Movie producer Daniel Yun had his eye on former opposition politician Nicole Seah, 28, from the time she emerged in the public eye as a contestant in the 2011 General Elections.
After she left politics earlier this year, he jumped at the chance to cast her in his movie 1965, which commemorates Singapore's 50 years of independence, reports AsiaOne via The Straits Times.
Made on a budget of $2.8-million, 1965 is directed by Randy Ang, who did last year's cop thriller re:solve. It stars actor couple Qi Yuwu and Joanne Peh, as well as veteran actor Lim Kay Tong who takes on the role of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Though Seah was a little shocked by the acting offer, Mr Yun says she quickly warmed up to the idea of being in a movie and acting as the wife of a police inspector played by Qi.
He says: "When I got Randy to call Nicole, she was like, 'are you kidding?'. When she learnt more about the project, she was intrigued and found the project meaningful.
Contrary to the strong independent image that Seah projects, Mr Yun says: "I wanted to cast her against type, for her to play someone not in line with her past and present image. Mei is this character, someone who is totally devoted to her husband and family, quietly supportive and a housewife."
Seah could not be contacted by press time. Life! was told that she is currently in Bangkok and unavailable for interviews.
To participate in the film, she takes leave from her advertising firm in Bangkok, and shuttles back and forth between the film set in Batam and her base in Bangkok.
She is not entirely new to acting, having studied Theatre Studies and Drama for her A levels at Victoria Junior College. Nonetheless, the production crew were concerned about casting the rookie actor with political links.
Mr Yun says: "When I suggested to my director and production team, everyone was quite shocked. Some of them were uncomfortable."
However, he managed to convince them after auditioning Seah, who was in Bangkok, over Skype in August.
He later got her to come back to Singapore for auditions and confirmed her for the role shortly after. He says of her audition: "Honestly, she was quite raw."
However, he adds that he is satisfied with her performance so far. He says: "I find that her spirit in embracing the role is quite good. She overcomes whatever she needs to overcome in order to be competent for the role."