Seeing his 360° transformation from his “Aloysius Jin” persona on the silver screen to the EVOLVE Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) contestant today, actor Maxi Lim has successfully shaken off the stereotypical goody-two-shoes impression many might have of him.
The 30-year-old actor and MMA enthusiast tells an inspirational tale of how far he’s come – while letting us in on some of the realest and most significant moments in this interview.
Maxi’s rise to fame
We all know him for his breakout role as “Aloysius Jin”, also known as “Wayang King” in Jack Neo’s “Ah Boys To Men (ABTM)” . Since then, he has starred in many blockbuster movies such as the two sequels to ABTM, The Lion Men as well as the more recent Take 2.
As he made a crossover from the silver screen to our television screens (remember his scenes in The Noose?), he has also rekindled his interest in martial arts by training in Evolve MMA. Owing to his transformational fitness and weight loss journey, he’s now in better shape than before.
Torrid passion for acting
When asked about his early days of acting, Maxi lamented that he didn’t exactly have a role model to look up to, as he didn’t know anyone around him who had made a successful transition from a stuntman to an actor. In case you didn’t know, Maxi started out as a stuntman before acting. Nevertheless, his ardent passion for the craft kept him going regardless of the hurdles he faced.
Having been approached by aspiring actors who look to him as an inspirational figure, he has always advised them to have passion for their craft and dream big. Maxi’s philosophy is to “never do it for the fame” as fame is a by-product of hard work and sometimes man-given.
Grit and nothing less
Before he landed the meaty role of “Wayang King” in Ah Boys to Men, there were times Maxi doubted if acting was the right career path for him. During these times of uncertainty, it was possible for him to go for more than 20 auditions without landing one.
Maxi also recalled hitting rock bottom when he was a finalist for 3 feature films – but all had to drop him. Having run out of money, he was left high and dry – having to make a nerve-wrecking decision between continuing to pursue his passion or giving it all up.
At a defining crossroad in his life, he decided on the former after receiving an SMS from his friend about the casting call for ABTM. It was the last straw for him as he would call it quits if he didn’t land a role – and he hasn’t looked back ever since.
How MMA kickstarted his transformational weight loss journey
Since young, Maxi has always had a keen interest in martial arts but he gave up training entirely about 7 years ago. In 2015, he began to train at Evolve MMA, alongside world champions in different arts all under one roof. As pointed out by him, it has given him an opportunity to train, observe and mimic the lifestyle of these MMA fighters.
Six months ago, he committed himself to a strict diet that helped him to shed 17kg, revealing his now fit and trimmed physique. His blood, sweat and tears – in training almost daily and doing static exercises when he couldn’t attend gym classes – all paid off when he participated in a Muay Thai Tryout fight and was later selected to join the Evolve MMA Muay Thai competition team.
From having difficulty doing a few proper push-ups to competing in a Muaythai fight, he has certainly paid his dues. Other that conditioning his body to consume lesser unhealthy food, he had to train his mind too. He chimed in with us a trick that worked wonder for him, “I remembered I gave myself 100 reasons on why I wanted to lose weight, every time I am tempted to cheat on my diet, I would read the 100 reasons. It worked.”
Dishing out some effective diet/fitness hacks
Before meals, Maxi recommends taking apple cider vinegar with a full glass of water before meals. He also avoided white rice and sweet drinks on his easy-to-follow keto diet, which he urged individuals to read up on.
He also advised one to exercise daily whenever possible while stating that it’s important for the individual to find the sport enjoyable. Needless to say, it was martial arts for him.
The very same grit that carried him through the lowest points in his acting career also came through in his pursuit of MMA. This very key trait of his makes it safe for us to say that we can expect more of him on our screen – especially with ABTM 4 set for production mid this year – and of course, how we can all take a leaf from his book.