Rebecca Lim and Ian Fang: Just friends?
They give each other pet names.
And they have been out on several "dates".
The close friendship between local actress Rebecca Lim and actor Ian Fang is real - and it could heat up further.
Lim, 29, told The New Paper yesterday: "I am very comfortable with Ian, and that comfort is something I look for in a relationship.
"As of now, we are very, very good friends, but I am not going to say the ultimate no. Never say never."
Lim was speaking on the set of the new Channel 8 drama The Truth Seekers, in which she plays an independent and straightforward cold case investigator.
The show, which will air next April and also features Desmond Tan, Chen Hanwei, Yusuke Fukuchi and Hong Ling, tells the story of four cold case investigators with vastly different personalities who work together to solve crimes.
Lim revealed that she would meet Fang, 26, for meals whenever they were both free.
She also confides in Fang, telling him her personal problems and secrets.
"He is someone whom I can trust, I told him some secrets and he kept them to himself. Two to three years ago, I faced some personal problems, and he was there for me. The support meant a lot," she said,
"Ian is also a good listener and surprisingly, he gives good advice. He is younger than me, but sometimes I feel like I am younger than him."
The A-list actress also defended Fang, who has a bit of a reputation as a "bad boy" for his straight-talking and devil-may-care attitude.
She said the Shanghai-born Singapore-based actor is someone who is very much misunderstood by the public.
She added that Fang is a "softie at heart", dotes on his mother and is passionate about his job.
She said: "He dislikes silence, so he would go around poking fun at people to make them feel more comfortable when he is in a big group.
"Sometimes, people end up picking on him because of that. He is misunderstood all the time."
Fang, who is currently in Taiwan for work, sings praises of Lim too.
He told TNP over the phone: "She is definitely a perfect girl for men. She is caring, considerate, easy to work with, and a filial daughter. Many veterans love her too."
He added: "I will let fate decide for the two of us. You cannot say yes or no..."
While Lim's friendship with Fang is heating up, things with her decade-long good friend Desmond Tan seem to have cooled off.
The pair have always been labelled as the BFFs (Best Friends Forever) of Caldecott Hill, but have not been hanging out that much lately.
Lim denied that Fang had "dethroned" Tan as her BFF.
She said: "There is never any animosity between us, and we are still friendly on set. We certainly do not hate each other and it's not awkward between us."
Lim and Tan, who shared their first kissing scene in the drama Second Chance earlier this year, play a couple for the second time in The Truth Seekers.
The script requires a passionate kissing scene between the two, but the on-screen couple is trying to change that because they feel that it is not necessary for the story.
Lim said: "My grandparents watch my shows. Whenever I have a kissing scene, they would comment: 'Huh? Kiss again?' Sometimes, it feels unnatural and it's not necessary."
When asked to compare Tan and Fang, the affable actress declined to do so, saying that they are very different people.
Lim said: "Well, Desmond has his own personal life so I feel that it's not nice for me to impose on him. As for Ian, he doesn't, so I don't feel so bad. I think that's a huge difference."
Desmond Tan on Rebecca Lim: Still good friends
CO-STARS: Actors Rebecca Lim and Desmond Tan play a couple in upcoming Channel 8 drama The Truth Seekers. TNP PHOTO: EDWIN FONG
HOT BOD: Actor Desmond Tan spent three months working on his physique after learning that he had to strip for this scene in The Truth Seekers. PHOTO: TOGGLE
A tanned and ripped Desmond Tan looked amused when asked about his reportedly fading friendship with local actress Rebecca Lim.
The 29-year-old said: "I am surprised that so many people are interested in our friendship and I want to reassure those who are concerned that we are still good friends.
"We still hang out, we still buy things for each other and we are not stabbing or punching each other. We are okay."
Tan is also not threatened by fellow actor Ian Fang's strong presence in Lim's life now, saying: "I don't feel any rivalry.
"Friendship is straightforward, I trust you to be there and I will be there for you when you need me."
"There is no ranking in friendship, like whether you are BFF number one, or BFF number two."
In The Truth Seekers, Tan plays a playful and chatty cold case investigator who falls for Lim's character.
In one scene, he had to go topless after his character was chased out of a brothel.
For that, Tan spent three months working on his physique, hitting the gym regularly and eating only broccoli and chicken for every meal.
The actor, who weighs 68.3kg, said proudly: "I only have 11% body fat now. I feel that my role deserves a hot bod so I worked hard to achieve this. I went on a really clean diet and there were times when I felt moody because I did not eat any carbs."
He added: "I think it's an achievement as it is harder to burn off fats as you grow older."
However, the perfectionist thinks that he has not reached his ideal body type yet.
He said he wants to maintain and improve upon his physique even after filming wraps in mid-December.
"But I will give myself some leeway and feast for about two weeks after filming ends," he said,
"I want to eat laksa, roast duck rice, lor mee... And the list goes on."