Monthly Archives: May 2015

#H50 cast members reveal secrets & guilty pleasures – March 2011

We continue our look back at those early days of Hawaii Five-0

 

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By Teri Okita

Hawaii News Now

(KGMB)

1 March 2011

Teri: Once we got past all the formalities and the serious questions, we wanted to know if they would open up about their secrets and guilty pleasures.

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Teri [commenting]: When the director yells “Cut!”, these crimefighters like to kick back and kicked it with me for about 20 minutes. That’s when I asked them, what would surprise people about them?

Scott: I’m pretty sensitive.

Teri: Really?

Scott: Yeah.

Teri: Because you don’t come across that way.

Scott: See.

Teri [commenting]: We find out Alex O’Loughlin is a big Metallica fan and Daniel Dae Kim hangs with the band’s lead guitarist. Nothing earth-shattering. So, we try to grill Grace Park.

Alex: What about Grace? …. I don’t want to go there!

Grace:  [laughs].

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Daniel: Grace. What can we say about Grace that’s really a surprise?

Grace: Stuff that you guys know. …..

Alex: People … he thinks that people ….

Grace: Well, people freak me out! What about that?

Daniel: [Laughing]

Teri: People freak you out?

Grace: Yeah.

Alex: I wouldn’t have guessed that Grace is such a party animal ….

Grace: I’m not.

Alex: Cause she seems like such a good girl. [to Grace] Is that something that people would be surprised about?

Grace: I’m not really a party animal. I just like to go out and dance!

Teri [commenting]: All right. Grace likes to dance. Alex listens to heavy metal music. We’re determined to get something juicier. How about their guilty pleasures?

Alex: I’m not prepared to disclose anything …

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Scott: Yeah, no, but it’s a good question. That’s the most interesting question yet. Let’s get into that.

Teri [commenting]: For a moment they actually tried to deflect the heat onto me.

Daniel: [Pointing to Teri] She’s never watched the show

Teri: I have watched the show.

Grace: I love that. It’s an awesome expression.

Scott: I don’t watch it either. It’s fine

Alex: Wow.

Grace: Maybe that’s our guilty pleasure.

Scott: Wait. Guilty pleasures.What are your guilty pleasures?

Alex: Go, go. No, you start.

Grace: Do we all have to say something?

Alex: Sure. Guilty pleasures.

Grace: I’m not going to say mine. What is my guilty pleasure?

Daniel: “Glee” is my guilty pleasure.

Alex: Is it?

Scott: Why is that a guilty pleasure?

Daniel: It’s not a show that I would normally watch, but my son really loves it, so I watch it with him.

Scott: Well, someone right now is saying Hawaii Five-0 is their guilty pleasure.

Daniel: Yeah, that could very well be.

Grace: Sure

Teri [commenting]: Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, girls, Alex just didn’t give anything up.

Alex: No, all of mine are naughty, so I’m not telling!

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Teri [commenting]: They’re well into the first season, and by now, they’ve shrugged off comparisons to the original Five-0.

Alex: That’s this thing we get asked all the time, you know,  What’s the pressure like of playing a character that’s been played before?’ It’s like …. there is no pressure. Hamlet gets done every week, you know it’s the thing.

Scott: Which is very similar to what we’re doing here. It’s …

Daniel: [Laughs]

Alex: [laughs]  Yeah, I thought I’d drop that in there, ’cause nothing is more analogous to the new Hawaii Five-0 than ‘The Bard‘.

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Teri: [commenting] They definitely don’t take themselves too seriously. And here’s something interesting they told me. It takes seven days to prep for an episode. Then, another eight days to shoot that episode – and they’re just four of almost 200 people that it takes to put the show together.

Link to the video

Photo from Governor Neil Abercrombie's visit to the Hawaii Five-0 set at the old state post office on King street on February 14, 2011. Photo by Ed Morita edmorita@me.com

Photo from Governor Neil Abercrombie’s visit to the Hawaii Five-0 set at the old state post office on King street on February 14, 2011.
Photo by Ed Morita
edmorita@me.com

Also on the video of that news cast, it was reported that Governor Abercrombie and his wife visited the Hawaii Five-0 set on Valentine’s day (2011) and that he showed his appreciation for the number of Hawaiians employed by the show.

Photo from Governor Neil Abercrombie's visit to the Hawaii Five-0 set at the old state post office on King street on February 14, 2011. Photo by Ed Morita edmorita@me.com

Photo from Governor Neil Abercrombie’s visit to the Hawaii Five-0 set at the old state post office on King street on February 14, 2011.
Photo by Ed Morita
edmorita@me.com

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Filed under Hawaii Five-0, Interviews

Pic for the Day – #H50 buddies, friends

Scott: Scott how can you describe Alex? And Alex, how can you describe Scott?
I think this dude is a solid Mensch of a man.

Alex: That’s nice. Thanks man.

Scott: Okay. Bring it.

Alex: Dude.

Scott: You’ve got to say me now.

Alex: He’s one of my best buddies, man. And you know what’s funny , when I first met him, just wanted to slap him one. Just a little bit. I love this man. He’s, he’s…. one of my best friends.

Alex & Scott answering fan questions – Nov 2014

buddies bts 202 dl

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Filed under Beauty perfected, Buddies, Hawaii Five-0, Steve McGarrett

#H50 stars find their new jobs exhausting – Nov 2010

Star-Advertiser

Mike Gordon

21 November 2010

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Ever since the first scene in July, when the stars of “Hawaii Five-0” raced into the spotlight with tire-squealing action, the pace of production has been brutal. The first season of any show, even one with a pedigree like CBS Television’s “Five-0,” challenges everyone involved to learn their parts, their places and the personalities they are bringing to life. There’s a lot to do and barely enough time to do it — every episode, five to six days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day.

“Television is very exhausting,” said Alex O’Loughlin, who stars as the show’s dynamic leader, Steve McGarrett. “You kind of forfeit your life to work in TV.”

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But now the show is halfway through the season, which will include a pair of bonus episodes next spring, bringing the season total to 24. The principal cast members — O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park — have found their marks and decided what they like about the network’s biggest hit of the season.

They’re passionate about the show but they’re tired. Up close, during time off so they could meet with a group international press gathered recently in Waikiki, they seem beat. “With this show, the work just keeps coming,” said the 34-year-old O’Loughlin. “It just doesn’t stop, and so you kind of do it and it’s gone and you’re on to the next thing. But it never goes away.”

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The Australian actor, whose accent vanishes in front of the cameras, has said before that he values character development. At a recent dinner meeting with an executive producer, he got a sense of the story arc coming in the second half of the season. “I was very excited walking out of that,” he said. “There’s a lot of great stuff coming up for me.”

Even so, his McGarrett already stands apart from the version originated by Jack Lord. He is physical, from the roundhouse kick he gave to Patrick Gallagher — Coach Tanaka from “Glee” — to the roll in the sheets with Michelle Borth, whom HBO subscribers will remember for her explicit sex scenes in “Tell Me You Love Me.

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“I think it’s becoming more and more fun for me to play,” he said. “In the beginning, you find your feet, you find your balance — how am I going to do this? But now it’s at a place where I am pretty clear on Steve and how he moves and what his pure objectives are.”

O’Loughlin says he’s searching for McGarrett’s humanity. “It’s been challenging,” he said. “More challenging than most of the characters I have played.”

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Two things that Daniel Dae Kim has discovered he likes about his character, Chin Ho Kelly: Honor counts for a lot, and fans know the actor actually speaks English. When he was in ABC’s “Lost,” his character, Jin, mostly spoke Korean. “There was a perception I couldn’t speak English very well,” Kim said. “I actually take it as a compliment because it means that people believed my character 100 percent.”

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His role as Chin has allowed Kim to share what he has learned about Hawaii, which he made his full-time home after starring on “Lost.” “He has what is commonly called the aloha spirit,” Kim said of Chin. “I think he really loves this island, and I think he loves the people here and I think there is a warmth about him when he is around people he trusts that I don’t think any of the other characters have.”

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Off camera, the 42-year-old Kim is sharing that warmth with local actors who have appeared in minor roles or as extras. “We have provided a lot of jobs here in Hawaii, and the fact that aspiring local actors are getting a chance on one of the biggest platforms there is, is almost an irreplaceable opportunity,” he said. “I’m happy to be a part of being able to provide that.”

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Grace Park is feeling lonely in the crowd of hunks on “Five-0.” The crime fighters need more gender equity — and she’s asked the show’s creators to cast another woman as a regular. “There’s a different dynamic with two women versus a girl and a guy,” she said. “I wouldn’t have to be the only girl … the girl that always has to be hot. I don’t want to always be the one in a bikini. Let me be the normal one. Let me be Mary Ann; let someone else be Ginger.”

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Park’s version of Kono, a young police academy graduate, “is the girl next door” who goes undercover. “It’s not like she’s always in a slinky dress,” says the 36-year-old Park. But it’s logical for her character to grow: Kono is young and has a lot to learn about life. Park wants Kono to have her values challenged, to struggle with decisions. “I would also like her to experience who she is as a person and what makes her, her by being in these situations,” Park said. “Right now I don’t see too much of that.”

For Scott Caan, the role of Danny “Danno” Williams has consumed a lot of the time he might normally have spent writing screenplays or developing his own films. He’s enjoying it but says “there is no chance” he would stay with the show for the same length of time — 12 years — that the original “Five-0” was on the air. “It’s a lot more work than I thought it was going to be,” he said. “It surprised me. Honestly, I think this is the kind of thing that when you are done you get to look back on how great it was, because when you are in the first season of a show, what I am learning is that everyone is scrambling to learn what they have to do.”

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At first, the 34-year-old Caan wrote notes all over his scripts and often called the show’s writers to talk about what they created. “I started to imagine the anxiety they had as my name popped up on their phone,” he said. “Then I would look over at Alex and say, ‘What are you doing?’ And he’s calling them.” Now Caan doesn’t have the energy for it.

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The show’s Nielsen ratings, which have been steady at about 10 million viewers, don’t concern him, either, and he barely pays attention to them. “If it’s not good, I want it to be gone,” he said. “If the show is good, I want it to have 50 million viewers, and if it’s bad, I want them to cancel it.”

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A devoted surfer with 45 boards, Caan says his comfort level with pronouncing Hawaiian words comes from hanging out at his favorite break. “Everybody mocks Hawaii in the world,” he said. “They all imitate Hawaii. There is a form of pidgin in every surf town in the world. There’s people at my local surf spot that talk like Hawaiians, so I already had a pretty good idea of pidgin. But the good news is, I don’t ever have to pronounce anything right because I’m from New Jersey.”

AND that’s a wrap.

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My Thoughts

  • This is how the Five-0 cast felt after only five months on the job – I wonder how they feel now, after so many years?

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Filed under articles, Hawaii Five-0, Interviews

Sky’s the Limit – Emmy Magazine 2011

 TV execs were sure that a show that went off the air more than thirty years ago still had plenty of potential – and they were right. The reboot of Hawaii Five-0 – with a hot, young foursome fighting crime in surf and sand – has been a huge hit for CBS. How long can it last? Well, how high is the sky?

Emmy Magazine

Issue 3, 2011

By Shawna Malcom

Emmy shoot

As a teen in his native Australia, Alex O’Loughlin nearly drowned trying to learn to surf. The experience proved so harrowing that, for twenty years, he refused to get back on a board. Then, in 2010, he landed a starring role on Hawaii Five-0 and, with it, a move to the Aloha state. Renting a house on one of Oahu’s picturesque beaches, the actor suddenly found himself drawn to the waves that have seduced thrill-seekers from around the globe. Ultimately he realized, “I’ve got to push through this fear,” he says. “If I don’t do it now, I’m never going to do it.”

O’Loughlin recounts his story one Sunday in the lobby bar of Honolulu’s Waikiki Edition Hotel, shortly after wrapping his Emmy photo shoot in an upstairs suite. As he does, it becomes clear the actor – clad in jeans and a T-shirt that doesn’t quite cover the tattoos inked on both biceps – has come not only to appreciate, but enjoy, the sport. “I feel like I’m 80 percent through my fear,” he says, between sips of hot tea. “I go out now whenever I can. It’s changed my life. For the first time, I’m experiencing how truly therapeutic being in the ocean can be.”

Spend some time with O’Loughlin and a theme starts to emerge: At this point in his life, the thirty-four-year-old actor is all about confronting challenges that scare the daylights out of him. Like fronting another series for CBS after his first two – 2007′s Moonlight and 2009′s Three Rivers – swiftly got the ax. “I did think, ‘What if this one doesn’t work?’” O’Loughlin says of returning to the TV beat with Five-0. “‘Where does that leave me? Will I be able to get another job?’”

Fortunately, he doesn’t need one. Five-0 – an adrenaline-fueled reboot of the classic 1968-80 series that revolves around an elite crimefighting task force led by the stoic Steve McGarrett (O’Loughlin, taking over for Jack Lord) – is a hit. In its freshman season, the show’s mix of high-stakes cases, flawed (and, yes, hot) heroes, breathtaking scenery and hard-hitting action packed a Hawaiian punch, averaging some 12 million viewers and becoming the number-one new drama in the coveted demo of adults eighteen-to-forty-nine.

Along the way, Five-0 proved that – despite recent groan-worth remakes (RIP, Bionic Woman, Knight Rider, Melrose Place) – it’s possible to reinvent a treasured franchise in a way that feels fresh yet honors the spirit of the source material.

“It’s really well done,” says CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler. “The [producers] took the original series, deconstructed it and reassembled it in such a way that it’s an homage that resonates with older fans but has great appeal to a younger audience.”

Striking that balance wasn’t easy. The network had tried twice before to relaunch Five-0, first in the mid-’90s with a pilot produced by Stephen J. Cannell and starring Gary Busey, then again in 2008 with a pilot script by Criminal Minds mastermind Ed Bernero. Along the way, Warner Bros. also briefly flirted with plans for a big-screen adaptation.

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Still, execs had faith in the potential of the property. “Any time you said the title, you always got a positive response,” says David Stapf, president of CBS Studios. “It also felt like an easy show to understand and wrap your arms around. But we weren’t going to do it unless we got it right.”

Alex O'Loughlin

One of the pros who ultimately cracked the case, executive producer and showrunner Peter Lenkov, had spent much of his life unwittingly preparing for the gig. Growing up in Montreal, he parked himself in front of the TV each week for the original Five-0, which helped forge the crime-procedural template and received a Primetime Emmy nomination for outstanding drama series in 1973.

“It was my dad’s favorite show,” Lenkov reports, “I remember sitting by his knee watching it and feeling how important it was to him.”

When approached about breathing new life into the brand, Lenkov – then showrunner on CSI: New York – didn’t hesitate. “I didn’t even think about the fact that I could kill the whole franchise,” he says with a laugh. “I just felt like I knew the original so well that I’d be doing it from the right place – because I was really passionate about it.”

That enthusiasm is evident as Lenkov sits in his office on the Paramount lot in Hollywood, surrounded by memorabilia he’s collected from the first Five-0 (“How cool is that?” he exclaims about a vintage View-Master.) His reverence helped persuade initially reluctant executive producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman to join the project.

“We were ready to do original stuff,” explains Orci, who along with Kurtzman and Lost’s Damon Lindelof, had scripted 2009′s brand-resuscitating Star Trek prequel. “It was like, are we just going to become the reboot kings? But Peter got us excited about what the series could be.”

Together, the trio set about reimagining the world of Five-0, dialing up the action and humor for what Orci calls “a Lethal Weapon feel” and fleshing out an origin story for the core quartet of characters – McGarrett, Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan), Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) and Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park), whose gender was wisely changed to reflect the modern reality of women in the workplace.

Emmy

“In the twelve years I’d watched the original show,” Lenkov says, describing what he felt was a weakness, “I never knew who those people were. I never knew how they met, why they were working together or who they were outside of the job.”

Inspired by Lenkov’s personal connection to the material, the characters’ back stories are defined by family ties: Former Navy SEAL McGarrett returns to Hawaii and ultimately forms the specialized police unit when his father is murdered. Fish-out-of-water sidekick Danny is a by-the-book, if sarcastic, New Jersey cop who moves to Honolulu to be close to his beloved daughter. Chin Ho is a former HPD officer whose downfall was inadvertently caused by his uncle, and he recruits his cousin Kono, a former pro surfer-turned-rookie.

A few golden nuggets from the original, however, were considered too valuable to lose and were woven prominently throughout season one, including McGarrett’s “Book ‘em, Danno!” catchphrase; the character of Wo Fat, who remains the show’s “big bad” and McGarrett’s archnemesis; and, of course, that ironically catchy theme song.

“We did wonder, should we try and trick it out, or get a famous rock guitarist to re-record it?” admits Orci, who considered both Lenny Kravitz and Slash. “But everybody’s first question when they found out we were working on the show was, are you going to keep the theme song?’ Enough people asked that it seemed stupid to say no. I think we were smart enough to leave it alone.”

They were also savvy in casting. Lenkov had previously met O’Loughlin and remembered feeling at the time that the actor had been miscast in his previous TV roles as a sensitive vampire and dedicated surgeon. “In person, I thought, this guy’s an action hero,” Lenkov says. “He shouldn’t be playing anything but the guy who carries a gun, saves people and solves crimes. All this physical, heroic stuff that we needed for our McGarrett – that’s Al.”

O’Loughlin threw himself into preparing for the part, enduring rigorous training with real Navy SEALs and employing same single-minded determination that helped him conquer surfing. It’s obvious he’s relieved and thrilled to have finally found a role that fits.

“This character is a cool cat,” O’Loughlin says. “He’s got that Jason Bourne-Jack Bauer thing, where he has his own moral code. And I love the action stuff! I’m not a stuntman, but I’m athletic, and [as McGarrett] I like hanging people off buildings and tying them to the hoods of cars and then driving really fast.”

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Caan is happy to let his partner in crimefighting handle the action sequences. Early on in the show’s production, he tore a ligament in his knee doing jujitsu and had to have surgery. “I’ve hurt myself in my life so much doing stupid sports,” he says, “so I’m cool with just doing acting.”

Five-0 fans are cool with it, too. Caan – who exudes an easy charisma on screen, whether doting on Danny’s daughter or bickering bromantically with McGarrett in the show’s now-patented “cargument” scenes – quickly became a breakout star, earning a Golden Globe nomination for his performance earlier this year. Clearly, producers booked the right Danno.

Ironically, though, Caan came close to passing on the role. “I definitely struggled with whether I should do it,” the actor says during an interview on the Five-0 headquarters set, as his beloved Blue Heeler, an Australian cattle dog named Dot, lounges nearby. “My first instinct was no. I have no desire to do just a straight procedural.”

The character-rich pilot script eventually changed his mind. Even so, since the show became a hit, Caan – who’s also a writer and director – has openly struggled with the likelihood that he’ll spend the next several years of his life working pre-dominantly on the show, which shoots far from his Los Angeles hometown. “There have been times when I’ve been, like, there’s no way I’ll do anything twelve seasons,” he says, “because there are other things I want to do.”

At this point, though, he seems to have made peace with the idea. “This is my job and I’m doing it with full passion,” Caan says. “If it runs twelve seasons, I’ll be in my forties, and I can parlay it into whatever I want, you know? I’ll have a bajillion dollars from this show, and I can buy a block in Hollywood, set up a theater company and do nothing but write and direct plays and be completely fulfilled.”

The potential for fulfillment, both personal and creative, also persuaded Kim to join the TV team. The actor, who spent six seasons on the Oahu-based drama lost, was, unlike his character Jin, in no hurry to leave the island when the ABC hit wrapped last year. “My kids are in school here,” says the married father of two during a break at Emmy’s photo shoot, “and all their friends are here. As important as my career is to me, my family is as important.”

With Five-0, he’s hoped to showcase a different side of himself as an actor. “That people see that Jin was actually a character, and not who I was, is meaningful to me,” he says. “I loved my experience on Lost and I’ll make no bones about it. That said, it was a huge ensemble and I wanted to make sure that I was an integral part of [this] show.”

While the actor has infused the wounded Chin Ho with a poignant gravitas, his loyal (and very vocal) fan base has grumbled that the character isn’t quite integral enough. The actor himself admits he’s eager to spend more time on character development and less time downloading case-related exposition in season two. “Chin Ho started with a rich back story, and I think he has a lot to offer the group,” Kim says. “I look forward to seeing a diversity of experience for him. I understand that season one was about establishing the brand, so people knew what they were getting. But I think what makes a television show good in the long run is depth of character.”

Park, who was previously best known for the cable cult-favorite Battlestar Galactica, has wrestled with finding her footing off screen.

“This has been a really interesting journey,” admits the shy actress of the fame that comes with starring on a high-profile network series. “I’m really grateful [for the opportunity], but with that comes a lot of exposure. There’s an inordinate amount of attention put on actors. Some people want to make their lives public, but that doesn’t mean everybody does. It kind of feels like you landed in – well, not really Alice in Wonderland, because it’s not that fun.”

Park is looking forward to spending the summer hiatus with her husband, real-estate developer Phil Kim, who stayed in Vancouver while she filmed in Hawaii. (People were like, ‘Isn’t your husband moving with you?’ I’m like, ‘He’s got a life!’” she says with a laugh.)

But for the show’s producers, any R&R will be short-lived. After May’s explosive season finale, which threatened to dismantle the Five-0 team, Lenkov is already bubbling with ideas for the fall. There are certain emotional moments from the first season that I want on my life reel,” he says. “But season two is going to be even better.” Expect tighter plots, says the producer, and likely at least one new series regular: Larisa Oleynik, who appeared in a handful of episodes toward the end of season one as a CIA analyst who helps McGarrett in his ongoing quest to bring down Wo Fat.

Even now, though, the man who grew up worshipping the original series can’t quite believe he’s played a major role in introducing the brand to a whole new generation. “Nina Tassler said to me once, ‘You did it. You brought it back,’ Lenkov marvels. “But, really, as corny as it sounds, I just wanted to make my dad a fan.”

For the record, he’s succeeded. “He even watches the reruns,” Lenkov says with a hearty laugh. “My dad will call me up and say, ‘That was still pretty great, even the second time.”

The same might be said for the series as a whole.

The Five-0 team

My Thoughts

  • I do not agree with Peter Lenkov on his thoughts that the only thing Alex can be good at, is being an action hero cop. And I definitely disagree that he was ever miscast as either Mick St. John of Dr Andy Yablonski. Maybe I am just an ignorant fangirl for thinking that Alex is so much more than just McGarrett? 😕
  • When in doubt, don’t. – While I was reading this article, the quote from Benjamin Franklin crossed my mind. But then again, will we ever do anything if this was true?

Magazine scan

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Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, articles, Hawaii Five-0, Interviews

H50 season 5 memories – giggles part 1

For me there needs to be a bit of humor or the show gets way too serious and depressing. This is also a bit controversial matter, because we all see things differently. What I find funny might be painfully awkward for others. These are the tiny moments that made me giggle or at least smile 😀 (again, just the first half of the season)

 

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Filed under Hawaii Five-0, Steve McGarrett