SINGAPORE - Mediacorp star Rebecca Lim aims to be among the top three names that come to mind when overseas productions are looking for a Singaporean actress to star.
The 34-year-old says: "It's not really like I want to go to Hollywood. It's more like I want to be at the top of my game all the time so that when the opportunity arises, I'll be ready."
Without giving more details, she reveals that she has auditioned for "strong Asian women" roles in American productions.
Lim was speaking to The Straits Times on the sidelines of filming for new Mediacorp English drama series This Land Is Mine, which also stars Pierre Png and Sora Ma.
Lim and Png are among seven Mediacorp artistes who will be represented by overseas agencies, the broadcaster announced earlier this year.
For Lim, who joined Mediacorp more than a decade ago, starring in overseas productions pushes her out of her comfort zone and keeps her humble.
The actress, who was in both seasons of cross-border crime drama series The Bridge (2018, 2020), which was produced by HBO Asia and Viu, says: "You realise the world is huge and, at the end of the day, talent is really what's important.
"It really adjusted my mentality to just focus on the craft."
Png, 47, who played a supporting role in Crazy Rich Asians (2018), does not mind playing a South-east Asian character in another Hollywood film and hopes to showcase Singaporeans on the global stage. He says he is also keen to play a double agent or a spy.
In This Land Is Mine, produced by Lee Thean-jeen, Lim and Png play cousins drawn into the chaotic world of post-war Singapore in the 1940s, a time of conflicting loyalties and high unemployment.
The series, which will premiere on Aug 10, is adapted from The Devil's Circle, a novel by Walter Woon.
The post-war period was when Singapore had much rebuilding to do, following the Japanese surrender and the return of the British.
Png draws parallels between that period and the current pandemic. The difference now is that Singapore is dealing with an invisible enemy, he says.
"It's pretty much history repeating itself - we are all getting used to the new norm," he says, adding that people are "trying to pick up the pieces and making do with whatever has been thrown at us and stay united as a country".
Lim, who plays a law firm clerk in the new series, gets to flex her fighting chops again, as she did in action-based drama serials such as The Good Fight (2019) and C.L.I.F. 5 (2019).
But this does not mean she is accustomed to fight scenes.
"There were actually more action scenes in The Bridge than this, but perhaps because of the circuit breaker, I was not as fit," she says with a laugh. "It was a bit challenging at the start."
However, she enjoys doing action scenes as she gets to experience something different. "On a day-to-day basis, I wouldn't do anything too high intensity like that. It's only when I'm working that I get to do things I don't normally do."
Starring alongside Lim is Ma, 37, who is heavily involved in fight scenes too. She plays a nightclub manager who is an activist in disguise.
One challenge she faces, she says, is fighting in a cheongsam.
But the actress, who goes for stunt training by actor and martial artist Sunny Pang for her personal fitness, enjoys filming such scenes despite the bruises and muscle aches.
"Other than the sets, which are very beautiful, the story is very different from a normal series - and that is something we should all look forward to," she says.
• This Land Is Mine premieres on Aug 10 at 9.30pm on Channel 5 and meWatch.