Colin Mathura-Jeffree, 48, hails from New Zealand, one of the first countries to successfully overcome the new coronavirus (COVID-19). For this, the model, actor, television host and philanthropist appreciates the leadership of his home country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, 39.
The first COVID-19 case in New Zealand was reported on February 28, 2020. On June 8, 2020, Ardern declared that the country is free from the deadly virus.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand on May 12, 1972 to a British father and an Indian mother, Mathura-Jeffree made his acting debut in 1999 by playing the Prince of India named Shakti in “Xena: Warrior Princess.” He went on to star in “Reckless Behavior: Caught on Tape” in 2007, “Love Has No Language” in 2008 and “Stars in Her Eyes” in 2016.
As a model, Mathura-Jeffree traveled around Europe and Asia, walked for Versace and graced numerous international fashion magazines. In 2013, he wrote on New Zealand Herald, “I was baptised a model in 1991 in an era defined by the supermodel and the godfather of those supermodels was Gianni Versace.”
In 2010, Mathura-Jeffree hosted “New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker” and appeared in three episodes of “America’s Next Top Model” Season 15. In the same year, he signed on as a goodwill ambassador for The Railway Children, a charity based in the United Kingdom set up to help homeless youngsters living in and around rail platforms in India.
Mathura-Jeffree served as a judge in “New Zealand’s Next Top Model” from 2009 to 2011, became Alzheimers New Zealand‘s first champion for dementia in 2013 and competed in New Zealand’s “Dancing with the Stars” Season 6 in 2015. Here is a recent interview I had with the British-Indian-Kiwi multi-hyphenate:
CONAN ALTATIS: Where did you spend the quarantine time and who did you spend it with?
COLIN MATHURA-JEFFREE: I spent quarantine in my home in Auckland, New Zealand. It’s a cute cottage on one of the mountains, overflowing with books, vintage magazines, art and champagne. I was self contained with a private garden and beautiful views of Auckland City… So whole isolated in solidarity I was connected to the neighbourhood.
CA: Looking at the bright side, what was the best thing that happened to you during the quarantine time?
CLM: I was an international model so I used to travel ENORMOUSLY in the nineties. So much so I used to write which country I was in before I slept so I didn’t freak out thinking I was home. So I fell back into realising I’m comfortable in my own space. Also while I hosted 4 seasons of the HIT TV show “New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker” I never needed to cook but this pandemic changed all that. Strangely, all the observations of my mother’s most wondrous cooking came back to me and I was making EVERYTHING from fancy curries to boozy trifle. I never realised how easy it could be and fun…even to clean as you go.
CA: What is your message to your country’s prime minister?
CLM: Our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a formidably intelligent person. No one is perfect and being a leader of a nation is no easy task. Dealing with a murderous White Supremist Terrorist, a volcanic eruption that tragically took the lives of tourists and then a Global Pandemic is not easy. But Jacinda Ardern stepped forward not backward. So I’d just say, “Thank You.”
When an international news organisation contacted me to get in touch with our Prime Minister, I did laugh and said I’m not the Press Secretary. I did put them through the right channel and hope the interview went well.