I am in shock. And this is not good shock. I haven’t been paying attention to entertainment news for the longest time ever and I definitely didn’t thought that the next time I came back to write a post here would be because of such an incident.
Godfrey Gao, 35, passed away after suffering from a cardiac arrest during the filming of a sports reality show, Catch Me.
(In case anyone is wondering why there are two similar posts, I do realise that Marian had already shared her tribute post earlier but I only saw that after deciding I would like to share my thoughts about this whole incident and also document my journey with Godfrey. I guess writing everything out does help with rationalising and accepting the fact.)
I first heard about Godfrey’s passing in a group chat by friends who are not even crazy about c-entertainment. I was in doubt for a moment, wondering if they were talking about the same Godfrey Gao I knew. It seems impossible that this tall, charming man could have collapsed during filming and passed away just like that. I have knew Godfrey for so long and he was so young and healthy in my memories. It just didn’t made sense.
I first saw Godfrey in the 2009 drama, Momo Love. He was just a big sunshine boy who was lovely to watch. Comical and cute despite his 193cm frame. However, this was a time where I had not really gone into the world of t/c-entertainment so my impression of him stayed there.
The next time I saw Godfrey Gao again was when Queen of SOP aired on TV. I remember seeing Godfrey Gao and deciding that “I will definitely be watching this show till the end!” Who can resist such a tall, handsome and charming man? (Of course, I eventually fell for Zhang Han’s childish charms but that’s another story….) In fact, this drama remains as one of my highest rated taiwanese dramas until today, with a rating of 9.5/10 on MyDramaList. It was also after this drama that I decided that I needed more Godfrey Gao in my life.
I had wanted to watch Bullfighting and Volleyball Lover, two sports drama which starred Godfrey but never got around to doing it. However, I did watch the 2007 school drama, I Want to Become A Hard Persimmon, where Godfrey acted as the typical cool gangster character.
Even though Godfrey Gao has the perfect looks to act as a cool, cocky and arrogant chaebol character, he is surprisingly quite a funny guy. Besides his early ventures into wacky taiwanese dramas such as Momo Love, he also acted in Never Give Up, Dodo, a comedy web-drama.
I must say that I was surprised that he took on a role in such a wacky c-drama but it was a pleasant surprise. He is indeed a versatile actor. In this web-drama, he showed me a different side to him again. His impish boyish charms shone through, different from his warm and gentlemanly personality in Queen of SOP.
The last drama I watched Godfrey in is Remembering Li Chuan. I had finished reading the novel and highly anticipated the drama. Godfrey’s performance was pleasant and I remember being impressed at how he managed to portray the character despite many doubts from fans of the novel.
As viewers, it is also impossible to forget his charms.
According to tributes by other celebrities, they remember Godfrey as a gentle, genuine and sincere person. He is always a pleasure to be with and many of them remembers him fondly. He was a kind soul who didn’t put on airs at all. He was also always polite and friendly to staff members and fans.
It is hard to accept that we will never be able to see this angel in new productions anymore. Especially since his death was so sudden and seemed to caused by negligence of the production team. A seemingly healthy and fit young man gone just like this.
This then brings the question: is it okay for us viewers to continue enjoying shows produced by irresponsible production teams? Are we responsible for their audacity in mistreating their crew and talents?
Perhaps it is too late to be asking these questions now as this angel has already left us but changes are definitely needed should this be caused by the harsh culture and environment that artistes have to go through. Why should Godfrey be penalised and even lose his life for having good work ethics and braving through filming despite (reportedly) feeling sick?
Godfrey was an angel but this was what he got in the end. Life is unfair and it is heartbreaking. Perhaps, the lesson learnt here is: to always take good care of yourself first. No matter how much people might praise your work ethics and pleasant demeanor after your passing, it is more important to ensure that you stay alive and healthy, both mentally and physically. At the very least, I know that I would rather be reading about how Godfrey threw a big fuss about the filming and threaten to boycott Zhejiang TV’s program for their grueling torture than about news of his passing.
Perhaps, it might be normal to hear news of celebrities that I follow and like passing on as I grow older but the two young and unexpected deaths of Kimi Qiao (who allegedly committed suicide due to depression amidst tight work schedules) and Godfrey Gao has really unsettled me. It really makes me reevaluate my current lifestyle and what I deem to be important in life. I might be wrong but dear readers, please take care of yourself and the people around you. You always deserve a break, both mentally and physically.
Meanwhile, let’s hope that Godfrey finally gets to enjoy the break that he deserves. Rest in peace, baby boy. You will be remembered and missed.