For such a laid-back island, the vibe on set is all business, all the time. For a simple shot of extras running from the car bomb on the wharf, the director does four or five takes to nail it. On any given day, the cast and crew will wake up at 5 a.m., and they all log up to 80-hour workweeks without batting an eye. Call it … Hawaii Eight-0?
To keep things light during those long days, Caan brings his dog to set (a 4-year-old blue heeler border collie named Dot), Kim tweets on his iPad and O’Loughlin hams it up. While shooting a soundstage scene in his Chevy Silverado later in the day, he spontaneously breaks into song and honks in rhythm:
“Every time you goooooo / To the place that we knowwwwww … Beep, beep!”
Park, for her part, likes to tease members of the crew. When four crew dudes move a tent to shield us from the sun at Fisherman’s Wharf and proceed to stand there, holding it in place, she crosses her arms and declares mock-seriously, “I’m still waiting for you guys to take your shirts off.”
The show is dead serious, however, about safety—and authenticity. Five-0’s military technical advisor is an ex-Navy SEAL, and O’Loughlin did weapons training with a team of SEALs to prep for the part of Lt. Cmdr. McGarrett.
“I ducked and weaved the hazing,” says O’Loughlin, “but I’m sure they can’t wait to do it: ‘That McGarrett, he’s a [wuss].’ Which I am, by the way. I’m an actor!”
That said, O’Loughlin is willing to do as many stunts as they let him. For one of the high-octane dirt biking scenes, crew members handed him the fastest Honda they had and a pair of sunglasses, and told him to do his worst. “It was incredible,” he says.
Caan, who hurt his knee early on in the production, has no interest in such shenanigans: He spent most of his 20s making bad decisions in the pursuit of a good time.
“I’ve done so many stupid things in my life that at this point, if I don’t have to risk getting hurt, I won’t,” he says, smirking. “I’ve fallen off horses, motorcycles, cliffs, skateboards, surfboards, busted my head open, and gotten stitches and surgeries all over my body. They don’t pay me enough to hurt myself on this show.”
O’Loughlin may be the natural leader, on screen and off, but it’s Caan—with his wisecracks and desert-dry sense of ennui—who snagged a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor. Unsurprisingly, he shrugs off any label of breakout star.
“I’m just trying to have fun,” he says. “It’s a nice thing when people say nice things about you. … I didn’t realize I was insecure until I turned 30. I always thought I was the [bomb], and then I turned 30 and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, I’ve got all kinds of fears and insecurities.’ So, it’s a nice thing.”