It's been four years since our last chat with TV icon and media mogul Jason Dundas. Back then he was hosting Australia's most popular TV shows and modeling for our largest department store. He's now US-based, hosting entertainment shows and running a media empire. Men’s Health recently sat down with Dundas in the picturesque ski resort of Coronet Peak, New Zealand, to find out what's changed, and why he seems happier than ever.
MH: Hi Jason, thanks for joining us again. It’s been four long years since we last chatted, you were hosting MTV in US interviewing A-list celebs then, an ambassador for David Jones, one of the busiest men in TV. Tell us, what’s been happening since then?
JD: My life has gone a full circle. When I was 21, I started a graphic design degree in Western Sydney and the catalyst which allowed me to create the audition tape in FinalCut to win a job at MTV. Since I saw you last, the whole landscape of media has changed, now an iPhone allows you to be your own broadcast channel and I have started a business called Dundas Media which is creating content for small screens and we have our creative office hub in the media capital of the world LA with about 100+ production crews around the world.
MH: Who are some of your clients?
JD: We worked with Air New Zealand, Gumtree, Jaguar, David Jones, HBO, Australia Zoo, LA Tourism, LAX and episodes of Getaway, so it’s expanding really well.
MH: Diet and exercise has always been a big part of your life, tell us how that’s evolved
JD: I’m now 36, I made a big shift about 2 years ago where every morning I do a 20-30 mins of stretch routine to focus on mobility and flexibility after years of heavy lifting in my younger years. I’ve studied personal training online and became certified for my own knowledge and studying to be a holistic health coach at Institution of Integrated Nutrition in New York. I do tennis, swimming for low impact, HIIT workout, running, hikes, skiing, and love Equnox gyms in US. There’s also been an explosion of fitness trackers and I love my Apple Watch to keep track of my daily calories and progress of how hard I am pushing myself. When it comes to diet, now that I am running a media business instead of my earlier days of modelling for David Jones – it’s more about what’s going to allow me to be more proactive and razor sharp mentally rather than having a six pack. I’ve stopped drinking coffee for matcha green tea which I mix in a smoothie blender for sustained mix of energy. I’ve also embraced intermittent fasting which keeps your mind clear and ketosis diet after working with Wes Okerson, who is Tom Cruise and Gerald Butler’s trainer – if you eat certain amount of carbohydrates per day, your body reverses from burning triglyceride fuel and burns stored fat.
MH: During your MTV hosting days, Ryan Seacrest was someone you looked up to. Who do you admire now?
JD: The ROCK! His production company Seven Bucks is amazing. I once tweeted him ‘Rock you are my hero’ to which he replied ‘Thanks JD, The Rock is my hero too’ – he comes from nothing, total rags to riches, he embraces the digital platform to interact with the audiences better than anyone I know. I also love Mark Wahlberg, his diversification with the Wahlburgers restaurants, his protein powder supplements and entrepreneurial mindset.
MH: With your career successes, there are bound to be some failures too, can you share some of them and what’ve you learned from the experiences?
JD: Half way through the season of hosting X-Factor, it was cancelled in a blink. I had been working for 12 years of my whole life to be a TV host and it took me six months of soul searching and guts to start Dundas Media and it’s opened up other television opportunities including Page Six TV in NY.
MH: You mentioned your love for skiing and wearable technology, how did you get into it first and have you had a chance to combine the two here in Coronet Peak?
JD: Absolutely, I’ve been a boarder all my life but got into skiing after filming a Getaway segment with aerial ski champion Alisa Camplin in 2006 in Colorado and never looked back since. I’m currently in love with an app on my Apple Watch called snoww which tracks every facet of your performance on the mountain including the distance covered, top speed, calories burnt and the vertical drop. Thanks to its cellular 4G capability, you no longer need to take out your iPhone out of your pocket as you can use the Siri voice activation to tell the app to start and stop tracking your day. Using the watch’s very sophisticated altimeter, accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, the watch knows when you are on the ski lifts to the moment you get off. The app also comes in handy to find out where your mates are on the slopes using its GPS and I especially enjoy the social aspects and looking at the leaderboard feature of snoww, for example, a mate’s top speed at the hills today was 92km/h, I’ll be sure to beat that score soon to shut him up! Technology keeps me at the forefront of everything I do from content creation to tracking my everyday performances and this amazing app is another prime example of that.
MH: Jason Dundas, thanks once again for joining us and happy shredding!
JD: Right on!