|A witty investigation into Hawaii Five-0
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August 18th, 2012 by Terry
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.”
‘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.”
“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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August 15th, 2012 by Terry
Are you ready for a third season in paradise with the hottest cast on television? To whet your appetite, CBS has updated their look back at Season 2 with a very exciting recap. Again I ask, are you ready for Season 3? I can’t hear you!
Grace Park in "Ua Hopu"
Hawaii Five-0’s third season debuts on Monday, September 24, 2012.
August 14th, 2012 by Terry
Fans of Hawaii Five-0 have been asking how many episodes CBS would order for Season 3, but up until now we’ve only had official notice of a preliminary request for twenty-two. Well, word just came via executive producer Peter Lenkov, that the network is going for the full twenty-four segments of the show starring Alex O’Loughlin. In addition to that welcomed announcement, Lenkov teased viewers with a promise of some big news to come. Peter, if you whisper it in my ear, I promise not to tell anyone!
August 12th, 2012 by Terry
The month of August will be wrapping up with some of the season’s strongest episodes, so if you haven’t already done so, you might want to set that DVR.
Monday, August 13: “Kūpale” (Defender) This episode provides a bit of Hawaiian history, the return of Al Harrington, and an appearance by Apolo Ohno as a low level loser. Scantily clad men run around brandishing spears, but sadly, none of the near-naked individuals are members of our Five-0 team.
Monday, August 20: “Lekio” (Radio) Although some may remember this episode as the one in which Dennis Miller is blown into little bits of shark chum, it’s real worth is in James Caan’s performance as Tony Archer. I’m pretty sure that most Hawaii Five-0 fans fell in love with the grizzled ex-detective when he managed to insinuate himself smack dab into the middle of the Steve-Danno bromance. I don’t know about you, but I sure hope that Peter Lenkov brings the senior Caan back for Season 3.
Monday, August 27: “Ha’alele” (Abandoned) This was an odd episode for many Hawaii Five-0 fans since it was filmed while Alex O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett) was in recovery, and the team leader’s absence was quite noticeable. Nonetheless, it was an outstanding chapter showing the ability and range of Masi Oka (Heroes,) as his character reveals his tragic past and hunts a serial killer. If you missed this one the first time around, don’t make that mistake again.
August 10th, 2012 by Terry
Surf’s up! Hot new pics featuring the most gorgeous cast on television. A huge thank you to Hawaii-Five-0-Fans!
Episode 302, “Kanalua.” Photos: Norman Shapiro/CBS
You can find more Hawaii Five-0 photos and news on our Facebook page!
August 9th, 2012 by officer808
More of Michelle Borth’s Q&A from last weeks tweetup!
Are we going to see a back story of how Steve and Cat got together this season? (@WendieJoy)
Good question! I don’t know…
Do you have back story that you created for that? (@WendieJoy)
I have lots of different stories for that, but what I’ve learned is that I try not to get stuck into one because the writers will write something outside of my idea…I’d say that I had a mother, but they’ll say, “Oh no, your mother died five years ago”. So you don’t get stuck into one back story that you created, and you have to be flexible for TV, because they’re constantly rewriting you. You kind of have to go where the writers guide you. Sometimes you’re on the same page and often times, you’re not.
Michelle Borth in "Combat Hospital" (ABC)
Can you tell us a little bit about the difference between your characters in “Combat Hospital” and “Hawaii Five-0”, and the preparation for the two? (@WendieJoy)
It’s completely different, like apples and oranges. In “Combat Hospital”, I put a lot of hard work and my heart and soul into that because it was my first swing at bat with my own show. So that was weeks and weeks of preparation, sitting with the writers, and really being on the same page…making [Major Rebecca Gordon] vulnerable but not too girly, but still making her feminine. Not really like Catherine who’s a little more tough, but making her have thin skin where she’s sensitive, but still be tough when she’s there in the operating room.
To be honest, my story [in Hawaii Five-0] is never going to be as important or developed as that. This is more McGarrett’s story, more Danno’s story, it’s the four. So for me, I’m happy to come on board and join on it. Where I’m going to go and where they’re going to take me with the four I could not tell you right now. I only hope it turns into something much bigger.
Have they ever asked you for feedback or what you want to see in your character? (@WendieJoy)
Peter is fantastic like that. We sat down and talked about doing this. I was actually a little hesitant because I kind of considered Catherine similar to a long distance relationship. The audience loves her because they never see her, and when they do it’s like a honeymoon. I didn’t want to ruin that by having her around all the time. But the way that we’re doing it and the way that we’re going about it is really smart so we’re not going to shove her down your throat. She’s gonna be around but not gonna be around all the time…it’s not gonna be lovey-dovey between them all the time. The integrity of the show will still be what it is, which is a cop procedural, but it will have a little bit more of character development, with me coming in.
How much freedom do you have with ad-libbing and expression? (@RobChiong)
I’ve been on certain sets where anything goes and you can kind of make it up as you go, and I’ve been on other sets where I’ve had to sign releases where I have to go word for word. I’d say this is down the middle…they enjoy our creativity and input, but they also would like it by the book. So we’ll do a shot where it’s word for word, and then they’ll say to do a shot that feels more natural to you. Alex is really good at that, doing one for the team, then doing one for himself.
Do you watch the final product when it’s done? (@RobChiong)
I actually do. I know a lot of actors don’t watch their stuff cause it makes them puke, but I don’t feel that way! I like to watch them, and I enjoy it, and I watch them on purpose to catch myself doing habits. I like to correct myself…I’m my own worst critic.
Did you audition or were you offered this part? (@LisaLisa98)
Read more of Michelle’s Q&A coming up!
August 7th, 2012 by Terry
As many of us suspected, Steve McGarrett is going to be hesitant to take everything his returning mother says, at face value. But it appears there may be even more obstacles for Doris McGarrett (Christine Lahti) to overcome when she surfaces in Season 3 of Hawaii Five-0.
From TV Guide
Got any more details about McGarrett’s mom on Hawaii Five-0? — Janine
ADAM: As you may have guessed, Steve is going to be mighty skeptical about his mother’s motives, given that he’s lived years believing she was dead. Unfortunately for Mama McGarrett, she’s going to have to win over Steve’s entire team if she wants to repair the relationship. “Catherine and Danny and the team — they’re going to be wary of her,” executive producer Peter Lenkov tells us. “You want to believe that her intentions are good, but at the end of the day, there’s going to be a lot of gray and a lot of questions about what she is up to. This team is very open with each other, and she keeps a lot of secrets.”
August 6th, 2012 by officer808
It was like prom night, circa 1992
I knew it was going to be a big night, so I had to be ready. I drove down to Celebrity Tuxedos, and picked out the nicest double breasted one, making sure I got the $49 Weekday Rental Special. Then stopped by Longs Drugs to pick up the nicest plumeria corsage that $1.99 can buy. Popped in my mixtape with Glenn Medeiros (“Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You”) in the player to get in the mood, and made the drive over to Big City Diner. It was a big night, because I was going to meet Hawaii Five-0 star Michelle Borth.
Well, me and fifty other fans.
The talented and gorgeous Michelle Borth generously spent time at a fan organized tweetup at Big City Diner in Pearlridge last Thursday. Amy Bakari of @TeamH50 and @LisaLisa98 of @H50Hana rallied up local fans to meet and greet Michelle Borth, whose credits include “Tell Me You Love Me”, “Combat Hospital”, and currently “Hawaii Five-0”.
Michelle arrived early in the evening, with local Hawaii Five-0 publicist Erika Kauffman and was immediately greeted with warm aloha from the fans. She spent a few minutes with everyone there, taking photos and talking to the fans. @LisaLisa98 presented Michelle with a cake that she made, depicting the memorable bedroom scene from season one- which Michelle loved. I suppose that could have very well been a “Tell Me You Love Me Cake (rated Pg-13)” but since this was a Hawaii Five-0 party, I’m pretty sure that was Cat and Steve depicted in the bed.
The gracious Dennis Chun also stopped by to meet and greet fans as well (more on Dennis in an upcoming post).
After meeting everyone present, Michelle took a seat and fielded questions from the fans for a very informal “talk story” session. Over the next few days, I’ll be transcribing the conversation, so enjoy!
What was the most challenging role that you’ve had so far?
The most challenging role…if any of you have seen it before, was way back in 2007, a show called “Tell Me You Love Me”. For those of you who haven’t seen it, you’re going to get a shock when you look it up. It dealt with stuff of a… graphic nature. As an actress and as a young one and a green one, it was difficult to overcome. But I’m so grateful because it was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had on the set, and the most creative and liberating one. My hardest role was one of my favorite ones, and that was playing Jaime on “Tell Me You Love Me”.
Do you deliberately mess love scenes up so that you can do it over again with Alex?
The lack of TicTacs on the set made this scene work.
[Laughs] Unfortunately, no. We’re so time crunched shooting in a day. Alex and I [had to] make things not so serious, because we had just met each other, and we were half naked…it was awkward! When you first meet someone, it’s like “Hi, I’m Michelle”, “Hi, I’m Alex” …and then “Let’s make out”. It’s really like that! It’s no secret, we meet and then we had to make out. He ate a tuna fish sandwich, and I smoked a cigarette, because I hate tuna and he hates the smell of smoke. So it was an awesome combination when we then made out, ’cause it had made everything funny and very light and we could do it over and over again, and it wasn’t weird, or awkward, at all! I’m sorry it’s always weird and awkward, but we have a lot of fun doing it. We genuinely do have that connection that people see that Alex and I we really do work like that , we get along really well, we have a kindred spirit. I’m grateful for that, and I think it shows when we work together.
So that’s your favorite scene then?
Oh God, yes! Coming up we have a lot more, but I really haven’t done that much. I think I’ve only done six episodes. The scenes where I work with Alex are my favorite because he’s a really funny Australian man, and it’s much more fun than the scenes where I’m by myself. That racy one? That was probably the most fun ’cause they let us ad-lib…the scene where the phone is vibrating? That was all ad-lib. It was a little more sexual than I thought it was going to be. But it’s all fun cause we work on the fly.
Tell us about shooting that scene on the beach, with the sunset. (@WendieJoy)
Oh by the way, that scene on the beach started at 4 AM. It was not sunset, it was sunrise, it was freezing. Oh my God it was so early, we had to get it right when the sun’s touching the ocean, the steaks had to be on the grill, and everything had to be just right. And every plane that was flying to Hawaii was flying into the island at that moment. It was one of those things where it was “rush, rush, rush, hurry up, shoot!” because you have a window of only ten minutes to get it all in. It looks super romantic and glamorous when you see it, but it wasn’t at the time…it wasn’t as romantic as you think.
Can you guys tell when we shoot a sunset and it’s not a sunset? [The fans chimed in that they could] Interesting…
That’s good to know. I’m gonna tell them that! It’s not worth the 4 AM call!
You play a lieutenant on screen. How do you prep for that? (@NeilYamamoto)
Thankfully the way that the show aligned for me, I was shooting another show called “Combat Hospital” where I played a major in the Canadian army, so I had a one on one crash course about being in the military. And what we also do on Five-0 is have military experts. We have a couple of ex-Navy SEALS on set. We try, but we’ve been told there are certain things that are not so accurate, but we do make a valiant effort in trying. So to answer your question, we just have a conversation with someone who actually was a navy SEAL, about certain protocols and procedures about how you would speak to someone higher, or lower…everything from how you would wear your uniform properly to how I would wear my hair, because it’s really specific.
I think both you and Alex pull it off very well. (@NeilYamamoto)
Thank you very much, we do want to pay homage and respect. It means a lot to us when we get it right, and when we do get it wrong, tell us, because I want to be as respectful as possible and I do want to get it right.
So along those lines what skill set does LT Rollins bring to the show? (Officer 808)
[I have to pause right here to let you know that my inner voice man-squeed when she said that.]
Well, she has the background of intelligence, so when it comes to digging up information, or getting some undercover scoop other than means that McGarrett can use, that’s where I come into play, ’cause I have all the fancy ways of getting information. So I can help him out with my spy intelligence.
So, basically she’s good at google searches? (Officer 808)
I can google really well! She does bring a certain spy intelligence that he doesn’t have access to. I think also you’re going to see a physical side of her. You’ve never really seen her in combat or in action, there’s going to be another badass side of her that you’re going to see. So you’ll see she’s tough in action. You’re going to see a side of her you haven’t seen yet, that is kind of comparable to a female McGarrett, which is why you can kind of see why they’re together, that they’re similar.
Are we going to see their back story, about how they got together, this season…? (@WendieJoy)
See Michelle’s answer in tomorrow’s post!
August 5th, 2012 by Terry
I’m just going to say that having read the article below, I’m already nervous to see what’s ahead for Steve McGarrett in Season 3 of Hawaii Five-0.
From Keck’s Exclusives at TV Guide.
CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 left us hanging last May with the shocking revelation that Steve McGarrett’s presumed-dead mother, Doris, is very much alive. “She faked her own death to protect her family,” explains Chicago Hope vet Christine Lahti, who debuts as Mama McG in the September 24 season premiere. “Now she’s come back and Steve [Alex O’Loughlin] is shell-shocked. She hasn’t seen Steve since he was 15 and wants his forgiveness.”
Lahti will appear in at least four episodes, which will reveal where she’s been all this time and if she’s to be trusted. Steve’s spitfire kid sis Mary Ann (Taryn Manning) will also return for a reunion, but I wouldn’t start planning a Mother’s Day picnic on the beach just yet. According to executive producer Peter Lenkov, “Wo Fat wants Doris dead, and a man like that is hard to keep behind bars.”
August 5th, 2012 by Terry
Last year Hawaii Five-0 fans had a chance to meet the new cast members at the show’s season premiere at Sunset On the Beach in Honolulu. Since CBS has not announced that there will be a similar event for Season 3, local fans took matters into their own hands and invited the newest addition to a “tweet-up.” Michelle Borth has previously guest-starred as fan favorite Catherine Rollins, Steve McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) go-to Navy contact, and occasional lover. This new season sees her addition as a series regular. Fan groups H50hana and TeamH50, linked up with blogger Wendie Burbridge and put together an intimate event at Big City Diner. Besides the attendance of Ms. Borth, the high point of the evening may have been the depiction of the famous McGarrett-Catherine bed scene, custom made by Ninja/Hopper Cakes.
We hope you enjoy the photos, and don’t forget to check back for Officer 808’s upcoming blog on the event!
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