#H50 in the early days – TV Guide Nov 2010

 

Scott Caan, who plays investigator Danny “Danno” Williams, that cocky, huggable bulldog you see strutting his stuff each week on Hawaii Five-0, is not so different from his character. Both have been struggling to adjust to a new island home (Danny’s left New Jersey to be closer to his daughter, while Caan jets back to L.A. every chance he gets to visit with his girlfriend). Both live in the shadow of a larger-than-life presence (Danny’s superior, former Navy SEAL Steve McGarrett, and Caan’s real-life pops, Oscar nominee James Caan). And both are all about the work, with little patience for frivolity.

For example, Caan has been asked to shoot a CBS promo out on the terrace of a Waikiki hotel between takes — and he doesn’t even attempt to feign enthusiasm.

“Be here. Aloha,” he mutters three times, with nary a smile and a serious I-don’t-give-a-crap attitude.

Looking on a few feet away with devilish delight: costar Alex O’Loughlin, who senses his pal’s discomfort and shouts, “Smile!”

“B— me,” Caan hollers back.

“C’mon, you have a great smile,” O’Loughlin teases.

This off-camera frat-boy banter is finding a place on screen, too, making O’Loughlin’s straight-arrow McGarrett and his sarcastic hothead sidekick the most buzzed about partnership of the new season.

“We both lucked out,” says O’Loughlin, who has been receiving on-set chess lessons from Caan. “We really bounce off each other, and as we get closer, we can just shoot each other a look, which adds a lot to our relationship on screen.”

While O’Loughlin has been slowly emerging as a TV fan favorite for the past few seasons, Caan has remained pretty much under the radar since the late ’90s as a dependable supporting player in film (the Ocean’s Eleven franchise) and TV (he’ll return to shoot Entourage‘s final season during his summer hiatus). But it’s Hawaii Five-0 that’s making this recognizable tough guy a bankable name, which is why CBS believes viewers will tune in if Caan tells them to “Be here” — even if he personally finds the spots moronic. “I don’t know how to be a cornball, and this is a cornball thing,” says Caan after wrapping the promos. “I will never, ever settle into something that I think is fake.”

“Scott’s very real and wears his heart on his sleeve,” explains the show’s executive producer, Peter Lenkov. “There’s not a dishonest bone in his body.”

True, ask Caan a question and you’ll get an honest answer — like how he feels about being part of the newest jewel on CBS’ lucrative crown of procedural dramas. “If I’d been presented with just a straight procedural, I would have said, ‘No, thank you,'” he says. “The procedural stuff is not the most fun to do, so to get through it, Alex and I have to bust each other’s b—s and try to find ways to do the scene. The character stuff is what I want to do.”

Fortunately for Caan, upcoming character-driven episodes will showcase the actor’s as-yet-unseen emotional side. In tonight’s episode, the body of Danny’s former partner turns up in a luau barbecue pit. Later this season, Danny helps McGarrett as he faces a painful betrayal. And we’ll finally meet Danny’s ex-wife, Rachel (Aussie actress Claire Van Der Boom), whose bedroom will be the scene of a stakeout.

Seeing Caan work his dramatic chops has proven particularly entertaining to his costar. “Scott is just as interesting to watch dramatically as he is comedically,” says O’Loughlin, impressed by what he calls his pal’s “deep reservoir of emotions.”

Even Caan’s famous father has become a fan. “He’s told me, ‘I really like what you’re doing and I’m proud of you,'” says Caan. “And my dad’s the kind of guy who’d come to a play I wrote and say, ‘That sucks!’ The truth is, Hawaii Five-0 is better than a lot of movies I’ve been in. If I can make a ton of money doing something I love and get to a place where I’m doing movies I want to do, then what could be better than that?”

Story By William KeckFor TV Guide

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5 Comments

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

5 responses to “#H50 in the early days – TV Guide Nov 2010

  1. I worried for a while that Caan’s negative talk show comments (1st Season)would adversely affect the show. Though I don’t normally care for remakes, I’d already developed an interest in Alex O (Moonlight fan). Because of this, my wish was that Caan would deal with his role professionally, and minimize his verbal rhetoric, for the sake of the program. To his credit, Caan appeared to dispense with much of his negativity, allowing the show’s fan base to flourish. While, I’m sorry for any vital role to be diminished, I think this allowed others to develop a stronger level of importance.

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  2. Sorry to have to say it, but Scott tires me both as Danny and as himself. Why did he accept the role? To be able to sulk and be negative?

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  3. karen

    It’s probably his real life personality. He’s gruff and miserable, the total opposite of Alex.

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  4. Sue

    Scott has admitted that he took the role, to fund what he wants to do, ie. plays, directing, etc, in his off time. He has never been happy, in Hawaii.

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  5. Cassandra

    I grew tired of Scott very early on. He is a complete opposite of Alex’s personality. I understand that actors are chosen to play a part best suited for the character they portray but was Scott, since he seems to have such disdain, all that they could find???? Nonetheless, the show has held its own, in spite of him, and is about to enter S8!!! Meantime, with all of his rhetoric, he is still collecting those paychecks huh!!

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