Don’t Miss Our “In The Mood For Love” Contest! Details Below
Years ago, actor Alan Yun was filming a TV commercial for a telco company. One particular scene called for his character to stare longingly at a photo of his wife. Of course, Yun didn’t know the woman in the picture. He played the part and looked lovingly at his pretend wife.
Little did he know, the woman in the picture would one day be his actual wife – Emily Lim. In a full circle moment, Yun, 40, and Lim, 36, walked down the aisle last month after being in a relationship for seven years.
“I wasn’t actually on set for that shoot. But yes, that was a picture of me,” Lim discloses, shaking her head in disbelief at the serendipitous turn of events.
In an interview with StarLifestyle at W Kuala Lumpur, the couple recounts their love story, the hardships they’ve had to overcome and the lessons they learned along the way.
Love On The Small Screen
Yun first got to know Lim (of course, staring at a photo of a stranger doesn’t count) when they starred as a couple on local Chinese drama series Injustice in 2010.
“During filming, we talked a lot and learned more about each other. Then right after the drama, we felt like something was missing. So we decided to give our relationship a shot,” recalls Lim, who became an actress after placing second on Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant in 2005.
Yun says he was drawn to Lim’s strength and determination. “Both of us were raised by single mothers. It was harder for her because she was the eldest in her family. I was the youngest in my family. So she had to be independent and take care of her family at a young age.”
Within the first year of their relationship, Yun saw firsthand how she took on life’s difficulties fearlessly. “I was trying to lose about 5kg for a role, so I went on an extreme diet” Lim talks about her nearly career-ending episode.
“There were days where I would only eat apples the whole day or just drink vegetable soup. At first it worked, but after a while, it messed up my hormones and I gained a lot of weight instead.”
She went from 50kg to 75kg within four months and soon found herself jobless, as no one would book her. After trying out various weight loss methods, Lim enrolled herself into a nutrition course to learn the basics of food and the human body.
“At the same time, I took up a nutrition course thinking maybe acting was no longer for me. I thought that door had closed.”
With the right diet, Lim – who now has a certificate in holistic nutrition – managed to shed the weight within 10 months and return to acting.
“She was so determined to find a solution, she even attended classes. That really inspired me,” Yun gushes, adding he “thought she was attractive no matter what.”
Yun himself faced a series of setbacks over the years. He lost his investments after falling out with a business partner. Around the same time, Yun’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, and was in and out of the hospital.
“What hit me most was my mum. By the time we found out, it was too late, it had progressed to stage four cancer already. She managed to survive for another five years. Through it all, Emily was there. She stood by me.”
Battling Inner Demons
Having gone through the worst and come out on the other side with their relationship still intact, naturally Yun felt it was time to take their relationship to the next level.
In 2017, Yun got down on one knee and proposed to her at KL Tower. “For years, she asked me to take her to KL Tower and I always refused. So I thought it would be meaningful to finally take her there and propose to her.”
But things didn’t go as planned. Lim turned down the proposal. “I told him I wasn’t ready. The problem was with me, not him,” she says.
Watching her parents’ broken relationship play out at a young age left a negative impression of marriage on her. So much so, she feared the same fate would befall her own marriage. “There were a lot of ‘what ifs’ in my head, and I just couldn’t take a chance.”
Before she could take the next step, Lim felt she had to confront her own demons. The couple underwent pre-marital counselling for a year. “Communication is very important,” Yun talks about some of the lessons he picked up during counselling.
“As men, we have a lot of ego. Sometimes, we don’t say the things we need to say. Rather, we think action speaks louder than words. There are certain things we may think are not necessary to say. But saying this kind of lovey-dovey sentences won’t kill you.”
Yun went down on his knees once more and by early 2018, the couple registered their marriage. They exchanged vows at a church last month, surrounded by family and friends.
“He snores!” Lim says, playfully pointing an accusatory finger at Yun, when asked about the biggest readjustment she had to make in married life so far. “I couldn’t sleep and (I have) accumulated layers and layers of bags and dark circles under my eyes. Once, I even went back to my mum’s house and slept there.”
The newlyweds eventually found a way around it. “For some reason, when I’m asleep, his snoring doesn’t wake me up. So now I always go to sleep first.”
The couple plans to travel as much as they can in their first two years of marriage before having a baby.
Yun, who used to be a fixture on local TV commercials, dramas and films (he currently runs a restaurant and boutique ad agency), is also slowly returning to the spotlight. He recently shot indie action thriller Kill-Fist, directed by James Lee.
Meanwhile, Lim, who can be seen on this year’s Petronas CNY ad Heart, has a lead role on Mandarin psychological-horror film, Two Sisters, scheduled to open in cinemas next month.
The couple shares the formula to a happy life which they picked up during one of their counselling sessions. “What we learned is ‘the 3Fs’. The first is fitness, not just physically, but mentally. The second F is family. You have to put your family first,” Yun explains.
“And when you have these two Fs as your pillar, the third F will come – finances. Your career will blossom.”
Lim chimes in: “It’s like buttoning a shirt. Once you get the first button right, the second and third button will follow.”
“In The Mood For Love” Contest
StarLifestyle and Star2.com are bringing you love stories every day, starting from Valentine’s Day to Chap Goh Meh (the other Valentine’s Day) on Feb 19. The 15th day of the first Lunar month is all about finding love, so it’s only fitting that we celebrate love all week!
Read our stories, then go to our social media pages on Facebook (facebook.com/starlifestyle) and Instagram (instagram.com/starlifestylemy), and join our special celebration of love, “In The Mood For Love”, by winning a pair of Longines Hydroconquest watches worth RM10,000 for you and your loved one.
How To Win At Love!
1. Collect a question daily from Feb 14-19 based on the love stories. You must answer all six (6) questions.
2. Complete this slogan: Love is ….. (in not more than 50 words).
3. Email all six answers and slogan to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb 20. Include your full name, MyKad number and contact number, and don’t forget to add “In The Mood For Love Contest” in the subject field.
Terms & Conditions
1. The contest is open to all residents in Malaysia except for employees of the Star Media Group Berhad and members of their immediate families.
2. The prize cannot be exchanged for cash.
3. By participating in this contest, participants are deemed to have agreed to all rules and regulations of this contest. The Star reserves the right to alter/change/add/cancel any terms & conditions of contest without prior notice.
4. Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entertained.