‘SWAT’ Star David Lim Approached Victor as a ‘Blank Canvas’

by Lauren Boisvert

“SWAT” star David Lim got his start playing Sebastian Chen on “Quantico” in 2016. That next year, he booked the role of Victor Tan on “SWAT.” He won over the executives with his talent, and they wrote the character for him. Victor Tan has no basis in the 1975 show or the movie reboot. He is a completely original character.

David Lim spoke with AugustMan recently about his role on “SWAT” and where he wants to go in the future. Specifically about “SWAT,” though, he was asked how it felt to take on a completely original role on a rebooted show. After all, he had no blueprint for the character to start with.

“I looked at it as a blank canvas,” he said. I wanted to bring a lot of myself to the character because that’s what got me the part in the first place.” So, Lim felt that the role was personal, and he spoke about the responsibility he felt portraying Victor “because bringing an Asian American action hero to the screen just doesn’t happen often.”

With stars like David Lim paving the way, we have more room to showcase Asian American characters. Specifically action-based characters on TV and in movies. That doesn’t happen much outside of predominantly Asian countries.

“I wanted to lean away from any stereotypes and break the mold when it comes to Asian male representation on television,” Lim said. “I think we’ve done that with Victor Tan. I’m really proud of the stories we’ve told, from his life on the job to his personal life at home. It’s an important character, and we’ll continue to learn more about him in Season 5.”

‘SWAT’: How David Lim Felt After Landing the Role of Victor Tan

In the same AugustMan interview, David Lim spoke about his initial reaction when he found out he got the “SWAT” role. At first, he said he couldn’t believe it. “I had moved on to auditioning for other shows because I was told S.W.A.T. was a no-go. So I was surprised when I found out that I had landed a role.”

He went on to talk about his shock at learning the role was literally created for him. He said, “You hear stories in Hollywood of roles being created for actors, but I never thought it would happen to me.”

Lim spoke more of the experience and his emotions at finding out he landed the role. “I was incredibly grateful and humbled,” he said. “It’s been a magical ride being on S.W.A.T. from the very beginning. I’m lucky to be part of such a great show.”

After an electrical engineering degree and years of commercials, David Lim is definitely at the top of his game on “SWAT.”