Photo: Her World
It’s hard to tell from these pictures, or by watching her on TV – but Jasmine Sim is an introvert. And she’s the first to admit she’s not great at small talk. “I’m okay with talking to people one-on-one. It’s just that I don’t work as well in a big group. If I’m in a big group, I’ll just let other people talk,” she says, adding that she’s learnt to adapt by bringing a friend with her when she goes to events.
But you could say adapting is Jasmine’s thing. After all, the 24-year-old model – who studied business at the Singapore Management University – never planned on becoming an actress. Yet in the past year, she’s somehow found herself starring in TV dramas alongside some of local TV’s biggest names. Think Xu Bin, Jayley Woo, Rayson Tan, and of course Fann Wong and Christopher Lee. This month, she’ll take on her biggest role yet – in the highly-anticipated series Doppleganger – where she plays the daughter of the superstar couple. It’s the first time Fann and Chris are acting together in a local drama in 14 years.
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1. Getting recognised can be a pain
Our words, not hers. After all, it’s something Jasmine’s still getting used to – even in the most unexpected scenarios. “I guess that’s one thing that comes with fame – people will start recognising you, but it doesn’t really hit you until you experience it. For example, I ordered food over to my place and the delivery guy was like, “Oh, you are on the (TV) show right?” I had just woken up, so I was like, ‘Oh okay, hi’. And because I still go out to drink, I have to watch my behaviour. You don’t want to be drunk, and then people catch you,” she says. “Sometimes I want my own space, but I don’t want to be rude. Just be nice because people are also supporting you – so I politely say hi and if they want a photo, I’ll take one with them. Then we get back to our own business.”
2. You need your squad for perspective
Because actors, like us, have bad days too. Like the time Jasmine was told on set and in front of everyone, that she was “the worst”. Fortunately, she has her family and a close group of friends to fall back on. “It gets stressful, especially when you work with big stars. There were a few days I was terrible on set, and I was so down. Sometimes I try to get over it myself – but when I can’t, I just ask them out for a drink, and it gets better,” she says. “These people are real, they comfort me and remind me not to dwell, yet they also tell me what I can work on, and stuff like that. It’s good for me, and I like that I have friends like that.”
3. Celebs aren’t out to crush the competition
On the flipside, they’re patient and try to nurture the newcomers. Jasmine’s talking about superstar actors Christopher Lee and Xu Bin, both of whom co-star with her on Doppleganger. Christopher, she adds, is “super helpful”, and tries to mentor her whenever they have scenes together. “When we run through a scene, he will tell me where I can change my act, and explain why that might be better,” she says. Xu Bin, who plays her brother on the show, also tried to make her feel at ease. “The first day on set, he told me, ‘I know you’re new and you might be scared. But because we are siblings in the show and our relationship is very close, feel free to touch my arms and shoulders. I give you permission now.’”, she recalls. “It’s like he broke down a barrier and I felt so much more comfortable. That was really good.”
4. An actor’s life isn’t that glamourous…
“When you’re filming, the days are really long – like 14-hour days. When I do get a day off, I just want to sleep. I don’t even go out for dinner, I just order in,” Jasmine says, adding that she’s disciplined about preparing well and getting rest if she’s got a shoot the next day. That sometimes means sacrificing time with family and close friends. “I’ve never partied before a day of work.”
5. …And isn’t always great for your love life
Jasmine says her most recent relationship (which lasted about a year) ended because she wanted to focus on work and wasn’t ready to settle down. She’s open to dating though, as long as the person understands her punishing schedule. “The person needs to understand that the time I have is limited, and the amount of energy I have is also limited. Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Know that this is what you’re up for.”
6. You’ll have to deal with some amount of cray
It comes with the territory – especially with the fans. “Someone on Instagram told me, ‘I cannot marry you, but I’ll care for you forever’”, recalls Jasmine. “I was just like Okayyy.” Thankfully, comments like those are few and far between. Most of the time, Jasmine’s Insta inbox gets filled with fans asking her regular stuff, like where to buy the clothes she’s wearing.
7. It’s tough not to get caught up in the social media numbers game
“There are some posts which get more likes, and some posts which don’t. And I’m like, ‘Should I start posting more things like that?’”, Jasmine says. But she doesn’t dwell too much on it – preferring to post content that she really likes and believes in. Plus, trying to analyse what appeals to an audience is “very tiring”, so she tries to stay authentic. “At the end of the day, if people are interested, they will follow you. I think it gets boring when everyone has the ‘perfect’ feed.”
8. It matters that people like you
Don’t become a diva. Because it means no one will want to work with you. That’s the constant reminder Jasmine gets from her agent. “The industry is so small, people will talk,” she says. “If everyone enjoys working with you and wants to help you, it’s just a better starting point. When everyone doesn’t like you, they do the job, but they just do the bare minimum.”
Photography ELVINA FARKAS/ANUE MANAGEMENT
Styling BRYAN GOH
Hair JIMMY YAP/KENARIS SALON
Assisted by AMANDA SIM
Makeup MELISSA YEO/FAC3INC, USING COSME DECORTE
Model JASMINE/NOW MODELS
This story was originally published in the March 2018 issue of Her World.