The grossest thing Rebecca Lim did while filming ‘C.L.I.F. 5’ wasn’t throwing up every day
By now, you would have heard about Rebecca Lim’s intense reaction to choppy waters while filming Channel 8’s C.L.I.F. 5, where she plays the team leader of a coast guard patrol team. It was so bad that even “a rare day out at sea without throwing up” was worthy of its own victory post on Instagram.
During our chat with the 32-year-old actress at the drama’s press conference on Sep 13, she revealed that she has been prone to seasickness and motion sickness since childhood. “It’s something I’ve been trying to hide my whole life, but now it’s out in the open,” she said with a sheepish grin.
Becks was apparently so serious about keeping her condition to herself in the early stages of the shoot that she would “swallow it back” (yes, we’re talking about her vomit) just so she could look like everything was fine (when it clearly wasn’t).
“I feared being a liability and having extra attention on myself; just because I get seasick easily doesn’t mean I deserve special privilege or anything,” she explained. “But after a while, I decided not to be so hard on myself and would just puke whenever I had to puke, which felt so much better!”
As a result of the frequent emptying of her stomach, Rebecca estimates that she lost about 2 to 3 kg. “But I put it back on because my pants are a little tight!” she chuckled, tugging at the waistband of her uniform trousers. “Other than that, there were no other health problems.”
(Continued on next slide: What’s something Rebecca hopes to never do again?)
What’s something Rebecca hopes to never do again?
Having gone through an ordeal like that, we honestly expected Rebecca to report that she now has a permanent fear of boat rides and that she never, ever wants to tackle a role like this ever again.
It’s actually the complete opposite. “I think I’m not so afraid of going out to sea, and if there’s a sixth season, at least I’d know how to deal with it - that is, if they still want to hire me for a sixth season for being such a liability! (Laughs)”
In fact, turning into a human Merlion fountain almost daily isn’t even the most disgusting thing she had to endure to set, Rebecca claimed. When we asked what was an experience she hopes she won’t have to repeat again, she took some time to ponder before her personal assistant reminded her about the time she had to fall into a pond.
“Oh yes! Oh my gosh!” Rebecca exclaimed, a vile memory appearing to come back to haunt her. “In one of the earlier episodes, Weber [Yang] and I bump into each other and fall into a moss-filled fish pond. It was green. It was so green, you couldn’t even see the bottom of the pond, and it was just… there are no words to describe it.”
The good news is they only needed one take. The bad news? “We had to stay in the pond for at least half an hour to film different angles,” she said. “I tried to make jokes in an attempt to forget I was in there, but there were a lot of slimy things at the bottom and I don’t know what they were - and I don’t want to find out!”
“So yes,” she continued. “Hopefully that is one thing I never have to do again. It was so gross.”
Read on as we speak to Rebecca’s co-stars about their own experiences while filming ‘C.L.I.F. 5’!
Pierre Png struggled with sweating, not seasickness
“Rebecca would kick me and spit in my drink if she heard this,” Pierre said with a grin. He was referring to the fact that he has “never been seasick”, a trait that most of the other actors - especially Becks, of course - could not claim to possess. Lucky guy.
Instead, the 45-year-old actor struggled with other things, like his “difficulty in regulating [his] body temperature” (resulting in copious amounts of sweating, which affected his gun-handling technique) and his lines.
“Language has always been a problem,” sighed Pierre, who is famously more fluent in English than Mandarin. “Having to conduct investigations, give orders, and report back in Mandarin… those were the challenges of the role.”
He Ying Ying faced her crippling fear of water
The 24-year-old starlet had a moment that was “both memorable and embarrassing” while filming a scene where she had to climb seven storeys while decked out in full police gear.
“Halfway up, I just couldn’t do it because it was too hot and I felt like I was going to faint,” she recalled. “So I stopped, and immediately after that, I puked. A medic quickly came to assess my condition, and they brought me an isotonic drink. So that was both memorable and embarrassing. (Laughs)”
Also memorable, but no laughing matter, was a scene where Ying Ying’s character had to jump 4 m into a pool that was 10 m deep. Although a stunt double performed the actual leap, Ying Ying had to be the one being filmed hitting the water. No problem, right? Well…
“I’m fine with heights, but I’m very bad with water,” she said, explaining that her phobia stems from a swimming instructor holding her head underwater when she was younger (that’s seriously messed up). “But since I thought they had already accommodated me enough by getting someone else to jump into the water, I die die also had to do my part! (Laughs)”
And so the plucky actress went for it, and despite “needing more takes than necessary” to “cover for [her] incompetence”, she managed. Good job. And swimming instructors, don’t be like that.
Shane Pow learned to not be lazy
The next time Shane takes on a physically demanding role like the one in C.L.I.F. 5, he’ll remember to do something as basic as stretching.
The 28-year-old actor certainly learned that the hard way. “I pulled my hamstring during a few scenes and the reason is, I didn’t stretch properly,” he admitted. “That couldn’t been easily avoided, but I didn’t do it because I was lazy, and it hindered me for the entire duration of filming, so that’s something I never want to repeat again.”
Lesson learnt: no matter how short or easy a scene involving action seems, always stretch.
Note: There are spoilers in the next slide.
Spoiler alert: Joel Choo talks about his character’s death
Things don’t end well for Joel’s character, who perishes after a mission gone horribly wrong. “Basically, we had to infiltrate an enemy’s boat, and in order to save my team members from a bomb, I sacrificed myself and died,” he told us.
An elaborate military funeral was held in honour of his courage, but the 25-year-old actor was not personally present for the filming of that scene. He did, however, get to lie on a slab in a morgue, which he called “a unique experience”.
Playing dead was certainly much easier than overcoming seasickness. Although he never actually threw up, “It was just very uncomfortable, and I hope to never have to go through that again. That was quite terrible.”
The full main cast of 'C.L.I.F. 5' at the press conference