He may have played many different characters as an actor and model, but there is one important one that has changed him. Jason Godfrey, the star of several Singaporean drama series, as well as a prolific television presenter, says that becoming a father made him want to be a better person.
"It’s taught me that my boy will copy everything that I do, so I saw a need to start acting like the person I want him to be," he relates. "You stop cursing, getting frustrated easily, being too much of a knucklehead, or at least you try, because you realise this little guy is watching and learning from you."
The Filipino-Canadian star became a dad last year after marrying longtime girlfriend, Romanian-born Sorina Veronica, in 2019. His son, Will, was born just before things got really bad with the pandemic and Singapore triggered its first “circuit breaker” in April.
He now tries his best to impart the best life lessons to his child.
"I think being able to admit you’re wrong and learn from your mistakes is the most important thing. And that requires confidence. To admit failures and grow takes a confident person."
Godfrey, 43, is based in Singapore. He has been a model in the past – the experience of which, he describes as "more humiliating than anything".
"Modeling is something that needs a lot of confidence to be really good at. That’s why the best models need to feel like they have something to share on camera," he says.
"I mostly worked because I had a natural smile. So I was lucky to make steady money as a mostly commercial model. But during that time, I never felt very good about what I was doing, both morally and professionally. I knew I was just making it off my genetics."
He speaks of his modelling experience with abrupt honesty.
"I’m from the era of male models where the less you tried, the cooler you seemed. That might have seemed cool when I was younger, but now that I’m older and more dad bod-ish, it can make me a little sloppy or dare I say, dumpy in my off screen persona," he points out.
His views on fashion and personal style are just as candid. He lists his fashion essentials as merely a pair of jeans or pants, and a plain shirt. Those are things he can easily dress up with a jacket for that "effortless" look.
"After 20 years of getting dressed up for work, I try to keep things simple in my personal life. Though I should strive for simple and classic and not sloppy and dumpy."
Godfrey has written a fiction novel titled Catwalk Fail. It tells the story of a male model and his adventures flying around the world, nurturing his body and trying hard to be part of the Milan fashion scene – that is, until a big life change.
There are parallels to Godfrey's life experience in terms of witnessing an evolution with the character of his book. Although, in a different manner.
He notes: "Moving into writing, and acting, I’ve become much more confident about my skills or my limitations because there is a skill level to be measured. With modelling, not so much."
His column in The Star, Big Smile, No Teeth, is an outlet for him to express his views on various different subjects.
"Most times I write about something that is interesting, funny or infuriating in the news. If I ever have writers block, I just sift through the days headlines and try to pick something I have strong feelings about and have at it."
Godfrey is currently busy with drama series, Kin. He says it is the the longest running long form (industry speak for soap opera) in Singaporean history. Airing five episodes a day, he shoots every single week.
"I don’t think things will go back to the way they were before totally. Things like wearing masks or working from home will probably continue post pandemic," he adds, regarding how our lifestyle in general has changed.
And as a relatively new dad, he is still acclimatising himself to parenthood.
"I’m not sure I have a parenting style just yet. Will, my boy, is still too young to really need tons of discipline. But I’m starting to see that I’m going to be more of a disciplinarian than I thought," he states.
"Not to say I won’t let him have fun, I want to prioritise fun, but there are boundaries and I think those boundaries shouldn’t be breached."