At only 25, Alex Lim Tse-Wei has managed to become one of Singapore’s few male models with international agents and bookings; he’s an emerging fashion photographer, a budding fashion designer, and now, he’s just featured in his first feature film, The Lion Men. Alex is a bit of a Singaporean Renaissance man.

From model to actor we chat with Alex Lim DECOR MODEL MAIN

With only a few years of modeling under his belt, Alex has shot covers and features for international magazines like Paper Cut and Rough Italia; campaigns for brands like Trussardi and worked with top Singapore publications like Esquire and Mens Folio, as well walked the runway at Singapore’s Men’s Fashion Week.

From model to actor we chat with Alex Lim DECOR MODEL 1

Now the lanky young man ‒ Alex is 187cm tall ‒ is taking on another creative challenge as a supporting actor in Singapore’s latest homegrown movie, The Lion Men.

The Lion Men (狮神决战) is the new film from Ah Boys To Men director Jack Neo. It stars the full list of emerging Singapore actors ‒ many discovered by Neo for his two army buddy films ‒ that are being feted as the “next big things” of Singapore cinema. Starring Wang Wei Liang, Tosh Zhang, Noah Yap, Charlie Goh, and Maxi Lim plus; the plot of The Lion Men revolves around three lion dance groups and their interactions.

The story goes like this … “Shi Shen (Tosh Zhang) is the top performer in the Tiger Crane Lion Dance Association, but feels restricted by Master Heʼs (Chen Tianwen) traditional mindset. He decides to take a group of disciples and form his own lion dance troupe, which fuses hip-hop dancing with lion dance movements. A major Lion Dance Competition is coming up and Mikey (Wang Weiliang) is groomed to be Shi Shen’s successor. However, he has a huge fear of heights! The situation worsens when both Mikey and Shi Shen fall for the Tiger Crane master’s daughter (Eva Cheng).”

So, lion dances, hot guys, hip-hop dancing, coming-of-age and a love triangle; what more could you want for a Chinese New Year film? The Lion Men is released in Singapore on January 30, 2014.

Alongside the stars are 23 newly discovered “faces”, including Alex. As one of the supporting cast members, Alex plays the character of Wu Ye Ying (午夜鹰) or Midnight Hawk, part of the “baddie” team, the Black Hawks (黑鹰) troop.

From model to actor we chat with Alex Lim DECOR LION MENAlex (above centre) in a scene from The Lion Men; yep, he’s the tall one in the middle. Image: The Lion Men

Alex says his character is the “big brother” of the troop; cool but with a big ego who thinks he and his team are the best. “When it comes to crunch time, he will still be hesitant about it; unlike his cool, don’t care persona, he still likes to settle stuff with his fists.”

When it comes to swapping from modeling to acting, Alex says the move was harder than he thought it would be. The Communication graduate of University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, is also a budding fashion photographer after all, so you could say still images are his “thing”.

But with models now moving into video campaigns more often, Alex featured in the Trussardi SS2013 campaign for Rough Italia, as well as in its Model Diaries, he realised that acting would be his next logical career step.

From model to actor we chat with Alex Lim DECOR MODEL BODY

“It’s a whole new level of ball game, and really, it’s not as easy as it seems, especially when one has to cope with [things like] sudden changes in one’s lines while on set,” explains Alex. “Sometimes the pressure and expectations just hits you. The hardest part about it is that, at times, you think you have it in the bag but in reality, you didn’t act that well.

“In modeling, one can feel [the concept] and sink into the moment when you blend with the music; while in acting, you have to create the moment. Creating and blending, that’s the main difference I would say.”

Alex says that modeling, for him, is much easier as the emotions are “emitted through your eyes and body gestures, while acting requires you to ‘speak’ your emotion as well”.

“However, the best part about acting is that one gets to learn and be trained in a whole new set of skills catered for that particular movie … and for this movie, it was lion dancing and martial arts,” says Alex.

Whatever comes next, whether it’s more international modeling assignments, more photo shoots, another film or even the launching of his own streetwear label; you can be sure that we’ll be seeing more of this new-age Renaissance man.

WATCH A BEHIND-THE-SCENES CLIP FROM THE LION MEN (SEE IF YOU CAN SPOT ALEX):

The Lion Men will be showing in Singapore cinemas from January 30, 2014. You can check out Alex’s photography work & to book him as a photographer, go to cargocollective.com/dykx; follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/limtseweialex and on Instagram at @dykx. To book Alex as a model, contact Looque at www.looque.com.sg/contact.