Face to face

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE -

Star2 gets up close and per­sonal with the fan­tas­tic four from Life In­spired.

From kick­box­ing to cir­cuit train­ing and be­yond, Ja­son God­frey is the view­ers’ ‘link’ to the best in well­ness, travel, home, cui­sine and fash­ion from the heart of Hong Kong.

UN­DOUBT­EDLY, Ja­son God­frey is a good-look­ing guy, even more so in per­son. But his looks, as it turns out, is the least at­trac­tive qual­ity about him. Up close, the 34-year-old proves to be a hi­lar­i­ous fel­low with a light­ning quick wit and no airs about him. He is also equipped with the abil­ity to chat on just about any­thing. Suf­fice to say that dur­ing this in­ter­view a wide spec­trum of sub­jects were broached in­clud­ing lewd ges­tures (although he called it the in­ter­na­tional sign for rock climb­ing), crushed dreams (his books, a mem­oir and a piece of fic­tion, have yet to find a pub­lisher which is very dis­cour­ag­ing or as he elo­quently put it, “it sucks”) and his­tory (God­frey be­gan cit­ing his­tor­i­cal facts about the town where he went to univer­sity in Canada – that’s the Univer­sity of Water­loo in Kitch­ener).

His sense of humour and smarts are on dis­play at his blog (bigsmileno­teeth.tum­blr.com) where God­frey has posted mus­ings and anec­do­tal ob­ser­va­tions about var­i­ous things, as well as travel ar­ti­cles he has writ­ten for Ori­en­tal Tales mag­a­zine. In short, he has an easy way with words which al­lows him to win over even the most uptight stranger in a mat­ter of min­utes.

So it comes as a bit of a sur­prise that he stuck to be­ing a model for more than a decade, see­ing that mod­el­ling has very lit­tle to do with the gift of the gab.

For­tu­nately, that “no-talk­ing” sta­tus changed when he started a cou­ple of host­ing gigs last year af­ter es­tab­lish­ing his base in Hong Kong.

Co-host­ing Star World’s re­gional show in con­junc­tion with the Os­car awards, check. Cov­er­ing a red car­pet event, check. Man­ag­ing the crowd at a party launch for the pre­miere of The Walk­ing Dead in Hong Kong, check. Meet­ing Tom Hanks for a one-on-one in­ter­view in Sin­ga­pore, hold the check, please.

“Meet­ing Tom Hanks was strange,” he re­calls. “(Ear­lier) my di­rec­tor and I were talk­ing about how meet­ing all these fa­mous peo­ple is not a big deal. Then, I met Tom Hanks and I re­ally blanked out. They brought me in and said 10 min­utes and sud­denly the guy you watched in films for the last two decades is there right in front of you. He said, ‘Nice to meet you.’ And all I could say was, ‘Tom Hanks’ ( monotonously). Who says that? It was ter­ri­ble.”

None­the­less, af­ter tak­ing a minute to re­cover, “the pro­fes­sional” in God­frey reap­peared and like a good jour­nal­ist he re­lied on the re­search he had done be­fore­hand, kept eye con­tact with Hanks and didn’t ram­ble dur­ing the in­ter­view. It also helps that God­frey is a big fan of films. (In­ci­den­tally, the sin­gle child of a Filipino mother and Cana­dian fa­ther is proud he shares the same home­town as Michael Cera – Bramp­ton, On­tario.) But, nowa­days he only has time to watch “good films”, which he gauges via Rot­ten­Toma­toes. com!

“If it doesn’t get over 80, I gen­er­ally don’t watch it. Un­less it’s a genre that I like – zom­bie movies, war films, sen­ti­men­tal buddy flicks – then I can lower the bar.”

Which brings us to his cur­rent stint as a face of Li. This is a gig he hopes will al­low him to mix busi­ness with plea­sure. Two of the hot top­ics the chan­nel fea­tures are food and travel, which hap­pen to be things that God­frey en­joys greatly. Right now, in Malaysia, he says he can’t stop eat­ing fried chicken and roti canai from the “ma­mak shop”. “Roti canai is fat­ten­ing?” he asks with an in­cred­u­lous look on his face. “I thought it was like bread.”

As for trav­els, the En­vi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence ma­jor says he would go ab­so­lutely any­where; if it in­volves out­door ac­tiv­i­ties even bet­ter. The avid rock climber says: “City stuff is fun, but when you are young, if you get hurt you re­cover faster, that’s why you should go out and do phys­i­cal stuff which you may not be able to do when you are in your 60s.

“I trav­elled for about 10 years when I was mod­el­ling and so I would love to get back and do that again.” Trav­el­ling, that is, not mod­el­ling. –Mum­ta­jBe­gum

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