambassador had recently designed a series of gold pendants for the brand, where proceeds from the sale of said trinkets would benefit Star Shelter, a centre that provides refuge to women and kids who are victims of abuse, a cause close to Rebecca’s heart. The pendants, each worth $1,288, were snapped up faster than the seafood at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Not to take anything away from how charitable Singaporeans are, but we're sure it has something to do with how gold Becks makes everyone feel. Funny thing though; she didn't keep any of the bling she designed for herself, which is why, in these photos, we can only show you the symbols of Becks' do-gooding but not her artistic talent. Becks is wearing pendants from the same collection but featuring other designs.
The 30-year-old now exudes a confidence that’s undeniably hawt. We can’t quite place our finger on it. But we feel it when she gives us a knowing smile after we throw her a particularly salty question. “Now that you guys are online, all types of things can ask already ah?” she says with a smirk. Gone is that nervous, lily-livered waif posing apprehensively on a beach in Krabi for our Swimsuit Issue back in 2006. She tells us now that a woman is sexiest when she’s “not afraid to make a fool of herself, like when she laughs with her mouth wide open or when she does weird expressions.” Which is basically what she does during our interview (see video below).
But as much as Becks is comfortable in her own skin now, she still has certain… reservations when it comes to baring it all onscreen. “I would if it’s shot beautifully,” she says to the delight of chee ko directors and voyeurs everywhere. But don’t get your hopes, um, up yet. “Then I think of my family seeing [me naked onscreen]… I’d rather stay out of trouble. Having your parents see you naked... No, no, no... That’s weird.”
Interestingly, Becks’ big break came in the comely form of a salacious sex worker — man-eating prostitute, Susie Woon, from Fighting Spiders (2009). “The very first scene I shot for the show, the director gave me a popsicle — a red bean-flavoured potong ice cream, to be exact,” she says. “He told me to put the whole thing in my mouth and then take it out. At that time I didn’t know what it meant so I just did it. And he kept telling me to do it with a sexy expression ’cos I play a prostitute, right? And I didn’t want to disappoint so I put on my sexiest face (laughs). I only found out years later, like pretty recently in fact, what that scene was about. It was a ‘what-the’ moment for me (laughs). The director had also given me directions like, “Look at him like you’ve just had sex with him”. And I was like, ‘Hmm, how?’ ’Cos I had not experienced it before. But I had to anyway and it was awkward.”
Which brings us to where we are today. Eight years on and having accumulated (we assume) a trove of worldly experiences, does Rebecca think she’ll do better in that scene now? “Yeah,” she laughs. “Hopefully, there’s a part three for me to redeem myself.”
Producers, are you reading this?
We play a game of Complete The Sentence with Becks.
Men with big feet have… “Big shoes? (laughs)”
Eating too many oysters will make me… “Go to the toilet in the middle of the night.”
Chocolates and champagne are perfect for… “A night where I don’t have work the next day ’cos one flute of champagne and I’m like ‘Wooo… gone! (laughs).”
Baring it all onscreen is to… “Hopefully win more awards (giggles)”
When I’m told to make love to the camera, I… “(Giggles) Try my best? And hope the camera man doesn’t puke.”
To roleplay is to… “Work and earn some money (smiles).”
Want to win a Goldheart MODE Gold 916 Sassy IT bag pendant, similar to the one on Rebecca? Simply share this story on your Facebook, along with an interesting caption and hashtag #8isSexy. Remember to set your account to public. The most creative entry wins this prize worth over $1,000! Contest closes on April 14, 2017. Terms & conditions apply.
PHOTOS: Joel Low
STYLING: Jeremy Tan
HAIR: Vanessa Choo/ HairbyDuo
MAKE-UP: Shaun Lee using NARS