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.