‘I used to see ghosts’: Why actress Emily Lim initially rejected ‘Two Sisters’ role

Actress Emily Lim was reluctant to be involved in any horror films. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Actress Emily Lim was reluctant to be involved in any horror films. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA, April 16 — Emily Lim received a Best Actress nomination at the recent 30th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM 30) for her role in Two Sisters.

But it was a near miss for the actress when she initially turned down the part.

“I rejected the first draft of the script because I used to be able to see things (ghosts) and I didn’t want to be involved in a horror film at all,” Lim told Malay Mail at the film’s press conference last week.

In the James Lee film, Lim plays one-half of the titular two sisters, who reunites with her mentally-ill younger sibling (played by Mei Fen Lim) to uncover a dark secret from their childhood.

“I told James, ‘Don’t get me wrong, I really like you as a director but I hope you understand because I’m so afraid this will come back to me’.”

Lim said she changed her mind after some tweaks were made in the second draft, realising social responsibility took precedence over her paranormal experiences which began when she was nine.

“I always get these sightings whenever I’m stressed out or tired and it doesn’t help that actresses are very imaginative,” she said, adding that she sought help from the church.

Lim wants to raise awareness of mental health and domestic violence through the film. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Lim wants to raise awareness of mental health and domestic violence through the film. — Picture by Choo Choy May

The actress, who is married to actor-model Alan Yun, wants to raise awareness of domestic violence and mental health through the film.

“Don’t hesitate to give a helping hand, even though a person is not someone you know or is close to you, let them know you are there for them. It’s so sad to say this but I have a lot of examples around me.

“I have friends with bipolar disorder and depression, it’s happening right in front of me and this is real life. I also have a friend who is a rape victim and she hasn’t learned to cope with her trauma and emotions,” the 36-year-old said.

To nail the part of Mei Xi, Lim hired veteran stage actress Pearlly Chua (Emily of Emerald Hill) as her acting coach.

Lim described her character as a “cold bitch.”

“Pearlly helped me dissect the character in order to help me understand her better,” Lim said.

“I’m not a method actor but more the type who likes studying a character.”

She also credited Lee, who wrote and directed the film, for helping the actors sink into their roles.

Emily Lim (right) and Mei Fen Lim take the lead in psychological horror ‘Two Sisters.’ — Picture by Choo Choy May
Emily Lim (right) and Mei Fen Lim take the lead in psychological horror ‘Two Sisters.’ — Picture by Choo Choy May
Two Sisters is the first film under Kuman Pictures, Amir Muhammad’s production company specialising in horror films.

To mark its maiden film, Kuman Pictures is offering viewers a money-back guarantee policy if they dislike the movie.

 

Two Sisters opens in cinemas nationwide on April 18.