From The Straits Times    |

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Home-grown model-turned-actress Sheila Sim may have found her husband on a dating app, but she is quick to urge caution to anyone else hoping to meet Mr or Ms Right in the same way.

“So many of my friends told me that they are inspired by my story of how I met my other half on a dating app and that they also want to do the same.

“Of course I’m happy that they want to meet new people, but when I hear them tell me this, I feel so stressed. I feel like it’s almost my responsibility to make sure that they are safe,” she tells The Straits Times with a laugh.

“I’m happy that they are finding the courage to go online, but I really want to say that it may not always go well for everyone. Not everyone may be as lucky as me,” adds the 33-year-old.

She tied the knot with bank executive Deon Woo, 37, at Andaz Singapore hotel last month. The couple met on dating app Tinder in 2016 and were engaged just six months into their relationship.


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“I think when you get older, you know what you want and don’t want. I am blessed to have found someone whom I can communicate well with. He’s a very down-to-earth and thoughtful person.”

As much as she would like to go on a honeymoon with him now, the newlyweds have to put it off until September because of her busy work schedule.

Ever since the former model turned to acting full time last year, she has been involved in a number of back-to-back television projects.

She just wrapped filming for modelling drama Vic, which will air on streaming platform Toggle, as well as the Channel 8 dialect series Eat Already? 4, in which she speaks Hokkien.

She will then start production for Channel 8 long-form drama Reach For The Skies, in which she plays a woman who returns to Singapore from the United States after the mysterious death of her brother.

Sim says: “There’s a lot going on in my life, but it’s all good.”


Congratulations on getting married. Were you a bridezilla? 


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No, I was far from that. I was always very relaxed about the wedding planning. It was more important that we both enjoyed the day than emphasise how perfect every little detail had to be.


Now that you’re married, are children on the horizon?

I’ve always wanted to have a big family, even though it’s expensive in Singapore. So, yes, there are plans for kids, but they’ll have to wait until I finish shooting Reach For The Skies.


Do you think having a family will change things for you, work-wise?

Priorities may change, but I won’t stop working. I’ve spoken to my managers about this too and everyone’s very supportive.

Anyway, acting is all about portraying all sorts of life experiences and I’m sure that being a wife and mother will help me in my performance.


Why did you turn to acting full time? 


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Years ago, when I was first offered the chance to act, I was very apprehensive. I didn’t think I would be good at it.

But after I tried it out, I realised that acting has helped me grow in many ways.

I’m always pretending to be a tough girl in front of everyone I know because I don’t want them to worry about me. But acting has allowed me to release some of those pent-up emotions.

So I think it’d be good to see how this will continue to help me grow as a person.


Why did you have to pretend to be so tough all the time?

As a model, you don’t bring emotions to work. You’re supposed to look perfect and beautiful all the time, so I cast all my emotions aside, consciously or unconsciously.

Now that I’ve gone into acting, I can see that it’s okay not to be the tough girl all the time. It’s okay to break down those walls and show layers of emotions.




Your current project, Reach for the Skies, sounds a lot darker than your other long-form sitcom 118 (2014 to 2018). How are you feeling about that?


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That’s true. I’m more of a comedy person and I’m all about good vibes, so this will be a big change for me. I’ll have to learn how to deal with heavier emotions.

For now, I’m okay, but I’ll be filming this for many months, so I’ll see how I take up the challenge of handling these emotions for a long time.


You are known for being low maintainence in terms of your make-up. What is your everyday beauty look?

I usually just go out with under-eye concealer. At the most, I’ll put on some blusher or mascara. It was a conscious decision for me for years to wear as little make-up as possible.

When you’re modelling, you’re wearing heavy make-up all the time and the last thing I want is to have my friends and family not recognise me without it. It would make me feel very insecure.


How would you like to be remembered? 


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As someone who was always fiercely loyal and protective of the people she loved and who was always honest and forthcoming.

This article was first published on The Straits Times