×

Godfrey Gao: International Star You Should Know

Taiwanese actor and model traded his hoop dreams for a shot at stardom

CLAIM TO FAME

The 28-year-old Gao was the first Asian male to star in Louis Vuitton ad campaigns; he’s also been featured in ads in fashion mag Numero. He’s appeared in several Taiwanese TV dramas, including “Bull Fighting” and “The Queen of SOP” and films like Tsui Hark’s “All About Women.” On Aug. 21, he’ll co-star as Magnus Bane in “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” based on the YA series of novels.

BIG BREAK

He was playing basketball at Capilano U. in Vancouver, but returned to Taiwan over the summer. “My brother’s friend worked at a TV station, so we went in; the producer of a show asked if I wouldn’t mind taking some photos for his wife, who was a talent agent. Next thing I know, I’m en route to the agency. I wanted to play basketball professionally, (but) my mom told me this opportunity for acting only comes knocking once, and I had to take it.”

HAIRRAISING EXPERIENCE

“After I grew some facial hair, I looked a bit older and I guess that’s what the modeling world wanted because I started booking more luxury brands.”

HOW TWEET IT IS

“I recently got a Twitter account, and I love to take pictures and share on the social networks. I try to do a little bit in both Mandarin and English, maybe add a little Russian, Spanish, French. There are a lot of followers worldwide.”

GETTING UP TO SPEED

Gao says the pace of work is different in Asia than in North America. “In Asia, it is very hectic — there is no overtime, no holidays, no weekends. It’s pretty rushed because they are trying to cut the deadline,” he says. “I realized for ‘Mortal Instruments,’ the schedules said we had Saturdays and Sundays off. That is not the case in China. For television, we can complete eight to nine pages per day.”

LOOKING FORWARD

“ ‘Mortal Instruments’ is definitely a start,” he says. “I hope it’s the key for me to come across to Hollywood. Hopefully I can go back and forth from the United States to Asia. I feel joint productions could be the way of the future. I’ll need a private plane to charter the international waters!”

More Film

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor Comic Con

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the biggest volume of buzz for nine of the top 10 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content