It’s tough living with a cast member of a TV show you’re following. Just ask Rose Leslie (wife of Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington) or Sorina Veronica Catuna (wife of KIN’s Jason Godfrey), who’ve both been subjected to unwanted spoilers just because they asked their partners about their day at work.
When we caught up with Jason to talk about KIN’s five-year time jump (which starts in episode 244) and his recent wedding, the Filipino-Canadian actor admitted that talking about what happened on the set of the popular Channel 5 series at home can get him in trouble if he’s not careful.
One example is when he - spoiler alert for those who are still far behind - revealed that his character James Shelley’s then-fiancée Emily Kwan was going to cheat on him. “She was like, ‘Aaargh! Why would you tell me!’ It did not go down well,” he recalled with a sheepish grin.
Well, that certainly didn’t stop Sorina, an interior designer from Romania whom he dated for about eight years, from agreeing to marry Jason when he popped the question during a weekend getaway in Phuket, Thailand.
“We were walking along the beach and I thought, okay, this is nice, I’m going to try and propose,” he recalled. “Her hands were full because she had been picking up recycling, so I made her stand in the sand - with her feet nicely buried so she couldn’t run away from me - and I asked her to marry me. I saw the panic in her eyes, but she couldn’t move, and she said yes. She had no choice. (Laughs)”
He’s clearly embellished some details for comedic effect, but hey, that’s one way to tell your future kids how mummy and daddy became engaged. And yes, Jason and Sorina “definitely” have plans to start a family. He’s already been getting ample practice on how to handle children thanks to his onscreen daughter in KIN, five-year-old child actress Germaine Tong.
“On our first day, we only shot two scenes, but it felt like I had shot 12 - I was so tired! If I have a kid, my favourite game is going to be ‘daddy’s going to lie on the couch while you play over there’.” We’re sure those with little ones at home can relate.
(Continued on next page: Read on as Jason tells us about his wedding, what it’s been like working on KIN, and more!)
Toggle: Tell us what’s in store for your character in KIN after the five-year time jump.
Jason: I actually don’t know. (Laughs) Nothing in KIN is set in stone, but I have an idea of where the writers might want James to go. Right now, he’s in a good place: he has his family and he really loves his daughter, but since viewers know that [mild spoiler alert for those who haven’t caught up] he isn’t her real father, I’m assuming that’s going to blow up at some point. So I’m gearing up for some heartbreaking “they’re taking my daughter away!” scenes, but I don’t know for sure.
Were there any adjustments you had to make for your portrayal of James after the time jump?
For the first two seasons, it was pretty rough because it was frustrating to play someone who was never happy and never got what he wanted. And with the shooting schedule, where I would film, go home, rehearse my lines, and go back and do it all over again the next day, I was just living as James, whose life is not fun except for the fact that he’s rich. (Laughs) But after the time jump, he’s so much happier so I could let loose as well, and since I’m a more carefree guy in real life while James is very uptight, I could actually do less work and be more normal and natural.
Has working with a child been as difficult as some people say?
I’ve heard horror stories about working with kids, but I’m pretty lucky because Germaine has done a lot of productions so she’s pretty disciplined. She could be clowning around one moment, but as soon as someone says to stand by she’ll give me a serious look and [puts finger to lip in shushing gesture]. Oh yeah, she tells you what to do.
There was once, we were filming a scene where James introduces his daughter to Ananya (played by Carla Dunareanu), and when Carla stepped forward to say hi, she stepped off her mark, and Germaine was immediately like, “You’re off your mark.” And even after that, I noticed Germaine watching Carla intently. She’s such a professional, and she’ll make a great director one day! (Laughs)
What are some of the most memorable responses you have received from fans about your role in KIN?
Since I got married, people have been writing to me and saying things like, “Oh, I’m so sad, why couldn’t you marry Ananya?” And I’m like, you know she’s not real, right? (Laughs) Another funny thing is, not long after I posted my wedding photos, I shared a photo of myself with my KIN family, and someone wrote, “Oh my gosh, you just got married and you’ve already got such a beautiful family!” I think I need to start putting a branding on my photos differentiating between my real life and TV life. (Laughs) But it’s not a bad thing! It’s just funny.
Speaking of getting married, how was your wedding? Did everything go as planned?
Yeah, it did! To be honest, my wife and her cousin handled most of the actual wedding planning, while I was more worried about the logistics. There were a lot of people coming in and her town is in a very remote part of Romania, so I wanted to make sure that everyone was taken care of, but it went well!
What are your honeymoon plans?
We were planning to go to Perth, Australia, because she’s never been there, but she ended up getting a new job so we’ve put it off for now. Maybe our honeymoon is going to be at East Coast Park. We’ll just pitch a tent and have a barbecue by the beach. (Laughs) [Ed’s note: Jason, please do not do that.]
What’s next for you, work-wise?
I’ve been writing a new series for Oak3 Films in my spare time, and that’s going to come out next year. Other than that, it’s just more KIN. Nobody knows when it’s going to end. (Laughs) I think it’ll end when they feel viewers have gotten enough of it, but it’s still going strong, and the time jump seems to have resonated with people.
Where do you personally hope James will be when the series ends?
I know a lot of fans hope James is going to end up with Ananya, especially those who said to me, “I can’t believe you got married to another woman! What about Ananya!?” She’s not real! (Laughs) But yeah, ultimately, I do hope he ends up with Ananya and, ideally, also has his daughter back. And hopefully, he would have reconciled with his family.
Watch episodes of KIN on Toggle.
KIN airs weeknights, 8.30pm on Channel 5.
Photos: Tammi Tan, Mediacorp Channel 5, Instagram/Jason Godfrey, Instagram/Sorina Veronica Catuna, Instagram/Carla Dunareanu