His ambitious character, Aloysius Jin, in the Ah Boys To Men (ABTM) movies made him a well-known figure in showbiz and helped him score many acting roles in recent months.
But the ABTM role also caused many to have a stereotyped image of him.
Actor Maxi Lim, 29, told The New Paper: “Whenever people talk to me after meeting me for the first time, they would tell me that they’re surprised I’m not the nerd they thought I was.
“It got a bit tiring after a while, after hearing it so many times.”
The stereotype, Lim felt, also meant he is usually cast in the same roles.
Lim was also called Ah Pui (“fatty” in Hokkien) by his friends, encouraging him to do something about how others perceived him.
He said: “I decided to take up some Muay Thai classes and change my eating habits to a few small meals a day.
“After 2½ months, I managed to lose 11kg and I’m very happy.
“I wanted to lose weight because if I change my outlook, I can change my career and take on other different roles.”
He regularly posts pictures of his muay thai classes and his body transformation on his Instagram page.
He will also be exercising at The New Paper Courts Big Walk on Nov 26, with his ABTM co-star Joshua Tan.
With a laugh, Lim said: “I call Joshua an ape and I don’t know why. But I’m excited to walk with the ape.
“I used to be in the Young Scientists Club in primary school, so we would head to the zoo often.
“I also had a zoologist badge that I would pin to my uniform every time I went.
“I do love wildlife and going back to the zoo will be (a) nostalgic (trip) for me.”
Other than filming for a variety show called Oh My Getai and the latest season of The Noose, Lim has acted in a film, 4Love, which will be released on Dec 1. It also stars Tan.
He also will be in Take 2, a Chinese New Year movie produced by Jack Neo, about ex-convicts integrating back into society.
Lim will play an ex-convict who becomes a teacher. It was a difficult role to play, he said.
“I had to act out a monologue in Mandarin and teach mathematics, and those topics are like Greek to me.
“It took a month for me to get the monologue right. I would rehearse every day for an hour,” he said.
It was also difficult to channel different emotions and to switch between them, all without looking at the script, said Lim.
“Besides that, I spoke to a few real-life ex-convicts, and you have to understand the situation that they were in (in order to) learn and empathise with them, as they were the ones who had to start afresh.
“Then, you can play the character well,” he said.
“I learnt to have a lot of gratitude for the time we have in this world and to know that we shouldn’t waste the opportunities given to us. That’s a motivation for me.”
By Rachel Chan; this article was originally published on TNP.sg