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In Two Sisters, Mei Yue is discharged from a psychiatric hospital into the custody of her older sister Mei Xi, and the two move back into their once-abandoned family home. But when Mei Yue starts seeing unexplained eerie apparitions, dark secrets from the family’s past start to emerge. This month, Going Places speaks to actress Lim Mei Fen, who plays Mei Yue, and director James Lee on the film’s production.

Lim Mei Fen

Your character Mei Yue is pretty different from your real-life personality. What did you have to do to really bring out the character?

Indeed, we are very different. The director and I worked together to build a solid backstory for the character, which I think of as the ‘soul’. A week prior to filming, I ‘wore’ Mei Yue’s soul and explored her world, both in rehearsals and in my daily life. That helped me to tap into her world and enabled me to deliver more genuine emotions from the character. I could feel her emotions, her fear, her dilemma and her struggles. You could say that my body was just a vessel for her ‘soul’ when the camera was rolling.

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What was it like working with director James Lee, executive producer Amir Muhammad and the rest of the team?

James and Amir have both been my idols since my secondary school years. I am more than honoured to be able to finally meet them and work with them. It was a dream come true for me. Even though it’s not a huge team, I think it worked well for the scale of this film. I also liked how James gave some degree of creative freedom to the team. Everyone got to voice new ideas for the film, including the actors. As a director who knows precisely what he wants, James will then pick the ideas that work the best with his vision. I am beyond grateful to have been a part of this amazing production.

James Lee

What gave you the idea for the plot of Two Sisters?

The idea was inspired by an article on the web regarding the psychiatric condition of a twin sister, where she kept confusing her own identity as that of the other twin sister. From there, I came up with the idea of using it to create a plot for the movie infused with supernatural thriller elements.

Did the cast and crew succeed in bringing your vision of the story to life?

Yes, the team worked very hard in such a limited timeframe to bring this story to life. Both actresses managed to take an in-depth approach to the development of their characters even though we had a short period of time to rehearse. They had great chemistry with each other and managed to convincingly portray the relationship between the two sisters, Mei Yue and Mei Xi.

What is the take-home message that you wished to convey to your audience through this movie?

In the end, this movie is about the consequences of the terrible deeds carried out by humans, leading to the horrific aftermath that eventually affects the next generation. The things that are scary are not ghosts or the supernatural but the actions of the living – the things that abusive people do to others.