He would have been 36 today.
I remember how shaken I felt when I heard the news less than a year ago. It felt so unreal, and so unfair. I still feel a wistful pang when I recall his memory, knowing he was taken far too early. He had so much more to be here on Earth.
I believe it was the 2007 TW-drama I Want to Become a Hard Persimmon (我要變成硬柿子) where I first laid eyes on him. If I recall correctly, his Mandarin wasn’t too great back then, but it was part of his charm, what with his soft-spoken personality. Down the rabbit hole I went: frequently perusing this Tumblr fanpage, lingering on his every gaze in the 2012 C-drama The Queen of SOP (勝女的代價), and forcing myself through the atrocious 2013 film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in aggravatingly low resolution for what felt like only a few minutes of Godfrey screentime. I think I was more enamored with the type of person he was offscreen, rather than the characters he portrayed.
But then came the 2013 C-webseries Never Give Up, Dodo (錢多多煉愛記), which solidified my love for him as an actor. I’ve written at length on the show in years past so I won’t delve any further, beyond this: farcical, hilarious, bursting at the seams with so much heart on what it means to be a silly young couple on their way to the altar. I had never seen anything so simultaneously crude yet wholesome, and I will love Godfrey forever for letting me experience such a brilliant tongue-in-cheek story in full bloom. It is a shame that he ran out of time to experience such a marriage in his own life. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch any of his posthumous works, but I’m sure he approached every single one with a hardworking, professional attitude as we all knew him to have.
In my early days of discovering Godfrey, I came across one of his English-language interviews on YouTube. Hearing him speak in such a humble, gentle manner was so refreshing, like music to my ears. He was so inexplicably soft and sweet, different from the usual celebrity vibe. And granted, he was still a relative newcomer at the time, but I think he continued to carry that kind of humility in himself throughout his entire career.