A softer side to Godfrey Gao

A softer side to Godfrey Gao
Taiwanese actor-model Godfrey Gao.

Small dogs and big guys are the new things right now," declares Taiwanese Canadian model-actor Godfrey Gao.

The 1.95m-tall hunk is doing a bit of tongue-in-cheek self-promotion here. He has a pomeranian puppy, Theodore, whom he frequently posts photos of on his Instagram account, godfreygao.

But his love for animals extends beyond dogs.

Two weeks ago, he saved an injured kitten while in Shanghai and took it to a vet. Since leaving the city, he has been receiving regular video updates from friends on the kitten's condition.

It is the second cat the 29-year-old bachelor has rescued. During his college days in Canada, he kept a kitten that he had found in a well.

This softer side to Gao is an endearing contrast to his ruggedly handsome looks that have made him one of Asia's top male models.

He shot to fame after becoming the first Asain to front Louis Vuitton's menswear campaign for spring/summer 2011. He has since appeared on numerous magazine covers and in advertising campaigns. In 2012, he also became the first SK-II Men brand ambassador.

Last week, Gao walked the runway for local designer Ashley Isham at Audi Fashion Festival. It was his first time in a long while on the catwalk.

He says he does not usually do runway shows because "I'm so tall that the clothes can't fit me". He recounts the time he had to sit out a Dolce & Gabbana show in Milan because he was a lot taller than the average male model there.

These days, he is focusing more on acting, taking part in a number of projects including Hollywood franchise The Mortal Instruments, in which he plays flamboyant warlock Magnus Bane.

He is currently filming a Chinese romantic comedy, Wedding Bible, in which he stars opposite Korean actress Yoo In Na.

The X-Men and Avengers fan says his dream is to act in a Marvel film one day and he would love to play Iron Man.

On top of acting, he also has ambitions in the world of fashion. In 2012, he launched a clothing line with three friends in Vancouver.

Called Flagship Lifestyle, it is based in the Canadian city and sold online internationally. The brand reflects Gao's own taste in hip, urban menswear.

When he is not working, he loves to cook and one of his hidden talents is making pandan cake. He says that he first made it after his uncle gave him some pandan leaves. He has made four to five pandan cakes since, which he says were quickly devoured by friends.

Gao jokes: "Maybe I can take over Bengawan Solo."

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