Godfrey Gao Knew How To Make Pandan Cake And His Nickname In School Was GoddyGodfreyGrace
We’re still reeling from the shock that Taiwanese actor Godfrey Gao has passed away. The 35-year-old died of a heart attack this morning after collapsing on the set of Chinese game show Chase Me. The popular model-turned-actor was known for his dashing good looks, his good manners and for being a total dreamboat. The first time we met and spoke to Godfrey was in 2015 when he was in town as a guest DJ (yes, he spins too) for a fashion party. We were taken aback not just by how he had towered over us — at 1.96m, he was easily the tallest and most handsome guy in any room — but also at how polite, accommodating and approachable he was. And our hearts are crushed just knowing that he’s not around anymore.
Here’s the interview from May 28, 2015 that 8 DAYS did with him, where we also tested the star’s knowledge of Singapore by showing him pics of iconic Singaporean things.
You’re a hit on the Internet thanks to Buzzfeed’s now viral list: 41 photos that prove that Godfrey Gao is actually Godly. Have you seen it?
GODFREY GAO: (Laughs) Yes, yes, my friends sent me the link. I’m quite happy that Buzzfeed did that. I mean it’s pretty cool, right? It’s not every day you get a site that uses 41 photos to describe you.
Well, it sure doesn’t hurt to be called ‘godly’.
I laughed when I read that. So did all my friends. I see [the list] as a positive thing to get more [people] to be more aware of who I am. I think they should have used more than 41 photos — a hundred, maybe? (Laughs)
You were born in Taiwan and raised in Vancouver, and you were recently named the face of Canadian tourism in China. What’s the most Canadian thing about you?
I love having waffles with Canadian bacon and maple syrup for breakfast. It goes really well together. It’s actually what Canadians have every morning.
You’ve worked on large-scale productions in China and Hollywood. What would you say is the biggest difference between working in both places?
China is still a bit behind compared to Hollywood but it’s improving really fast. These couple years, I’ve seen Chinese movies that blow my mind. I was just in Hengdian, which is the movie capital of China, and they have replicas of everything. But I guess the major difference would be the working hours. In North America, everything goes by the hour. You work between eight to 12 hours and you get weekends off. It’s like working in an office. In China, you’re on set every day. Everything is push, push, push. And there’s overtime. My schedule there is really tight so when you do a scene, you have to get it done ’cos you only have this small window of time. If you don’t, there’s going to be trouble.
As a celeb, you always have stylists helping you. Do you think you would be fashionable if you were left to your own devices?
Actually, I don’t have a lot of stylists helping me. I usually pick what I wear myself. I wear what’s available — not a lot of things fit me ’cos I’ve got long arms and legs. I think I got my sense of style from my dad. He’s been a huge influence since I was a kid. He would wear different suits from Monday to Friday and casual wear during the weekends. I learnt a lot just by looking at him, going through his closet, and checking out the pictures he took in the past.
You’re spinning at the H&M Loves Summer party in a couple of hours. Is DJ-ing going to be a new career for you?
It’s fun. I would love to do more of it and get better. But I’m not a professional DJ. I just like to play songs that I like and make people dance. Actually, I haven’t DJ-ed in a long time, and I only remembered how fun it is when I was practising in Taiwan before coming here. The last time [I DJ-ed] was at the opening of H&M in Taiwan. I don’t think many people know this but there were technical difficulties that night. The songs were not linking with the turntables so I was basically pressing the cue button for every song (laughs). As a DJ, you have to think on your feet and just do what’s available. Although I think only a DJ would have noticed what I was doing. ‘Hey, did you just press the cue button the whole time?’ (Laughs)
So, what’s your DJ name?
I call myself DJ GoddyGod ’cos my nickname back in high school was GoddyGodfrey. Not a lot of people know this but it’s pretty cool, no?
When shown a picture of pandan cake
Godfrey: “I know this is green pandan cake ’cos I can make it. My mum’s family is from Penang, where there are lots of pandan plants, and they told me that that’s what my favourite cake is made of. So, I asked them to teach me ’cos they have the recipe. Yeah, I can bake.”
When shown a picture of the Merlion
“I know this is a very significant Singapore symbol. I’ve seen it… something lion?”
When shown a picture of the ArtScience Museum
“That’s by the marina. I’ve seen it ’cos I was at the opening of the Louis Vuitton store and it’s right beside it.”
When shown a picture of the MBS pool
“The one and only marina [bay sands] pool.”
When shown a picture of the Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay
“This is the Avatar lookalike. I know it’s close to the durian building. Is it the plant museum? Hey, you didn’t show me any pictures of the Night Safari. I’ve always wanted to go there.”
This story has been edited in the wake of Godfrey’s untimely passing.