Everything You Need To Know About Godfrey Gao’s Sudden Death On Set


If you’ve been on forums like LadyBoners (safe for work despite what it sounds like), then you’d have heard of Godfrey Gao.

Editor: Hold on a sec… what’s a male writer doing on LadyBoners?

Uh… Scouting my competition? O0oo0o look at those deeply mesmerising eyes and hot bod-

Hmm, yes. So you don’t need to have abs to attract the ladies. / Image: Reddit (r/LadyBoners)

I mean, no homo.

Image: tmiCanada

Godfrey Gao is a 35-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian model-actor best remembered for his various film roles, including lead protagonist in Remembering Lichuan and as Magnus Bane in Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. He was also the first Asian male face of Louis Vuitton.

But this hour’s topic is actually grimmer than I’d like. Despite being only 35 years old, striking the genetic lottery and a career that seems on track to greater success, he died from a heart attack while filming for a Chinese reality TV show.

Died After Collapsing While Filming Chase Me In China

At about 1.45 am, 27 Nov 2019, while filming, Gao just suddenly collapsed.

News from ET Today reported that witnesses saw him looking very exhausted while running, muttering “I can’t do this already” in Mandarin and then collapsing.

Crew members at the site conducted CPR, and for three minutes his heart seemed to have stopped beating. People could be heard constantly shouting “Is there still a heartbeat?”, and only after 15 minutes did Gao’s heart start beating again.

Taiwan News also reported that “Cameramen swarmed around him and kept filming, apparently believing that his actions were part of the show”.

He was then rushed to the hospital at about 2.17am and then passed away after three hours of efforts to save him. He died of cardiac arrest.

Had Been Working For 17 Hours Straight

Further news reports from Oriental Daily then reported more details. On 25 Nov, before the filming for Chase Me, Gao was already down with flu.

The next day, he started filming for Chase Me at 8.30 am. He worked for the rest of the day and felt fine up until midnight when he started feeling some discomfort.

Yes. You can die from overworking, as Taiwanese doctors have said in relation to his death. It doesn’t matter if you were a completely healthy person; excess stress on your body can result in sudden deaths like this.

Wait, Holy Shit, What Kind Of Reality TV Show Is Chase Me Again?

This kind:

Image: Weibo (娱乐扒皮)
Image: Weibo (娱乐扒皮)
Image: YouTube (Zhejiang STV Official Channel)

So, the Chinese version of the American version (Ninja Warrior) of Japanese TV show Sasuke. Which is to say, it is intense.


The main difference is, unlike Sasuke and Ninja Warrior where the contestants were random people, Chase Me involves celebrities.

The show which started broadcasting on 8 Nov 2019 involves two teams competing to win races. In the first episode, they had put up singers, actors, and models against a team consisting of an MMA fighter, bodybuilding champion, sports enthusiast, national basketball team member, and a sniper.

Which sounds horribly imbalanced, though they mixed up the teams on the second.

The intense nature of the show was noted by fans though, especially after Gao’s death.

A fan noted another Lucas Wong being exhausted on the show:


Fans Call For Show To Stop Filming

On Weibo, hashtag #追我吧结束录制 (#ChaseMeStopFilming) and #别录了 (#StopFilming) started trending to call for the show to be cancelled.

Weibo users shared portions of the show where guests and cast members were pushed to or beyond their limits.

One Weibo user noted that Li Han Wen, a model and vocalist, was seen being escorted in a wheelchair.

Image: Weibo

A fan filmed one of the cast members, Wu Xuanyi, fallen into the ball pit without anybody helping her out. Fans at the venue heard her shouting “I really don’t have any more energy, can someone please help me?” in Mandarin.


Actors Have Also Called Out The Difficulty Of The Show

Zhong Chuxi, an actress, had reportedly eaten heart rescuing pills for three days straight because of the show and had expressed that she couldn’t take it after just 2 weeks.

William Chan, another actor, had also said that the show is just too difficult, and filming had often continued until 6 or 7 am. He noted this is too much even for him, who liked exercising.

On the show, Huang Jing Yu was also heard before saying, “Wah, this is too high. This show really pushes you to death.” (哇,太高了,这节目是要把人逼死啊)

The case here really makes you question if the filming of such shows is worth it.