“Actor, not actress,” says Jojo Goh candidly as I ask about her preferred job title. Clearly, she is a fierce believer of gender equality. “Do you know they are starting to ditch the gender-specific term in Hollywood?” she asserts. Just when I thought I had her all figured out, she continues to surprise me with her expansive knowledge of the entertainment industry as we chat over a cup of coffee at Kings Hall cafe, a hidden gem in the bustling commercial hub of Petaling Jaya.
Goh recently starred in a Netflix original series entitled The Ghost Bride, a period drama set in 1890s colonial Melaka. I could not stop fangirling over her performance as Lim Yan Hong in the show, to which she humbly replies, “Thank you very much, I am so flattered,” before continuing, “I had such a blast working on this Netflix series—made even better with an amazing cast and not to mention co-directed by two very talented Malaysians [Quek Shio Chuan and Ho Yuhang].”
The 36-year-old former beauty queen also remains optimistic regarding the progress of the film industry in Asia, stating that it is “heading in the right direction.” Indeed, her sentiment is especially true after South Korean film Parasite made a historic win at the 2020 Oscars claiming four Academy Awards including ‘Best Picture’—making it the first foreign-language film to do so. “I am proud to say, that our [Malaysian] talents are up there,” she enthuses. “I consider myself to have been given the opportunity to represent Malaysia on both local and international level.”
When it comes to her fashion choices, Goh’s style is ever-changing and this happens every time she gets into character for a new gig. “Style to me reflects my current state of mind and it depends on what kind of impression I want to make on a particular day or ocassion,” Goh explains. One thing is for sure though, she looks smoking hot in a head-to-toe white tailored outfit from Hugo Boss that exudes modern classicism. For her everyday ensemble, however, Goh distinctively favours timelessness and comfort. Like when she remixes an oversized distressed Balenciaga sweater with a Diane Von Furstenberg denim handkerchief skirt for a cool off-duty look.
With sustainability fashion being a hot button topic, Goh is practising conscious spending as one of her efforts to reduce fashion carbon footprint. “Buying less by buying quality has been my mantra when it comes to shopping for clothes,” she shares. “I always make sure that I get the most wear out of every item of clothing and accessory I own— so I always need to be creative when I plan my outfit for the day.”
As for her all-time favourite fashion designer, Goh reveals that it’s none other than Yohji Yamamoto. “I appreciate the story behind each of his design and I love that he calls himself a dressmaker and not a fashion designer,” she gushes, while looking up to Malaysian designers Joe Chia and Moto Guo at the same time. “I think they are the small handful of local labels that are pushing the boundaries and seeking opportunities outside of Malaysia.”
Just before the interview comes to an end, Goh adds that although she is now focused on carving her career as an actor, she is also looking to broaden her horizon with script writing, hoping to produce and direct her own original piece one day. “I’m a storyteller; it is my destiny,” she says, and it’s a wrap!