Smoothie Model Jason Godfrey and What He Loves About Singapore
So Jason – it seems Singapore has a soft spot for you. How long have you been living in Asia?
I’ve been living here off and on since 2001 but have been based in Asia since 2009.
What brought you here?
Mostly modelling and the promise of easy money. I suppose I could say the idea of adventure too, but that might be me looking back with rose tinted glasses. I think I was mostly broke.
Didn’t we hear somewhere that you called our little red dot home for a while?
Maybe by somewhere you mean from me. Yeah, I don’t know if I would say I called it home but I frequented Singapore while I was modelling. I didn’t call any place home during that time, but I suppose Singapore could have been as close as I got to having a home. I liked coming back. I love eating at hawker centers, the city is clean and beautiful and after growing up in multicultural Toronto, a city with such a diverse mix of people, it really made me feel at home.
We know that you are, what we at Straits Canopy, like to call blended (from your huge female following, rather handsomely so). Tell us about your background.
Blended with what? Are you making a smoothie? I’m half Filipino and half Canadian.
Which half is which?
My mother is Filipino, my father is a blonde haired blue eyed Canadian.
How did they meet?
The story goes that my mother had moved to Canada for university and was taking registrations for ski lessons. My father filled in his application with her and the rest is history. That’s all I’m going to say because I have no idea how my dad asked her out or if she asked him out or if they ended up on the same bus ride home and it was being dominated by a maniac with a bomb who wouldn’t let it’s speed drop below 50 mph, but somehow they hooked up.
Do you feel like you have the best of both world’s coming from parents with different ethnic backgrounds?
Not so much. I identified with being Canadian more than anything else. Mostly because when you’re growing up you just want to be like everyone else and not stick out. When I got older I learnt to embrace my differences and realized I didn’t want to blend in. When you’re half, you’re the ultimate other.
Well you’ve got East and West all rolled up in a nice package. That’s pretty cool. Lines of history that can merge two sides of the world together in one person.
Singapore has got such a great mix of people living on this tiny red dot. You can walk down Orchard and see faces from all over the world. We love it. Singapore has been a place people have travelled to for work for centuries – just like you have. What do you love the most about Singapore when you are here?
I’d say, first I love the food. Sorry if that sounds shallow or contrived but I love eating and love the variety in Singaporean hawker centers.
The cosmopolitan feel of Singapore is great. It’s a place where there are great restaurants, clubs, and now an amazing skyline. The feel of the city is of one that is truly world class and destined to stay there.
Again, I really love the multiculturalism in Singapore. When I go to places that are all one ethnicity it kind of makes me nervous somehow, again maybe that’s because I grew up in Canada where there really is a rainbow of cultures existing next to each other, so seeing a healthy mix of people is what makes me feel at home.
When you come to Singapore what do you like to do to kick back a little and relax from your hectic schedule?
I never come to Singapore with time to kick back. That’s a problem.
And of course what do you like to eat when you are here? What would be your top go-to local dish?
Chicken murtabak is a fave, chicken rice, bakuteh, teh tarik, I love it all and will eat all of it with reckless abandon.
Do you have a favourite area in Sg?
I love Haji Lane and all the little restaurants and cafes around there. I also love any place with a big food court–so there are lots of those. And I hate to say it, but I really do like checking out Orchard Road especially since it’s constantly changing.
Singapore got to see lots of you as Inspector Riley in Season 1 of Mata Mata. The step back in time must have really shown you how Singapore has moved forward since the 50’s. Is there anything that surprised you?
Yeah, the show really illustrated just how far Singapore has come in such a short period of time. Singapore is really just a little island with no natural resources, yet it’s carved out a role for itself as an economic hub. Really, not easy to do.
What else can we look forward to seeing you in this year? Any projects that we can get the inside scoop on?
I’ve always got options for new shows but I’m not sure what’s coming through or not. What I’m really excited about is getting a literary agent in New York and the possibility of getting my manuscript published. I’d really love that to happen, and if it does, I’d really like you to buy my book.
Thanks for talking to us Jason. We will definitely keep a look out for your book. Come back and visit Singapore just for fun next time. I am sure we can find some fans who would be happy to show you around town. We can wine and dine you with some chicken murtabak – who could say no to that?
You can keep up with Jason’s adventures via his Facebook page here. The photo shoot was done candidly at a friend’s apartment where Jason demonstrated his various modelling poses and his ability to give the photographer a big smile with no teeth.