What ex-BFFs and Best Actor winners Desmond Tan and Rebecca Lim have to say to each other

Eating raw fish and unleashing her inner comedian (again) have paid off well for the Best Actor and Best Actress recipients


His infamous raw fish-chomping antics in When Duty Calls may have left Desmond Tan with an indefinite distaste for his once-beloved sashimi, but it also very likely played a part in nabbing him the coveted Best Actor gong at last night’s Star Awards.

“It was worth it,” the 31-year-old, who also successfully got into the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes, said with a grin during his post-show interview with Toggle. “I never thought that [the fish-eating scene] would be such a memorable one for audiences and perhaps also for some of the judges.”

He certainly didn’t expect to have his very first acting nomination blossom into a win so soon either. “I never imagined [I would win] so I never prepared a proper acceptance speech,” he admitted, adding that his slightly bumbling speech made people ask him if he was drunk. “I didn’t drink any alcohol – I was just dumbfounded! But hopefully next time, I will have the chance to be better-prepared. (laughs)”

Desmond’s victory is just another [very bright] highlight in what has been a stellar two years for him: in 2017, he landed his first movie lead role alongside Taiwanese beauty Amber An in The Big Day (formerly A Simple Wedding), and last month, he was announced as one of the stars of Singapore-Hong Kong production Bluetick. And let’s not forget his recent onscreen debut as a serial killer in Channel 5’s Code of Law.

“2017 and 2018 have been very fruitful as I got to play a good variety of characters for both Channel 8 and beyond,” he mused. “This award is a very big form of encouragement and many people have been telling me that I’ve improved a lot as well, but it’s also a new beginning for me and I still have a long way to go.”

So, does this mean we’ll get to see Desmond explore more of his favourite method acting, er, methods for future projects? “Of course! It enables me to understand a character better and live inside their world, plus it has brought me good results, so I will continue with it.”

We can’t wait to see what crazy – but also awesome and potentially award-winning – trick he pulls next.

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(Continued on next page: What does Best Actress Rebecca Lim have to say to Desmond Tan?)

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Five and a half months of all work and no play (and no rest either) have paid off spectacularly for Rebecca Lim, who added a second Best Actress trophy to her ever-growing collection last night. The 31-year-old is also the proud owner of a Best Supporting Actress crown and, as of last night, seven Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes prizes.

“Filming The Lead was very, very, very difficult, and at that time, a lot of things were going on in my personal life at home, so to play a perpetually happy and ‘high’ character made it even harder,” she said.

Despite all she went through for the role, Becks still didn’t harbour any high hopes of triumphing last night. “I was definitely very overwhelmed because I honestly didn’t expect to win this year,” she shared. “I thought it would be one of the actresses from Mightiest Mother-in-Law because they had so much hype! Even Zoe Tay and I agreed that neither of us stood a chance, so when they called my name, I was shocked.”

Since both of Rebecca’s Best Actress wins have come from more comical portrayals (she won in 2015 for Yes We Can!), we asked her if she thinks she’s really a comedian at heart. Chuckling, she modestly replied, “I think the audience enjoys seeing characters that are very different from my real-life persona, and maybe it just so happens that my clips are the only ones that are more light-hearted, so it’s a breath of fresh air.”

She added, “Sitcoms are actually a big challenge for me because I’m not someone who’s naturally funny – no one laughs at my jokes.”

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This year’s Best Actor and Best Actress pairing is a unique (for lack of a better word) one as Desmond and Rebecca were once one of local showbiz’s best-known BFFs, but these days, they – as Lee Teng tactfully put it during the Post-Show Party – haven’t seemed to be in contact that often.

When asked to share a few words to one another, Desmond said, “I know it hasn’t been easy for you, and I hope we have the chance to work together one day.” As for Rebecca, she congratulated Desmond and expressed her happiness that his hard work has paid off.

Although their encounter seemed like a rather stiff and awkward one, Rebecca reassured us later that, “Actually, it was okay, I mean, I’m really happy for him, he was a hot favourite.”

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Visit the Star Awards 2018 official website for more stories and videos.

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Paige Chua: My performance in Mightiest Mother-in-Law wasn’t perfect​​​​​​​
Chantalle Ng’s mum Lin Meijiao prepped her for losing​​​​​​​
Kym Ng ends 20-year wait to be Top 10 grad

WATCH Toggle Interviews:
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Sexiest outfits spotted at Star Awards 2018
Chen Shu Cheng contemplates the possibility of bagging two awards
Kym Ng: "I almost fainted when I heard my name!"
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