Behind The On-Screen Persona Of Our December 2019 Cover Girl — Jasmine Sim

Actress. Model. Rising star. And, if you’re into blogshops and online shopping, this might be a familiar face you’d have seen, most prominently in Love, Bonito’s past catalogs. Fast forward to present day though, and she’s gracing your television screens instead — yes, she was that girl in the red suit (we loved the suit, by the way!) who brought home the Star Awards 2019 Best Newcomer award, with her refreshing performance in Doppelganger

Point is: Jasmine Sim isn’t a face you’d forget. While her “girl crush” aura and unique facial features — a far cry from the typical feminine but forgettable blogshop model — are the things that first capture our attention, it’s really her laid-back and relatable attitude that keep her in our minds for a longer time.

For someone who moves so naturally in front of the camera, you would not expect her to be an introvert, or to describe herself as someone who is “perpetually nervous” — we relate though. Whatever you’d assume an actress or model to be, she’s not. From the comfy clothes she showed up in, to the way she curled up in her chair during our chat, she seemed nothing like what I had expected her to be.

I know, labelling celebrities as “surprisingly down-to-earth” is pretty cliché but there’s no better way to put it for Jasmine. When asked about her fashion sense, she said, “Very basic. I am a very basic girl” and, “I don’t really go out much these days”. Again, we relate.

Prior to meeting Jasmine, I flipped the Internet to get as much information as I can about her. Every interview or story about her was on her modelling and acting career — even I knew that much before meeting her. I wanted her to talk about something different like, what it’s like being an introvert in showbiz or who she really is behind her work persona. In other words, we’re getting real. Here’s what she has to say.

Photography by Adele Chan, Photographed using the Leica M10-P + Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH lens.
Makeup by Larry Yeo using Burberry Makeup.
Hair by Calvin Gan from Hairloom.
Styling by Jeremy Tan.
WORDS & INTERVIEW BY GERMAINE LEOW.
 

MAKEUP (all BURBERRY):
FACE (WORN THROUGHOUT),
FRESH GLOW FOUNDATION OCHRE NUDE NO. 12, $85
SHEER CONCEALER LIGHT BEIGE NO. 01
CASHMERE CONCEALER PORCELAIN NO. 01, $60
FRESH GLOW COMPACT OCHRE NUDE NO. 12, $85
FRESH GLOW GEL STICK ALMOND NO. 43, $78
EYES,
COMPLETE EYE PALETTE ROSE PINK NO. 10, $85
LIPS,
LIP VELVET CRUSH LIGHT CRIMSON NO. 49, $47
LIQUID LIP VELVET FAWN NO. 05, $46
kisses sheer TEA ROSE NO. 277, $45
NAILS,
NAIL POLISH ENGLISH ROSE NO. 102, $30
wearing:
Sweater dress and earring from gucci

 

HOW IT ALL STARTED

“It started with me watching a lot of America’s Next Top Model. When I entered university, I did a charity runway in school. That was my first gig but it was not a paid gig. I can’t remember what my first was — I can’t remember if it was shooting for Love, Bonito or a commercial for H20. 

I gave myself a little push and joined The New Paper’s New Face so I would say it started from modelling because it is through my modelling agency that my acting agent found me.”

 

WHO SHE IS BENEATH HER ACTING AND MODELLING CAREER

“I see myself as someone who is very “go with the flow” and I would say, free, in a way. I just work with what I have or work with things as they come along and that is how I got into it. Modelling was something that I wanted to do but I didn’t really push for it, it kind of came to me and I just did it. Acting also just came, and I went with the flow.

If I’m not going to be modelling or acting in the future, I think it’s really just going to be a “go with the flow” kind of thing. I feel like I’m someone that can’t really stay put for long because I like to try new things and do different things. That’s why this career is good for me because you are always changing and doing different things — I don’t like to stay in one spot.”

 

ALTERNATIVE CAREER

Actually, I haven’t thought of it before. Hmm, I would think something that is also on-the-go, so I would be able to determine my own schedule. I have thought of learning to do makeup. After one or two years in the industry, I’ve talked to some makeup artists and it is also a very interesting and fun job but the thing is, I don’t think I have their eye in terms of makeup, so maybe I won’t be able to do it unless I have some training or someone to teach me.

Other than that, I have thought of a more “normal’ job like events or something like that. For me, I like things that are more challenging — when you’re given something to create, something that isn’t by the book or very systematic, something that you can put your own thought and creation into, something that gives me the freedom I want while still being ‘work’.”

 

 

BEING AN INTROVERT

“I believe that I am [an introvert]. Based on the quizzes I took, I’m a bit of each but I think I’ve become more outspoken since I’ve joined the industry. Mainly because it’s part of the job, to interact with people, but if given the choice, I would be more closed off. I do enjoy being in a big group with my friends but when I’m thrown into a group of strangers, I’m not the social butterfly. Especially in a big group, I’m usually quite kept to myself — I listen more than I speak. If it’s an interview, one-to-one, or when I’m talking to three or two friends, I can talk and be crazy. 

I don’t know if it has gotten in the way, but I think it would have helped a lot more if I was more extroverted. With acting especially, it’s always very important to have a connection with your co-actor so it helps when you can talk to that person — it helps with the chemistry when you are acting. Being introverted, when people don’t come to me, I don’t go to them and we just talk when we are on set. It would have helped if I was more extroverted to try and get to know a person and create small talk, if necessary, to get things going. Also, for PR events, it always helps to be more extroverted, to talk and create connections, but I am more shy and in my own bubble, and in the beginning, it was very hard to break that and go out there.”

 

 

HER PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT

“The Star Awards 2019 Best Newcomer award, to me, is recognition — I don’t think it’s an achievement. To me, it feels more like “you are on the right track, you are on the right path, just keep doing what you are doing and you should be fine”.

In terms of achievement, it’s more of when I am in a new project and the director tells me, “Oh, I can see that you’ve improved in this project”. I think that is more important and is what I treasure more — that with every single project, people can see that I am getting better and that I’ve been trying to improve myself. So, I think that my biggest achievement is my continuous improvement and that people can see that.”

 

BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN ACTING

“Myself. [laughs] My nerves. A lot of what affects my performance is my nerves. In the beginning, because I’m so new, I didn’t know what I was doing, I was just very scared and jittery on set, so it really affects the performance. You can tell that a person isn’t into their character when they are nervous. To me, nerves is something that I really have to get over. Now, it has gotten better and I’m not as nervous anymore, especially since I know more people on set and the whole environment becomes more friendly and comfortable. I think one thing I need to do now, in my career, is to forget that the camera is there. I think that will really help my performance because a lot of times, my tears just get sucked back knowing the camera is on me but once it’s not on me, the tears can flow out. So, I think that’s one of the biggest things I have to overcome to better my performance.”

 

MAKEUP (all BURBERRY):
fresh glow highlighter white no. 01, $94
COMPLETE EYE PALETTE smokey grey NO. 01, $85
wearing:
dress from maje
BLack boots from maje

 

ON HER DIFFERENT ROLES

“All the roles have similarities but they are also very different. Most of them are budding actresses — which helps, because that is what I am at that time. Most of them are within my age range too, so that helps. I did a show where I had to play a 30 to 40 year old and it was impossible for me to do that age range because I don’t have the capacity or ability to embody an over-30 year old — I don’t have enough experiences to get there. 

Most of them are the more outgoing, bubbly, “have something and chases after that something” kind of girl, but I also have roles recently that are a little bit more introverted. So the last show that aired, a matchmaking-related drama, my character was a little more introverted and kept to herself, unlike most of my other roles that are all very out there. 

One that I thought was a little bit more different was when I was playing a young CEO of a company. The whole energy and vibe is very different as a CEO — she’s more steady, she’s very career-driven.

I mean, you can always find similarities in each character but there are also certain things that make them uniquely them. I think that is something that I try to do too, as an actress, so that my roles don’t all end up the same. I try to find something that sets them apart from everything that I’ve done before, and set them apart from myself.”

 

MAKEUP (all BURBERRY):
kisses lip lacquer nude no. 03, $47
wearing:
blazer from calvin klein

 

HER FAVOURITE ROLE

“I’ve never really thought about this until this director asked me, “Which do you think is your best performance?” I wouldn’t say “role” but I think performance-wise, I do enjoy certain performances in Doppelganger, which is what I won the award for. I think that I’m at a stage where I am still quite fresh so I still need people to help me and in that show, I felt like a lot of the co-actors that I worked with really helped to draw the performance out of me. Even though I might not be at that level yet, they managed to pull things out of me that I couldn’t have done myself. I really enjoyed working on that.”

 

ROLES SHE WOULD LIKE TO TAKE ON

“I would like to try someone who is more complex. I think one thing that would be very challenging to play would be someone with a mental disorder. I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet, but if I am, it will be very interesting to do. It can be very empowering as well, to help represent this group of people.”

 

 

ON HER CHARACTER IN KIN, ELLA SHELLEY

“Because I’ve been working on this character for so long, it’s like a journey with her as well. Sometimes, I find myself defending her, because she is known to be a brat but she is bratty for a reason — she was brought up a certain way and that’s why she is like that. I find myself being more protective and supportive of her.

She lost everything and she’s just very upset. She was stuck in that for the longest time, which I understand, but I was a little bit of like “oh my gosh, you need to snap out of this, you can’t keep playing victim, wallowing in self-pity and not move forward”, but I mean, different people handle things differently like I will be upset too — I will be very, very upset but then you have to snap out of it. Now, because we did a 5-year time jump, she has finally snapped out of it and it’s fun now, to play that — this girl who is starting to be more in charge of her own life and doesn’t pity herself as much anymore.”

 

HER FAVOURITE SHOWS

“Recently, I’ve been watching this Korean drama, One Spring Night and I think dramas like that speak to me, I feel like I enjoy it a lot more because it’s simple and not dramatic. I do like crime drama so I watch a lot of Criminal Minds. I think that is one of the shows I really binge watched — I finished all the seasons in a month. When I’m very tired, I can’t think and when I go home, I just want to relax, so I do enjoy a lot of sitcoms and more lighthearted, just laugh-with-it kind of dramas just to unwind and relax with.”

 

MAKEUP (all BURBERRY):
cheeks and LIPS,
LIP VELVET CRUSH LIGHT CRIMSON NO. 49, $47
wearing:
denim jacket and skirt from moschino

 

MODELLING FOR LOVE, BONITO

“For me, I just get nervous very easily — I’m always perpetually nervous. When I went for the casting, it was my first proper gig and so I was very nervous. I didn’t really know what I was doing, they were just taking casting photos with a phone and they said “ok, let’s do one shoot together” and since then, they’ve been calling me back every week to shoot. 

Because they are a homegrown brand, they started from very small so everyone there’s very close. It didn’t really feel like work — the whole vibe was just very chill and because I didn’t think too much, I wasn’t so nervous — it was really just like having fun.”

 

 

ON GOING BACK TO MODELLING

“I don’t think it’s an ‘ever’ — I think now it’s just an ‘on the side’ thing, I don’t think I will ever go back to it full-time or let it replace acting. Let’s be frank, in the modelling time frame, I am already expiring and also because I’ve never really been a typical, professional kind of model. So, as an actress, it doesn’t really make sense to go back into commercial modelling.”

 

DO YOU GET RECOGNISED MORE AS AN ACTRESS OR MODEL?

“Definitely as an actress. As a model, I don’t think anyone recognised me. Ok, actually yes, some people do recognise me as the face of Love, Bonito, when I was still modelling for them, but that was after I’ve been with them for 5 years, so it’ll be weird if they don’t. I’ve since stopped, so I don’t know if they still see me as that. I think no one really knows models, unless they are a top model and I wasn’t a top model so I don’t think anyone recognised me as a model. I feel like more people recognised me only after I started acting.”

 

MAKEUP (all BURBERRY):
kisses lip lacquer nude no. 03, $47
wearing:
denim jacket from pinko
dress from sandro

 

HER FUTURE PLANS

“Honestly, I don’t really have any plans. I don’t keep long term goals or plans but right now, it’s really just to work on improving every single time. Now that I am stationed in this long-form drama, Kin, one thing that I have to remind myself all the time is to not get too comfortable in it because you can become complacent being in a long-form drama. It is a steady job — for two and a half years I don’t have to think about anything else and just do this.

I think that that is one thing that I don’t want to do, be it in this drama or in the future — to not be too comfortable. I just want to keep pushing myself and not fall into complacency and be like “ok, I’m happy with what I have and I’m happy with just doing this” so, I would be very open to do castings for roles that I know I might not even get or have a very slim chance of getting. I would push myself to go for these castings because that is how I see the career —  it’s more of an opportunity thing. It’s very hard to set goals because it’s up to a lot of people around you to give you the chance to act — I just grab onto whatever chance I can get.”

 

Follow Jasmine Sim on Instagram here.

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