September 17th, 2014 by officer808
The wave of excitement for the new season of Hawaii Five-0 hadn’t lost any energy over the summer as thousands packed Waikiki Beach for a glimpse of the stars and a preview of the season 5 premiere. The crowd cheered the stars as they made their way down the red carpet in advance of watching the episode a full two weeks ahead of the rest of the country. Once again, I was fortunate enough to cover the event for the Hawaii Five-0 Undercover blog, and went toe to toe with the actors to ask the about the upcoming season.
Excitement was high amongst the cast and crew. They were in the middle of filming their 100th episode, a huge milestone for any show.
Show runner Peter Lenkov and executive producer Alex Kurtzman were especially excited.
Executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Peter Lenkov.
So Peter, Alex, you’re filming your hundredth episode. Are you ready for a hundred more?
Alex K: ABSOLUTELY!
Peter: Maybe he is!
Alex K: It’s the greatest thing ever, we’re so grateful for the fans and Hawaii, and I’m grateful to Peter, ’cause he’s been killing it for 100 episodes.
Peter: You know how hard we work, we’re so passionate about this, it’s a big deal for us to get to a 100 episodes. Just the fact that people followed us and started watching the show again knowing the original lasted for 12 years…just look at this, it’s humbling.
You’ve done the “pick the culprit” episode, the fan written episode, and cross overs, how are you going to keep it fresh this year?
Peter: We have one that connects to the original Five-0 that’s going to blow everyone away, we can’t tell you more, but it’s going to be spectacular!
Amy Bakari: Is it like the “Hookman” episode?
Peter: “Hookman” is old news for us, this is going to be bigger!
One of the many ways that Lenkov, Kurtzman, and the writers keep Five-0 rooted in Hawaiian lifestyle and culture is the prominence of locals in the shows. Whether a guest role or recurring regular, Hawaii has no shortage of talent. I spoke to a few of them, all of whom were thankful of the opportunity of being part of something as big as Five-0.
Shawn Garnett plays “Flippa”, Kamekona’s cousin. Shawn is a fan favorite, since he frequently responds to them on twitter. “That’s the biggest thing for me,” Shawn told me. “The twitter followers, they come to check me out at the show!” Shawn is a talented musician, already out with an EP on itunes, and performs regularly at MonkeyPod Kitchen at Ko’olina.
Another local entertainment veteran, Al Harrington (“Mamo”) was there on the red carpet. Every time Mamo comes back, he introduces a gem of knowledge of Hawaiian culture. I asked Al what can we expect from the one episode he’s filmed so far for the season.
Al: We’re going to talk about the development of the waves, and how we learn to surf them, and how the kids learn to surf them. I had this time to work a scene with Grace Park. What a joy it was to work with her. I think she surfs her own scenes! (Editors note: Grace does not surf.)
Filming the hundredth episode saw the return of some familiar faces from the past. Character actor William Sadler who plays John McGarrett, was in town to film the episode. Peter referred to him as the “hardest working dead guy” in Hawaii.
Veteran actor William Sadler portrays John McGarrett,
So you’re here filming the 100th episode?
Bill: Yes! Papa John’s back in the house!
You’re in the first episode and the 100th episode, you see all the fans here, how does that make you feel?
Bill: I never get jaded… you start to get jaded, but then you look at these faces [in the crowd] …they’re not jaded. This is a big deal for them.
Are there any McGarrett family secrets that you can divulge?
Bill: For someone who’s dead, I come back an awful lot…like a bad penny. I’m very well preserved! I had a fun time filming this episode. I got to work with a lot of children….and that’s all I can tell you!
Working on the hundredth episode certainly wasn’t lost on local veteran actor Dennis Chun, who plays Duke Lukela.
What’s new Dennis?
Dennis: Just trying to be Duke and trying to keep Hawaii safe.
This is the 100th episode you’re currently filming, how big is it for you?
We had a very special evening last night with. We discussed how fortunate we were that twice, Hawaii Five-0 hit one hundred episodes. and that there’s a magic in the franchise, with Leonard Freeman as the creator, that is carried on by the people today. I think about Dad [Kam Fong Chun on the original Five-0] and how hard he worked, and here we are again!
Local actor Dennis Chun
How long was your father in?
Dennis: The first 10 seasons.
Well, you’re catching up!
Dennis: I got a loooong way to go!
Although this is my fourth year covering the event, this was actually the first time that I got to speak to the beautiful, and talented Grace Park. Little did I know that she has a great sense of humor! With Hawaii Five-0 losing Michelle Borth as a regular, the amount of femme-fighting-power significantly decreased. I asked Grace what she thought about women not having any staying power on the show.
Grace: I know! How do we keep them on the show, that’s what I’m trying to do!! It’s not like we plan on it. We always want to have more women! When we knew we were going to add one more to the main four, we could go man or woman, and we wanted a woman.
She went on to say that there were a slew of factors that determine who stays and who goes – including the writing, the network, and fan response.
Grace: [when a new actor/actress comes on board] they do their best, they’re always lovely, and we love them, [but] there are so many things that are out of your control. So I started to think, are we going to try [to bring another female] anymore , or are we gun-shy? But we definitely want to make sure we have some women on the show.
Grace Park at Sunset on the Beach
Grace’s character Kono, may have finally found true love, albeit with Adam Noshimuri, heir apparent of a notorious Yakuza crime family, played by Ian Anthony Dale. Kono’s cousin Chin hasn’t had any luck in love. Will Kono and Adam fare better?
Ian: You’ll get to see a little sneak peek tonight. At the middle of season 4, Kono finds Adam and brings him home and things seem happily ever after. This season starts out the same, but Adam’s past, its a very dark past, he’s got some bad history. I think it’s gonna creep up on him. This show’s about drama, and we can’t have drama without conflict, I imagine.
In the fourth season of Hawaii Five-0 Jorge Garcia (“Lost”) was cast as conspiracy theorist Jerry Ortega. Garcia fit in so well with the cast, and was so popular with the fans that he’s been brought back in season 5 to reprise his role.
Jorge Garcia (‘Lost’) plays Jerry Ortega on Five-0
So the Island isn’t done with you after all?
Jorge: Every time I’ve come back as a guest on the show I had this feeling like I was coming home, so now it’s so nice to be a part and settle in with everybody.
Do you feel like kama’aina [local] by now?
Totally. I still have my old IDs, so I’m gonna start working on getting my kama’aina discounts!
With Hawaii Five-0 being in Hawaii and Lost being on a tropical island, do you have a hard time shaking the Hurley vibe or have you hit your stride with Jerry?
Well Jerry’s got a little bit of Hurley in him I guess, but in a way that Hurley has a bit of me in him. But Jerry’s definitely got his own little thing going and what he gets really into, and he gets excited about is kind of another side of me.
Jorge added at the end that although it wasn’t up to him, he’d love to see more “Lost” cast members reunited on Five-0. I have a feeling the viewers agree!
Alex O’Loughlin was the last to walk down the red carpet, and it was hard to be heard over the screaming women around me. (They may have been shouting my name, but I can’t be certain.) O’Loughlin has to be one of the hardest working guys in Hawaii – sometimes filming six straight days, attending charity functions (such as the recent Hawaii ALS walk) on weekends, plus his roles as father and husband.
Alex O’Loughlin – Sunset on the Beach 2014
Alex, how do you manage your work life balance with everything you’ve got going?
Alex: It’s very difficult playing the lead in a huge show and having any sort of life, because when you sign that contract you forfeit any sort of life. It’s very difficult, and that’s my greatest battle, to maintain balance, but my children and my wife are my priority at all times. Its hard man, to have both, but I’m grateful we’ve been able to sort it out and make it to 100!
Before Alex walked on, I let him know that the “H50 ALS Warrirors” helped to raise $4400 on behalf of Hawaii
Five-0 fans worldwide. He smiled broadly and said, “That makes me very happy, man. Send them my Aloha.”
After the red carpet was rolled up, the Peter andAlex K acknowledged the writers, directors and crew of the show, who works hard making each episode happen. Daniel Dae Kim took the microphone for a few minutes to explain the statistics of how rare it is for a show to reach 100 episodes. Last, Alex thanked the locals for allowing Five-0 to use their houses and neighborhoods for the show.
The lights finally went dim and the show started. All I can say is that everyone will be happy with the episode, laughs police chases and a spectacular end sequences that’ll make you look at Waikiki in a different way.
Well Hawaii Five-0, congrats on making 100 episodes, here’s to 100 more!