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Masi Oka tests the indie waters

September 1st, 2012 by

Between his role on Hawaii Five-0 and his appearance in a new independent film, the multi-talented Masi Oka is maintaining a very full schedule.  His new movie “Searching for Sonny” sounds quite intriguing, and coincidentally, stars Jason Dohring, Alex O’Loughlin’s pal from his “Moonlight” days.

From iamRogue.com

IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Masi Oka Talks 'Searching for Sonny' and 'Hawaii Five-0'

American-Japanese actor Masi Oka actually began his career as a visual effects artist at ILM working on such films as The Perfect StormHulk, and the most resent Star Wars trilogy. But it was his role as Hiro Nakamura on the fan-favorite NBC series Heroes that took him from behind the camera and made him a household name.

Since the popular series ended, Oka has appeared in several popular films including Get SmartBalls of FuryThe Promotion, and Friends with Benefits, as well as landing a role on another hit television series; Hawaii Five-0. But now, the talented young actor can once again be seen on the big screen in the new film noir comedy Searching for Sonny, which was helmed by first time director Andrew Disney and will be available on VOD, DVD, Blu-ray, and in theaters via TUGG on August 28th.

Searching for Sonny tells the story of Elliot (Jason Dohring), Calvin (Nick Kocher), Gary (BrianMcElhaney) and Eden (Minka Kelly), four old friends who find themselves chief suspects in a murder mystery at their ten-year high school reunion. Ironically, the events surrounding the disappearance of their former-classmate Sonny (Oka), is reminiscent of a high school play they once performed, coincidentally written by Sonny himself. Deception leads to scandal and the truth surfaces as the friends learn that shady businessmen and school officials, including their former principal (MichaelHogan) are involved in a complex scheme of money and murder.

I recently had a chance to speak with actor Masi Oka about making Searching for Sonny, as well as his work on Hawaii Five-0Oka discussed his new film, taking on a small but pivotal role, making his first independent film, director Andrew Disney’s script, working with Battlestar Galactica actor Michael Hogan, life after Heroes, and joining the cast of Hawaii Five-0.

Here is what he had to say:

IAR: To begin with, while your character in Searching for Sonny is the title role, it’s a very small part. So what attracted you to this project?

Masi Oka: Well first of all I think Andrew is a great guy. He’s very interesting and I think he has a lot of potential as a director. I love the tone video he created. He created kind of like this mini trailer and I thought he was like really talented, so I wanted to work with him. I also knew that my friend Minka(Kelly) was going to be working on it too so I thought it would be fun to just dive in and do something. Also, I’ve never done an indie before so I also thought it’d be a great experience just to learn what that side you know the job is like.

So you wanted to get a little indie cred going, is that right?

Oka: Yeah absolutely, but it was kind of scary because when you go to an indie film, literally I found that everybody on set except for maybe two people were younger than me. So I felt like I was getting old.

Well you’ve been at this game for a long time now, haven’t you?

Oka: Yeah I don’t feel that way, but now reflecting back … I guess I’ve been around.

What was your initial reaction to reading director Andrew Disney’s script?

Oka: I think it was a very fun script. It’s a great cast, great crew, and it’s a lot of fun to work with a very young energy. It’s was also fun to have that trailer with everybody in it, we were all in one trailer so we were always just goofing around, playing games and singing, so that was our big thing there. The script was also really smart. I loved all the tonal things he was going to do with the murder mystery and the kind of a noir-ish feel vs. the juxtaposition with real the world as well.

You’ve worked on some big studio movies in the past as well as two hit television series, so what was it like for you as an actor to be a part of an Independent film like this?

Oka: It was a great learning experience. It’s great because everybody’s chipping in, and everyone’s learning. It was a very professional environment. It was very surprising because you don’t expect that much, but this was really well done for an independent film.

Did you have a lot of time to work on the scenes with Andrew and the other actors? Were you able to do as many takes as you wanted, or was it kind of a “run and gun” shoot and you just had to do the best you could because they needed to move on to make all their shots for the day?

Oka: It was pretty much run and gun. I talked to Andrew before the shooting started. I came in while they were shooting. I think I came in the last week or the week before they were about to wrap. It was a week’s worth of shooting for me and then Andrew was already deep into the production so it was pretty much a run and gun thing, especially with my character. It’s kind of funny because everybody’s wondering where Sonny is and all of a sudden my character just comes in, pops up and says, “What are you guys doing? Oh, and by the way, I’m fine.”

In one of the scenes you appear in, you worked with actor Michael Hogan. Were you a big fan of Battlestar Galactica and if so, was it fun for you to work with him?

Oka: Yeah, it was definitely fun to work with him. I haven’t seen the whole season but I promised my colleague Grace Park (Hawaii Five-0) that I would watch the series when I get a chance. It was definitely fun though. That’s the good thing about making an independent film, we’re all together and we’re just talking. There were a lot of interesting people on that show and there were a lot of interesting stories, so that was definitely a fun thing to hear all their stories.

Finally, I wanted to ask you about life after Heroes and returning to television on another hit show, Hawaii Five-0. What has that experience been like for you? Did you have to move to Hawaii?

Oka: Well right now I’m commuting between L.A. and Hawaii. I do have an apartment here in Hawaii, but you know even as a series regular I have a lot of time off because on the show I’m not carrying the show like I was with Heroes. So I have a lot of time and I’m trying to do a lot of producing. I shuttle back from L.A. and even Tokyo back and forth trying to keep things moving. But it’s been a great experience. I love the crew here and the cast, Daniel (Dae Kim) is a great friend of mine, and it’s great to be finally working with him. It’s just great to get to go on set and do some fun stuff. It’s a lot more technical than it was on Heroes. I am learning another foreign language and there are all these Latin and medical terms, but it’s amazing to be able to work in Hawaii and to go from one hit show to another is a rare opportunity and I’m very grateful for it.

Searching For Sonny opens in theaters via TUGG, and will also be available on VOD, DVD. and Blu-ray August 28th.

To read our exclusive interview with Michael Hogan about Searching for Sonny, please click here.

To watch an exclusive clip from Searching for Sonny, please click here.

Scheduled screenings include:

Nashville – September 6th

Atlanta – September 12th

Chicago – September 18th

Phoenix – September 19th

Update: Hawaii Five-0 calendar update August 28, 2012

August 25th, 2012 by

CBS will be showing the final Hawaii Five-0 episode from last year, the week before the premiere of the new fall season.  I’m disappointed that the August March (Ed Asner) episode isn’t being re-run, but at least we’ll have him back for Season 2.

A handy rundown of the upcoming episodes:

Monday, September 3:  “Ka Iwi Kapu” (Sacred Bones)  Some viewers thought that Robert Englund ( Freddy Krueger) was under-used in this episode, and while they’re probably correct, I found I didn’t care since the humor surrounding Danno was the high point for me.  Englund’s “Samuel Lee” is actually only the second creepiest character in this outing, with Erin Way giving a wonderfully eerie performance as a mental patient.   You can find Officer 808’s review here.

“Ka Iwi Kapu”


Monday, September 10:  “Pā Make Loa” (Touch of Death)  This is the NCIS: LA crossover episode and was lacking team leader, Steve McGarrett.    Sadly, the most interesting character in it (Dracul Comescu,) was killed off much too soon.

Saturday, September 15:   “Ki’ilua”  (Deceiver)  It’s the third time around for the rescue-McGarrett-in-North-Korea episode.

Monday, September 17th:  “Ua Hala” (Death in the Family) This drama-filled chapter brought us the end of Fryer (Tom Sizemore,) and the introduction of Karl Herlinger as “Toothpick.”  Delano (William Baldwin) presents Chin Ho Kelly with an impossible choice that will haunt him for some time to come.  And of course, that final word – “Mom?”

Monday, September 24th: Season 3 Premiere   ” Lā o Nā Mākuahine” (Mother’s Day)  Steve McGarrett meets the mother he long believed to be deceased.  Doris McGarrett is being played by Christine Lahti.

Details for Hawaii Five-0 Season 2 DVD

August 24th, 2012 by

I must admit I was a bit concerned after seeing that the details of the Australian release of Hawaii Five-0’s Season 2 DVD didn’t list a gag reel.  I’m now relieved to see that the U.S. version does include it, because in my opinion, that was the best feature of of the first season set.

The current listed price on  amazon.com (U.S.) is $43.48 for the DVD and $49.99 for Blu-ray

From Movieweb.com:

Hawaii Five-0: The Second Season Blu-ray

Highlighted by brand new behind-the-scenes looks and interviews with the cast and crew, Hawaii Five-0: The Second Season makes waves on Blu-ray Disc and DVD September 18, from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution. Starring Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park and Masi Oka, the exciting second season of Hawaii Five-0arrives just in time for the third season broadcast premiere this fall.

One of the year’s top shows, rating #1 in its timeslot*, the five-disc Blu-ray Disc and six-disc DVDsets feature all 23 episodes of the second season and provide fans unprecedented access to the creation of the popular series through hours of bonus features. Special features include “Aloha Action! Take 2” featurette highlighting the show’s dramatic stunts; an inside look at the creation of the second season called “Shore Lines: The Story Of Hawaii Five-0, Season 2;” a special interactive “Crime Scene Locator” map that offers fans an insider’s look at key filming locations; and the exciting Hawaii Five-0 – NCIS: Los Angeles crossover event which also starsLL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell.

Hawaii Five-0 is a contemporary reinvention of the classic crime drama about an elite task force whose mission is to wipe out the crime that washes up on the Islands’ sun-drenched beaches.Alex O’Loughlin stars as Detective Steve McGarrett, a decorated Naval officer-turned-cop who heads up the new team. The series also stars Scott Caan as Detective Danny “Danno” Williams, an ex-New Jersey cop; Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly, a former Honolulu Police Detective;Grace Park as Kono Kalakaua, a Hawaii native and the team’s most recent recruit; and Masi Oka, the quirky coroner. Together, this brash yet talented Five-0 unit is determined to eliminate the seedy elements from the 50th state.

Hawaii Five-0: The Second Season five-disc Blu-ray set will be available for the suggested retail price of $72.99 US and $76.99 CAN, while the six-disc DVD set will be available nationwide in the US and Canada for the suggested retail price of $64.99 US and $68.99 CAN. The Blu-ray Disc is presented in 16×9 Full Frame with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio with English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian subtitles. The DVD is presented in 16×9 full frame with English 5.1, English Stereo and English SDH, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. It is not rated in the U.S. and rated PG in Canada. The total running time is approximately 985 minutes. Episodes and special features are as follows:



  • Ha’i’ole (Unbreakable)
  • Ua Lawe Wale (Taken)
  • Kame’e (The Hero)
  • Mea Makamae (Treasure)
  • Ma’ema’e (Clean)
  • Ka Hakaka Maika’i (The Good Fight)
  • Ka Iwi Kapu (Sacred Bones)
  • Lapa’au (Healing)
  • Ike Maka (Identity)
  • Ki’ilua (Deceiver)
  • Pahele (Trapped)
  • Alaheo Pau’ole (Gone Forever)
  • Ka Ho’oponopono (The Fix)
  • Pu’olo (The Package)
  • Mai Ka Wa Kahiko (Out of the Past)
  • I Helu Pu (The Reckoning)
  • Kupale (Defender)
  • Lekio (Radio)
  • Kalele (Faith)
  • Ha’alele (Abandoned)
  • Pa Make Loa (Touch of Death) – NCIS: Los Angeles Cross-Over}
  • Ua Hopu (Caught)
  • Ua Hala (Death in the Family)

Special Features on Blu-ray and DVD:

  • Shore Lines: The Story of Hawaii Five-0 Season 2
  • Aloha Action! Season 2
  • Hawaii Five-0’Ahu: An Interactive Guide to Season 2 Locations
  • Touch of Death: NCIS: Los Angeles Episode
  • Gag Reel
  • Becoming a SEAL: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Toughest Training
  • Deleted Scenes

More exclusive Alex O’Loughlin photos!

August 23rd, 2012 by

We have more exclusive behind the scenes pictures from Undercover Special Agent Juliette!  On August 23rd our trusty emissary was able to watch Alex O’Loughlin (as Steve McGarrett) filming Hawaii Five-0 episode 3.05 in Honolulu.  And thanks to her, we get an up-close peek at the new wardrobe choice.  Mahalo, Juliette; we hope you had a great time!

More behind the scenes photos and everything else Hawaii Five-0, can be found on our Facebook page!


On set with McGarrett and Danno

August 22nd, 2012 by

Mahalo to Undercover Special Agent Juliette for this fantastic exclusive photo of Hawaii Five-0 star Alex O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett.)


It’s always a bit of a thrill to see what goes on behind the camera, and because of today’s outdoor shoot at the Fort Street Mall, @PHOTOlulu was also able to snap some pictures of O’Loughlin and co-star Scott Caan (Danny Williams.)  It looks like the guys enjoyed a game of cards during their down-time.

Condos to displace Hawaii Five-0?

August 22nd, 2012 by

Do you live in Honolulu?  And do you have room for some house guests? Many house guests? The cast, crew, and equipment of Hawaii Five-0 may be looking for a new home if Marshall Hung has his way. The Honolulu developer has put in a proposal to purchase the historic beaux-arts style Star-Advertiser building, which dates back to 1929.

From Andrew Gomes and Mike Gordon at  The Star-Advertiser:

A local affordable housing developer has arranged to buy the former Honolulu Advertiser building in Kakaako, and envisions building two towers of affordable condominiums on the site while preserving the historic News Building.

The plan by Marshall Hung and partner Tradewind Capital Group Inc. is the latest in a string of development efforts for the 3.7-acre property.

California developer Franco Mola previously had an agreement to buy the property from former Advertiser owner Gannett Pacific Corp., and filed preliminary plans with the state to develop two affordable-housing towers on the site at 605 Kapiolani Blvd.

But Mola’s deal fell through, and Hung stepped in. The Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency governing development in Kakaako, has met with representatives of the developer and understands that as many a 1,000 units may be part of Hung’s proposal, according to agency executive director Anthony Ching.

A representative of the development team declined to confirm or discuss details of the plan, because a sale of the property has yet to close.

No purchase price is being disclosed. However, the city for property tax purposes values the parcel at about $27 million.

If Hung’s project moves ahead, it could displace operations of the “Hawaii Five-0” TV series, which uses the site for offices and filming. However, it likely would take several years to build the two towers on the site.

Hawaii Five-0 lands Terence Howard

August 21st, 2012 by

Hawaii Five-0’s casting department has hit another home run for Season 3, landing Oscar-nominated actor Terence Howard.  The Danno-centric episode pairs Howard with Ving Rhames, and promises to bring some fine drama to our screens.  As a long-time fan of both actors,  I cannot wait!

From TV Guide

Terrence Howard has landed a guest-starring role on Hawaii Five-0, TVGuide.com has confirmed.

The Oscar nominee will appear in an episode that features flashbacks to Danny’s (Scott Caan) life as a cop in New Jersey, according to Entertainment Weekly, which first reported the news. Howard’s character does not get along with Danny.

Howard — whose credits include Hustle & FlowCrash and Iron Man — joins the previously cast Kendall Jenner and Ving Rhames, both of whom will appear in the same episode. Additionally, Emmy winner Christine Lahti will recur as McGarrett’s mom in the upcoming third season.

The new season of Hawaii Five-0 premieres Monday, Sept. 24 at 10/9c on CBS.


Video: Peter Lenkov announces Hawaii Five-0 Sunset on the Beach

August 20th, 2012 by

Since you probably missed the short live announcement this morning, here’s your chance to watch Hawaii Five-0 executive producer Peter Lenkov, talk about the 3rd Sunset on the Beach.  If you live on Oahu, or can arrange to be there on September 23rd, you might just get close enough to watch Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Grace Park, and Daniel Dae Kim, walk the red carpet before the premiere of Season 3.

Besides the main cast, which regulars and recurring cast member do you hope to see at SOTB3?


Peter Lenkov Skyping with Tannya Joaquin

For more updates on SOTB (Sunset on the Beach) be sure to “Like” our Facebook page.

CBS announces Hawaii Five-0 Sunset On the Beach premiere

August 20th, 2012 by

Fans of Hawaii Five-0 had just about given up hope that the show’s third season would debut with the party in Waikiki known as Sunset On the Beach.  Following the custom established by “Lost” when the show was filmed there, CBS has given the local fans a chance to see stars Alex O’Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, and Scott Caan walk the Red Carpet before viewing the season premiere in advance of the rest of the nation.

Although the event isn’t known to the majority of the viewers, the more devoted fans of the stars and the show enjoy sharing the event through live-feeds and photos.  But more importantly, SOTB (Sunset On the Beach) is viewed as a “thank you” to the locals who support this show with their hearts and souls.  Although the announcement came later than hoped, better late than never.

From Mike Gordon aka @crankydad and Honolulu Pulse

The cast of "Hawaii Five-0" thank the crowd gathered at "Sunset on the Beach" in Waikiki prior to the second season advance screening last year. (Star-Advertiser File)

Fans of “Hawaii Five-0” can exhale now — CBS announced today that it will hold a red-carpet “Sunset on the Beach” premiere of the crime drama one day before the start of the third season.

CBS will hold the free advance screening Sunday, Sept. 23, on Waikiki Beach. The exact time hasn’t been set for red-carpet arrivals by the show’s stars.

But Peter Lenkov, the show’s executive producer, promised the season three premiere will be “a jaw-dropping, nail-biting, edge-of-your seat ride.”

All of the show’s regulars — Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim — attended previous beach screenings and are expected to attend again this time. Lenkov is expected as well.

Red-carpet galas are not the norm in television, but there’s no better way to thank the show’s appreciative fans “for the love and support we receive on a daily basis,” Lenkov said in an email.

“It’s hard to articulate, but this show is like no other I have ever been involved with,” he said. “It feels as if each and every person on the island has a hand in the making of it. If they’re not working on it. … They’re rooting for it to succeed.”

This is the third year CBS will premiere the season on the beach. But unlike previous seasons, CBS remained silent this summer on the prospect of any advance screening, frustrating out-of-state fans who wanted to plan trips to Hawaii to see the premiere and gawk at the stars.

The network announced the event at 4:30 a.m. today via Twitter.

Last year’s event drew 10,000 people, including many who camped out all day in order to get spot near the red carpet. The arrival of the show’s stars triggers a frenzy of camera-toting, tweeting, screaming fans.

Lenkov said they are the show’s ohana and their support is vital.

“I can tell you it does not go unappreciated,” he said. “It reminds us of why we are working so hard.”


Daniel Dae Kim on his Hawaii Five-0 family

August 18th, 2012 by

Ricky Lo interviews the ground-breaking Hawaii Five-0 star, Daniel Dae Kim,  and asks the all important question, who would you save, your cousin or your wife?

From The Philippine Star (updated August 19, 2012)

SINGAPORE — The eyes of Korean-American actor Daniel Dae Kim (or simply DDK) disappear into mere slits when reminded that he’s considered one of the Sexiest Men Alive (documented by People magazine in 2005) and ranked No. 81 on Buddy TV’s list of Sexiest Men of 2011.

Asked during an exclusive Conversation in a suite at Singapore Hilton how he felt about it, DDK said that it’s really no big deal being tagged sexy but he admitted that it’s good especially for Asian actors.

“You see,” he explained in a friendly, down-to-earth manner, “even if my friends tease me about it, on a social level I think it’s important for an Asian guy to be described as sexy. In American movies, Asian men are not really portrayed as sexy, so being considered sexy is good not only for me but for all Asians.”

DDK’s natural sexiness is showcased in his role as Detective Chin Ho in Hawaii Five-O which airs its Season 2 marathon from Tuesday (Aug. 21) to Thursday (Aug. 23), 9:05 p.m. exclusively on AXN (may be followed on Twitter). He stars with fellow “mucho macho” men Scott Caan (son of James Caan) and Alex O’Loughlin (the Australian hunk who was last seen on the big screen as Jennifer Lopez’s lover in The Back-up Plan), and Grace Park (yes, that’s her name, synonymous to a place in Caloocan City, also Korean-American). DDK plays Detective Chin Ho, played by Kam Fong in the original series.

While doing the series, DDK, who turned 44 last Aug. 4, lives with his wife Mia and their sons aged 10 and 15 in Honolulu. Doing TV is a welcome breather for the theater-trained actor who is a graduate of NYU’s Graduate Acting Program in 1996. His credits include hit TV shows (CSI, NYPD Blues and Seinfeld among them) and films (Spider-Man 2 as a scientist and Crash, the 2005 Oscar Best Picture).

Hawaii has become a second home to you. What do you find fascinating about it?

“I have children and Hawaii is a great place to raise an Asian family in. It’s the one place in America where Asians are in the majority and they speak English. We can be Asians and at the same time be Americans. So for that reason, Hawaii is a nice place. And it’s also nice because of its small-town mentality. I spend most of my adult life in New York and Los Angeles, and to raise children in those two cities can be very challenging. It’s always nice for parents to feel that their children are raised in a good, safe place.”

How has the Hawaii Five-O experience been so far?

“So far, it’s been really interesting. It’s good and bad and fun and boring sometimes because of the waiting (for the take), but as a whole it’s been a good experience and I’m happy that I’m doing the show.”

Talk about the good part.

“Yes, absolutely! It’s been nice to kind of take on a role as Chin Ho that’s different from my role as Jin (the loving but traditional husband) in Lost and one on which I get to speak English. You know, I’m happy to do things that I’ve never done before, like ride a motorcycle and shoot a shotgun.”

How’s your working relationship with Scott, Grace and Alex (who was recently injured during an accident on the set)?

“Yes, Alex was injured and it took some time before he got back to the show. As far as our working relationship is concerned, it has never been better. We have become some kind of family…yes, family is the right word because among siblings in a family, you love and you fight and then you love again. That’s very family.”

Is it all action on the set and no light moments?

“We do have some light moments. There’s heavy action and drama on camera, so you have to lighten the mood off camera by joking around and just relaxing and having a good time.”

Playing Chin Ho is very physical; it requires you to run and chase after bad guys. Have you, knock on wood, sustained any injuries on the set?

“Sure! In the first season, Scott hurt his knee while shooting a scene where he was running. He had a surgery on his knee. And, as I’ve said, Alex hurt his shoulder. It’s a very physically demanding show. So far, knock on wood, I’ve been okay.”

The original Hawaii Five-O was iconic, legendary. How do you guys make your performance different from that of the original actors without losing the old Hawaii Five-O flavor?

“That’s a good question. What I did was watch a number of episodes from the old series just so I could have a good resource material and that way I could try and make Chin Ho my own after that. But I always try to be respectful of and to honor the original show, and then try and modernize my character to something that speaks to me as an actor.”

Have you met Kam Fong?

“He’s not around anymore. But his son actually plays a recurring character on the show.”

Aside from being both Asian, how are you like Kam Fong in temperament and attitude? I suppose you’ve read and heard a lot about him.

“I don’t know very much about him except that he’s very well-liked around the island, the memory of him is well-respected, and I think that goes the same for the actors of the original series like Jack Lord (Who’s honored with a bust in front of a big mall in Honolulu. — RFL). All of them are considered icons in Hawaii. So we have some big footsteps to follow.”

You were born in Pusan, South Korea, and grew up in New York. How much of you is still Asian?

“Another good question. My wife Mia is also Asian, our kids are Korean, and we eat predominantly Korean food at home because she’s a very good cook. Yes, I love kimchi! My parents are still very close. We follow many Korean customs in the house.”

How much of the original Hawaii Five-O have you watched?

“Maybe three or four episodes as, as I’ve said, part of my preparation for the show. Throughout, I watched the very first episode and I watched something in the middle of Season 1, and I watched something in Season 2 and then I watched something late in the series because I wanted to see how it evolved.”

The intro music is iconic, too.

“Yes, I sing it and it keeps on replaying in the head!”

What traits of Chin Ho do you identify with?

“I think he’s very loyal.”

Are you?

‘Yes, I think so. I think he values his family like I do mine and I think he’s often put in a situation where he has to make a difficult choice. In the finale of Season 2, he’s faced with the choice to save either his cousin or his wife. He ended up trying to save his wife.”

Put in that situation in real life, what would you do?

“Between my wife and my cousin? I would do the same…save my wife! Hahahaha!”

You look so fit. Did you have to prepare physically for the show?

“It wasn’t a physical preparation but I wanted to learn what it was like to be a policeman in Honolulu. So I rode around with Honolulu cops for four days, stayed with them in the station, went out on the patrol car with them and got to know them a little bit just so I would be believable in playing the role.”

 Is it hard to maintain your kind of body?

“I eat a lot of local fruit. Diet-wise, Hawaii is a good place to stay healthy because there’s a lot of fresh fish, vegetables grown right on the island and there’s so many places to run in and lots of sea to swim in. You can play golf and tennis.”

Any no-no’s?

“A local favorite is Spam but I try to avoid it. (It’s only in Hawaii where McDonald’s serves breakfast of Spam and egg with rice. — RFL) I’m not sure if it’s good for you.”

Was becoming an actor your only ambition?

“Actually, I was thinking of becoming a lawyer. I think ‘lawyering’ is theatrical in some way. I was a Political Science major and I was ready to go to law school. It wasn’t until I was in second year college that I took an acting class. That changed my life completely.”

Any dream role?

“I think I would like to play Henry V on stage. Why him? Because of his qualities and leadership that are admirable which I want to try and explore.”

In one of Hawaii Five-O’s episodes last year, the Philippines was prominently mentioned. Any chance for the series to be shot in the Philippines?

“Wow, that would be interesting! You know, our show deals with a lot of international kind of businesses, so I guess it’s possible. We’re still trying to figure out how to shoot in other parts of Hawaii, but if it opens up, yes, the Philippines would be a natural place to go.”

Have you worked with any Filipino?

“One of my best friends is Filipino. He’s a stage actor in New York. His name is Joe de la Fuente. He and I have been friends for many, many years; and he’s actually the person responsible for getting me to drama school at NYU because he was there first.”

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