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@melapaloosa meets Kim

September 9th, 2011 by

Blogger Melissa BiJeaux of popstar.com sat with your humble correspondent for breakfast at the Big City Diner.  This being her first time in Hawaii, she’s trying a lot of local cuisine.  She’s had poke (raw fish), poi, and laulau so far.  Here, she shows us how good kim chee (Korean pickled cabbage).

“It’s salty, spicy, a little limp, but otherwise very good!”  She said.  I watched her eat it…she didn’t even go for the water after downing the kim chee.

She attributes her tolerance to spicy foods after years of cajun food burning out her taste buds.

@melapaloosa at Big City Diner enjoying kim chee.

@melapaloosa at Big City Diner enjoying kim chee.

Scott Caan cheers on mortal combat between Muay Thai fighters (new photos)

September 8th, 2011 by
Scott Caan—Scott Caan of Entourage and Hawaii Five-0 checking out the debut of the MuayThai Premier League on September 2, 2011. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Scott Caan—Scott Caan of Entourage and Hawaii Five-0 checking out the debut of the MuayThai Premier League on September 2, 2011. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

This past Friday, Scott Caan was spotted in Los Angeles,  spending part of his Labor Day weekend taking in some exciting fight action at the debut event of the MuayThai Premier League in Long Beach. The MPL is a new league combining the world’s most skilled fighters to compete on an international stage, featuring Thailand’s unique martial art. This was one of three MuayThai events set to take place in the greater Los Angeles area over the course of an eight-month season, and was the biggest event in the sport’s history.

Scott Caan—Scott Caan of Entourage and Hawaii Five-0 checking out the debut of the MuayThai Premier League on September 2, 2011. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Scott Caan—Scott Caan of Entourage and Hawaii Five-0 checking out the debut of the MuayThai Premier League on September 2, 2011. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Who wants to see Scott in the ring for the next MuayThai event? ;)  Check out the photos on Facebook.

Scott Caan—Scott Caan of Entourage and Hawaii Five-0 checking out the debut of the MuayThai Premier League on September 2, 2011. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Scott Caan—Scott Caan of Entourage and Hawaii Five-0 checking out the debut of the MuayThai Premier League on September 2, 2011. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Midweek: Five-O What’s New for Season 2

September 8th, 2011 by

Midweek reporter Rasa Fournier sat down with the Five-0 cast a few weeks ago for this great interview that appeared in yesterday’s Midweek magazine.

Alex O’Loughlin:

When you’re watching yourself on “Hawaii Five-0,” how much self-critiquing goes on?

I hate watching it. I walk away a bit fractured after seeing myself. It’s kind of like when you hear your own voice on an answering machine.

Scott Caan:

What’s your ideal fan? Do we say hi or leave you alone?

Everybody complains about being bothered (by fans), but if they weren’t bothered they’d probably go home and be upset. The perfect fan would have a pen and a paper rather than a camera. Because sometimes I don’t have my hair “did,” you know? (laughs)

Lauren German:

Isn’t she a love interest for McGarrett?

I heard that might happen in the beginning, more so than I’m hearing it now. For now, there’s more of a work chemistry and mutual respect between Lori and McGarrett. As an archetype Lori is sort of not a female version of McGarrett, he’s the head honcho but she can really go toe to toe with him. They think in similar ways, really respect one another and they have a good sense of humor with each other.

Masi Oka

Are you as quirky as your character?

I guess with enough booze anybody’s quirky (laughs). With any character you play, there’s definitely a piece of you in that character. It’s just a portion of you that’s really heightened and exaggerated.

Grace Park:

What about Hawaii stands out for you?

I met a bunch of really cool people. Of course you can say the aloha spirit and the landscape that goes without saying but what touched me more were the specific friendships. This island’s a lot of fun during the day and at night. There’s all sorts of things you can do, that was unexpected.

Daniel Dae Kim

What’s your secret to juggling your personal and public lives?

I don’t know if there’s a secret as much as just valuing and appreciating the work that comes with living in paradise. I try and live as normal a life as possible. I have a family here and I want my kids (two boys) to grow up in a normal environment.

Rasa got quite a few good quotes from the stars of the show.  I find it interesting that Alex has a hard time watching himself, which tells me that the guy is probably a perfectionist who’s always looking at how he could have played a scene better.  Lauren’s quote struck me as well- so it looks like she’s an official add-on to the team by the new governor, presumably to keep tabs on them, but not the romantic interest for McGarrett we’ve been led to believe she’ll be.  Masi and Scott apparently play characters who are not far removed from their own personalities.

I loved this interview because Rasa asked quite a few questions that I’ve never heard asked before to the cast, especially about how the stars handle relationships with their fans.

Read the whole interview at Midweek online.

Mike Gordon: Peter Lenkov hopes SOTB fans won’t leak the story

September 4th, 2011 by

Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Mike Gordon wrote a great piece on the potential for people to reveal plot twists during the Sunset on the Beach premiere episode of Hawaii Five-0 via social networking.

The ability to instantly communicate with like-minded people definitely adds to the TV viewing pleasure of fans everywhere but the potential to ruin a surprise is just 140 characters away.

Peter Lenkov, the show’s executive producer, admitted to being a little worried. If you live here, though, you’ll love his reasoning.

“There are major twists and turns in the story that we are very nervous about getting out,” he said. “But at the end of the day we have to do this and we want to do it and it is very important that we do it. We feel connected to the island and we want to give something back.”

Lenkov hopes tweeting fans will limit the number of juicy spoilers out of respect for the show.

I personally remember sitting on the beach for the premiere of the second season of “Lost”.  Producer/writer Carlton Cuse closed out his speech by imploring to the audience not to leak any of the contents of the episode onto the internet.  And like a true fan, I excitedly told everyone on the forums the next day that I saw the entire glorious, jaw dropping episode…and told people to sit and wait to be awed.  I didn’t utter a single peep.

Likewise,  I hope the Hawaii Five-0 fans blessed with the opportunity and good fortune to watch this first episode do not breath a word about it on the internet.  This may be wishful thinking, but it needs to be said.  The entire cast and crew – fromPeter on down – have given this gift to us, and I’d hate to see it ruined by overzealous fans.

If you don’t want to be spoiled, avoid twitter and Facebook, at all costs.  It might spare you the heartache of finding out that it was [FAKE SPOILER ALERT] Professor Plum who killed John McGarrett, with the gun, in the study.

Brian Yang is a Renaissance man

September 3rd, 2011 by

Brian Yang is a Renaissance man
Actor, producer, romantic, Spam aficionado…Brian Yang is all of the above and more.

***

I stood waiting in front of the doors of the building, phone to my ear.  It didn’t help that we had a slight miscommunication about the meeting place.

“I’ll be right there, see you in a bit,” said the voice in my phone.  Not long after, Brian Yang rounded the corner.

“Officer 808!” he beamed at me.  With a non-Caruso swipe, he took off his sunglasses and shook my hand.  I instantly noticed his easy, laid back demeanor – if not Hawaiian, it was at least Californian.

We made our way to the tables. My photographer and I set up for the interview.

***

Hey Brian, thanks so much for taking the time to talk.
Yeah, no problem.  I got some time right now, so I’m more than happy to be sitting right here.

Brian Yang as Charlie Fong, Hawaii Five-0

New York City, Alaska, Taipei, Hawaii…you’re a jet setter aren’t you?  Are you just an international man of leisure and acting is just a passing hobby?
It’s mostly business, I’m definitely not an international man of leisure!  I do get that a lot, and it feels like that in a way. With travel comes the advantages of experiencing different cultures and having leisure time, so I’m definitely enjoying my travels.  But I don’t travel that much for fun, it’s primarily all to do with film and television.  All those different markets are places I plug into, from project to project.

Sometimes they need me here… to shoot an episode of Five-0, sometimes it’s my own project that I’m producing and I had to run off to Taiwan.

What are you working on in Taiwan?
I’m producing a web documentary series about this NBA basketball player, Jeremy Lin. So he was in Taiwan for two weeks, and we went out there to follow him around.  And that’s something we were working on for a couple of months now, so we’re spending the bulk of the summer filming his story and going to different places.

What’s so compelling about his story?
Two years ago when he graduated from Harvard University, he got into the national consciousness because he started performing really well on the court.  What made him unique was that he’s second generation Asian-American and he really got the attention of the scouts. They thought he had a shot in the NBA which is rare for two reasons. The obvious one being Asian, there aren’t a lot of Asians making the pro ranks, but there have been an influx of Chinese players, Yao Ming being the main one.  He went to Palo Alto High School, right down the street from where I grew up.  The second reason is because Harvard is not known for producing pro basketball players. Ultimately he was picked up by the Golden State Warriors.

Brian Yang as Charlie Fong, Hawaii Five-0

I’m still tapped in to my hometown and my family still lives there.  One year I was home during Christmas, and reading through the paper, and his story was in there, and I was like, “Jeremy Lin,” player of the year?  You don’t see too many Lins on the hardwood.  And so I started following his career little by little and eventually the timing was right and my film production company 408 Films put together a team with the Lin family.  It was a long process but we eventually got approval and started to shoot this summer.

So where does it start, from high school to his NBA career?
We’re primarily focused on his rise…Jeremy Lin went to a small school, Harvard, then the NBA…and the fact that he’s an Asian-American breaking all sorts of stereotypes.  That’s a very important part of the story but we didn’t want to necessarily regurgitate what’s been told many different times. So we’re actually going deeper, talking about his family, going back to his childhood, going back to his roots in Taiwan, to see where his family grew up.  This story is going to be more of an “A to Z” of his life than just a three to four minute piece.

You talked about breaking stereotypes.  You’ve worked with Daniel Dae Kim and I’m sure you know of Kelvin Han Yee. When I read Daniel’s interviews and when I interviewed Kelvin, they talked about how it was hard to break the shell of getting roles not thought for Asians. In 2011, do you still feel that that’s a hurdle?
Interestingly enough as an aside…I met Kelvin in passing on a short film we did in San Fran together.  He probably doesn’t even remember me, but I remember him because he has a very commanding presence.  And it was the first thing I’d ever done, and inspired me to continue to act.

Brian Yang as Charlie Fong, Hawaii Five-0

Starting back in the late 90s ’till today, I’ve seen improvements. To be honest, I still do feel challenges. I still get auditions from my agents for a two liner for a Japanese waiter with an accent.  The struggle is not so much that the roles don’t exist, or with the people in charge, but we’re just being marginalized in stereotyped roles.  I think it’s opening up a little bit, shows like Hawaii Five-0 help out.  I was frustrated at the beginning of my career, but there are a lot of things beyond my control.  That’s why I decided I wanted to be a producer.  I have more control over the projects I wanted to be involved in, not just as an actor, but crafting stories for and by Asian people.

Do you have any other projects going on?
We’re starting production in Los Angeles on Night Dream Blues. It’s an independent film directed by a young AFI graduate, Nadine Truong. It’s her first feature, and we’re very excited about this.

Are you starring in that?
I’m acting in this as well.  In general I don’t necessarily want to act in everything I’m involved in as a producer.  There’s a fine line between “producer” and “actor”, and a lot of Hollywood actors go off and start their own production company.  I think it’s smart and brilliant- once they’re in the game long enough, they become filmmakers. It’s such an organic process, you’re always going to have creative ideas in your head, you’re going to be in touch with other people floating ideas around you, and next thing you know, you’re an independent filmmaker.  Obviously when you’re a high profile Hollywood actor, it’s easier to get a project off the ground. I just figured I was just gonna do this ‘cause I have the energy, drive and passion.  I don’t have the profile, but I have all the other things that can help me be a good producer which is one of the reasons why I started 408 films.  I don’t care how people see me…but just as long the projects I’m working on are good, I can prove I can do it, and people will accept me.  So I’m aware of that, and I happen to be acting in Night Dream Blues, it’s a great script. I really identify with it and want to help see it through.

Brian Yang as Charlie Fong, Hawaii Five-0

I saw some information on Night Dream Blues on Kickstarter.  What’s that?
They help artist seed their projects by raising money from the community, but it’s done in a way where you’re making a donation, not an investment. So basically, we pass the hat around and see what we can come up with. You have to set up a timeline- 30, 60 days, or 90 days and people will sponsor you.  People can kick in as low as a dollar to as high as whatever they want and they get their credit card charged.  For us, we wanted to raise a goal of $7500.  We have most of our financing raised, but we wanted to have a little bit of a buffer. So $7500 is the goal, if you hit it by the date you set, Kickstarter releases the money to you, if not, you don’t get the money, and the donors don’t get charged.

I know people want to help out and finance the production, but is there any swag that you guys are giving out?  Like an autographed 8×10, or a bag of popcorn?
More than popcorn! There are different tiers of rewards; from $5 to $5000 you can get different things. Nadine [the director] is offering a photography session.  There are scripts, DVD copies, stills from the set, visits to the set… you can buy your way into a lot of these perks.  You can get a mention on the Facebook page if you have a business you want to promote. People want to get something out of it, and we understand.

We’re at about $5500 [at interview time]. We’re almost there but we need a big kick in the next two weeks. What I think tends to happen is that people tend to rush in at the end to help…we’re crossing our fingers that’s going to happen.

Another project you were involved with was Shanghai Rush.  Did you produce it?
No, I was the host, just a hired gun.  They needed an Asian face with a western speaking ability.  I’m glad I had that experience!  I got to see Shanghai a lot of residents probably don’t get to see.  Talk about cramming in the entire city in one month’s time!

It’s like the Amazing Race? So you were the Asian Phil Keogh?
Yeah!

You said on Twitter that Taipei was one of the most romantic cities?
When I got older, I spent more time in Taipei, and started to appreciate more of the beauty.  I haven’t been to every romantic city, but I’ve been to Rome, but not Paris. But out of all the cities I’ve gone to, there’s something about Taiwan.  There’s something sleepy, more relaxed, people are nice to one another, just like Hawaii.  There are these night markets; these in particular are what makes me think that it’s romantic.  There are food stands, gift stands, games you can play. It’s nothing spectacular, but you see couples holding hands, nibbling on food together, guys playing a game to win something for their girlfriends.

Basically it’s where you go for date night?
Yeah, but I go there just to get food, it’s amazing, and cheap!

So bottom line, if I wanted to meet girls in Taipei, this is where I go?
Yeah!

Alright I’ll make a mental note of that…

You mentioned in your blog before that you’re surprised that actors who want to be in a show never actually watch the show, can you explain that?
Well, I’ve been a fan of Five-0 since day one. I was too young for the old series, but my parents watched it. I remember when we were kids, my dad, we used to make fun of him, ‘cause he used to look like the original Chin Ho actor. We’d call him ‘Chin Ho’ when he wore a Hawaiian shirt.  But when I heard the show was going to be remade, I said “That’s great!”  I love Hawaii; I’ve been here many times. I thought it was a smart idea to do this one, the obvious factor was setting the show in Hawaii.  It is a show that helps to put Asian-Americans in the forefront which I thought is fantastic; especially after Lost went away, since they cast a number of Asians. So I just jumped in from day one and loved it. When the opportunity came up [getting cast], I had to pinch myself.  I guess I thought it was possible. But when it happened it was amazing…I already felt like I knew the characters, the storyline. So when I got the sides to go into the read, I was reading them like I knew the back of my hand.  I knew Kono and the relationships that she has. It was a treat to see the words on the paper, rather than waiting for it to happen on the screen. It felt so familiar, like I had the advantage of doing my homework, that I didn’t have to do my research on the relationships on the cousins. So when I say I’m surprised that actors want to act, but they say they refuse to watch TV, or they don’t have the time or they don’t own one.  If you want to act, you have to treat this like your profession and do everything you can to put the ball in your court and empower yourself.  Watch film, TV, get to know who’s who.  You don’t have to watch every minute of every series, but at least have recognition of different shows.  But if you get the audition for that show, you have that much advantage over the next guy who didn’t.  Everyone has their own way of preparing.  My experience of being a fan and watching every minute of this show has done nothing but help me.

I’m sure that will make Peter Lenkov happy!
[laughs] I can’t guarantee that’ll get you a part on the show, but it doesn’t hurt.  I think it makes sense…I encourage actors who are trying to get into shows to start watching what they want to get in.

Brian Yang as Charlie Fong, Hawaii Five-0

How many episodes are you going to be in this season?
I don’t know.  Charlie Fong comes and goes when the writers put him in.  I don’t have a guarantee on episodes; I’m just here when they call me.  They don’t have the whole season planned out, but all I can say is that Charlie Fong will be in the next few episodes.

You tease!
Keep in mind, it can be briefly, or a little bit more. These procedural crime shows like CSI, NCIS, they fill their shows out with supporting characters like lab techs. You’ll never know when they come and go.  Trust me, even the actors don’t even know.

Did you see the internet response to your episode?
… I did see a few things like on 50undercover.com, but I don’t know how to necessarily find the feedback.

Generally speaking, the fans loved the chemistry between your character and Grace Park’s character.
I’m thrilled to hear that!!!  Charlie Fong…I have no control over what happens, but I know sometimes fans can influence what the writers and producers decide how the storyline goes.

What kind of trouble does Charlie Fong get into this year? Or how does he help?
I don’t know much more than the next few episodes, but I do know that he cares about Kono and her well being.  That’s probably all I can say, and quite honestly, all I really know.  We’ll see how that unfolds.

Intriguing! So, the press release says that William Baldwin is filming.  He’s going to be in a multi-episode arc, and he’s showing some interest in Kono.  Is there gonna be some arm wrestling over Kono?
[laughs] First of all, he’d probably beat me, but I haven’t heard of anything that would put the two of us together and have any Jerry Springer-type moment. All I can say to that is William is going to be a multi-episode arc which suggests he will no longer be in the show at some point.  The lab guy, hopefully he’s here to stay.

Brian Yang as Charlie Fong, Hawaii Five-0

Do we find out anything else about Kono’s and Charlie’s past?  Did they play truth or dare in the ninth grade? Go to junior prom together?
[laughs]  I would presume, but I don’t know!

What’s the most complicated thing that Charlie Fong had to say that Brian Yang didn’t understand, chemically speaking?
Hah! That’s become a catchphrase with my friends.  I can’t remember the specific dialog, but it had to do with the plastic melting and the chemicals being released.  But what’s so impressive was that the effects guys are controlling the monitor in front of me, and I had to react to it…I’m not controlling it.  But hey, as long as I sold the scene, I’m happy!

It must be the Punahou education, Charlie.  So, you love Hawaii, do you eat Spam?
I like my Spam!  I make Spam musubis for parties with my friends, and I’d bring a huge tray to a party.  Do you know what the secret is to forming the perfect musubi?  Use an empty spam can.  Get the rice and cube it, lay the spam, then the seaweed, then push the can onto it all.  It comes out perfectly!

Any food discoveries while you’re here?
Local food here kills me, it’s that good.  I’m inspired by Daniel and Alex and the shape that they’re in despite being surrounded by all this good food.  Even though I’m just Charlie Fong the lab tech, I can’t go crazy eating all this food.

I also found this place called The Pig and the Lady.  It’s a pop up kitchen started by Andrew Le who used to be a chef at Mavro’s.  It started up about a month or two ago, and it’s already making waves.  It’s sold out every night it has been open.  They got five course meals…it’s really good.

I love shave ice, spam musubi, laulau, Zippy’s…you’ll find me there every once in awhile.   I love the food of the land, it’s so unique.

Well my friend, that’s all I have, thanks again for your time!

***

Check out “The People I’ve Slept With” from Brian’s 408 Films production company on Netflix!

Since the interview, Night Dream Blues, has hit their goal of $7500, but they can still use your help.  If you’d like to be part of the independent film making process, help Brian’s 408 Films and donate to Night Dream Blues on Kickstarter!

Get ready for the Jeremy Lin documentary.

Follow Brian on twitter at @briflys and on facebook http://www.facebook.com/charliefongHPD.

Follow Night Dream Blues the movie @nightdreamblues, and on facebook http://www.facebook.com/nightdreamblues.

***

Interview BTS

My cameraman and I wrapped up the interview and started getting our gear together.

“Brian, how’d you get involved in Hawaii Five-0, anyway,” my cameraman asked.

“Brah, don’t you read my blog?!?” I laughed.

Brian laughed and gave him the story.

“My friend who’s on the production team invited me to the Hall and Oates concert here in Hawaii last year [Brian is a huge Hall and Oates fan].  We went to the concert, and he happened to mention that there was a role in Five-0 that I was perfect for.  I auditioned for it and got the part.”

“So what’s your favorite Hall and Oates song?” I asked.  “Let’s say Charlie Fong and Kono are on a plane and it’s going down in flames.  You have time to download one song.  What song is it going to be?”

“Hmm…that’s tough,” Brian started.  “When I was here at the concert, Daryl Hall said that Hawaiians here have a Hall and Oates song locals are crazy for…”

“That would be “Goodnight and Good Morning”, since a local group Cecilio and Kapono covered it back in the 1970’s,” I added.  “For me, I like “Say It Isn’t So…”

“Yeah, that’s from the 1983 album “Rock ‘n Soul Part 1,” Brian said quickly.

I looked at my photographer.  Damn…Brian is good.

“But yeah, the crowd here went wild when they played Goodnight and Good Morning,” Brian said.  “But for me, I think it would be “One On One”.

“That’s the perfect song to be trapped on an island with Kono,” my photographer said, smiling.

***

Mahalo to the ladies of The O’Laughing Press for contributing questions.

Mike Gordon reveals Hawaii Five-0 season 2 stuntwork

September 1st, 2011 by

Jeff Cadiente directs the stunt work on set. (Photo: Jamm Aquino)

Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Mike Gordon recently spent some time on the set of Hawaii Five-0 to talk to Jeff Cadiente, the Emmy nominated stunt coordinator for the show.  With a Waialua ranch as the backdrop, Mike and photographer Jamm Aquino watched the filming of a gunfight…with none of the principle actors, but their stand in stunt doubles.  Check out the photoset here, and watch the video as well.

 

Vidcaps from the new Hawaii Five-0 promo

September 1st, 2011 by

Courtesy of @H50Germany!  See the photoset…frame by glorious high kicking frame.

Yes, Kono is still in the show.  (Photo: CBS)

Yes, Kono is still in the show. (Photo: CBS)

Criminals shoot up Bank of O’ahu in downtown Honolulu

August 31st, 2011 by

Apparent bank robbers armed with automatic weapons stormed the Bank of O’ahu’s downtown branch early Monday morning.  The Five-0 task force, along with HPD was called in to confront the armed men.  On scene were LCDR Steve McGarrett, Lieutenant Chin Ho Kelly, and Detective Danny Williams.  (Video courtesy of @PhotoluluTV)

New Hawaii Five-0 season 2 promo for “Ha’i'ole”

August 30th, 2011 by

Are you guys getting excited yet!?!  This is an extended version of the Terry O’Quinn preview:  McG in an orange jumper!  Kono kicking butt! From @theFive0s:

BTS with Scott, Alex, and…Tom Sizemore; and BTS from Monday’s downtown filming

August 29th, 2011 by

Check out Facebook for some BTS filming from downtown today, 8/29/11. Spotted on set were Alex O’Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim and William Baldwin.

This photo is courtesy of Mizzoh at AOLRocks.  Check out the photoset!

BTS with Scott Caan, Alex O'Loughlin and Tom Sizemore.  Photo: Flynet, posted by Mizzoh.

BTS with Scott Caan, Alex O'Loughlin and Tom Sizemore. Photo: Flynet, posted by Mizzoh.