Godfrey Gao became the first Asian model for Louis Vuitton, a contract earned him the title for world’s first Asian supermodel. Gao, 26, lived in Vancouver most of his life and still calls our fair city home. We snagged an exclusive interview with the Asian supermodel.
Crystal: An international spot light has been put on you as a result of your Louis Vuitton campaign. Can you tell me a bit about the experience and how you feel about being the first Asian male model for the Louis Vuitton powerhouse?
Godfrey: The experience was unforgettable, especially when the shoot took place in a natural green forest in Malaysia and it also landed on my birthday too, which was a very special birthday present! Being the 1st Asian male model for a luxurious brand like Louis Vuitton is truly amazing, I never would of thought in a million years that I could be that guy. Now that I am, all eyes are on me and hopefully I could use this opportunity to rise. I’m really excited to see the path down the road, and this is only the beginning.
Crystal: Media has referred to you as a “gentle giant”. Do you feel this is accurate?
Godfrey: I guess you can call me that. I’ve always been shy and not very talkative, but since being in the entertainment industry for 5 years in Taiwan, I’ve learned more about myself as to what I can be like and open up more to people.
Crystal: Now living in Asia, what makes you feel at home when you’re away?
Godfrey: I was born in Taiwan, Taipei but moved to North Van when I was in Grade 4. I Attended elementary school at Queensbury and high school at Argyle Secondary. North Van is still my childhood and my home which I cherish for, but since I moved to Taiwan in the summer of 2005, I’ve realized Taiwan is where I’ve found my true-self and also a place to start my entertainment career.
Crystal: Not many people know you’re a baker and chocolate chip muffins are your specialty. How would you rate your baking skills?
Godfrey: Would you consider partnering in a joint venture (red velvet cupcakes) with me? Women everywhere will be at our mercy. We would conquer the market and take over the world. Baking cookies and muffins are just something I enjoyed back in high school other than sports. I’ve kept on learning and mastering my baking skills to produce some good tasting desserts. I would rate my work around the high 8 area haha. Red Velvet cupcakes sounds interesting! Maybe we can work something out! haha But yes my mom kept on telling me to open up a bake shop to attract the ladies! haha.
Crystal: No more Jackie Chan’s and Bruce Lee’s. Asians (males especially) have struggled to be represented in main stream media. How do you feel about being a pioneer for Asian males every where?
Godfrey: Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Lee are all idols I’ve watched growing up, I will still consider them as my pioneers and they will always be main stream for me, I can’t compare to those guys! haha. As for being in a newer generation, I look up to those guys and hopefully I can be as successful as them. It was hard to be accepted, being Asian in the main stream spotlight, but I’m seeing more and more now which is good! I feel like I have a gap to fill being an Asian Male to be represented in the main stream. There is a bit of pressure on me and hopefully I will get to the top by working hard and tackle anything that comes in my way.
Crystal: Asia may be your home base for now, but what are your most missed Vancouver spots/traditions? (i.e. go to restaurant, activity, landmark)
Godfrey: I miss Vancity’s CLEAN AIR. I cannot stress that enough. I feel like every time I come back home my nasal congestion is cleared due to fresh air, and I would feel refreshed. Not saying the air in Asia is super bad, but I think its the natural resources Vancity has, surrounded by oceans and mountains. Other things I miss is the multicultural food in Vancity, especially the sushi, pho, and all the Asian cuisines in Vancouver that are amazing. As well as, Tim Hortons, The Keg, Earls, Cactus Club etc. Activities I missed are basketball at Kits beach or Ambleside beach in West Van, beautiful English Bay sunsets, snowboarding, hiking, biking up in Whistler, kayaking and all the outdoor activities in Vancouver. Last but not least, my family still resides in North Van, so I miss spending good quality times with them.
Crystal: Career goals for you in the near future? Hosting the Oscars? Launching a singing career? Fragrances? What do you have in mind for the future?
Godfrey: Right now I’ve been taking acting classes to improve on my on-screen character, and vocal lessons to explore my singing career. I will be focusing more on my on-screen work this year, and to find a script I like, preferably an action film either in Asia or North America if the opportunity arises. Future goals are definitely to reach for the stars in Hollywood and to be hosting the Oscars would be an amazing experience and it would definitely be an opportunity of a lifetime. In the years to come, I would like to have my own clothing line and maybe a shoe line, and a couple of restaurants, bars and a fitness sports club.