A conversation here in the comments the other day, let me to this old interview again, and I realized we never did a transcript for it.
Malika didn’t date it in her video posts, but as far as we could gather, it was filmed at the end of 2010, or the beginning of 2011 during the filming of Episode 1:17 of Hawaii Five-0. (That was the episode with couple Vanessa & Nick Lachey. Vanessa is at present the lead on NCIS Hawai’i)
(Picture of Alex & Malika at SOTB 2010)
- We made a short post about parts of the footage of that day before. You can find it here:
In that video, Alex demonstrated to Malika some of the stage-fighting moves stunt people and actors use to create the illusion of fighting.
(Picture of Alex and reported Malika at SOTB 2012)
Transcript of the actual interview
Malika: Would you say you’re more of an actor or more of a stunt guy? Does it make you feel like, “Oh, I really want to get in there?”
Alex: No … I not … Look, I’m not gonna say I’m a stunt guy. Because I’m not a stunt guy. I know you want me to say that. I’m not gonna say it. I’m an actor, and I’m athletic though and I can do certain things, you know. Some actors prefer just not to do any of it, you know. And then like, they’re probably smarter than I am.
But I like it. Especially with a character like this. Like a lot of McGarrett’s …. A lot of where this character comes alive is in the physicality. You know, is how he moves and how he does what he does. And there’s a lot of …. he does a lot of dynamic entries. And a lot of dynamic takedowns and stuff.
And I don’t know, it’s fun, you know. I really enjoy doing that stuff. It’s a real kind of rough-housing. And so, it kind of comes naturally to me.
Malika: So would you say it’s something that you did growing up? You know, martial arts or motorcycles?
Alex: Yeah, definitely I am … I did a bunch of different martial arts for a long time. Especially when I was younger. And I’ve always been interested in that, and boxing and stuff for fitness.
And …. You know, I used to do things when I was a kid like .. a small … still in diapers, you know. I’d go …. I’d go to the bottom of the street and I’d build like a wall out of loose house bricks. And then I’d go to the top of the street and ride my truck through the wall, you know. And end up [cry] hurt pretty badly.
But that’s stupidity. But I guess that’s maybe what stunts [giggles] …. maybe what stunts are.
But I’ve always done that sort of stuff. So, it’s … yeah, the fear gene is …is lower in me than … I think it’s to do with brainpower as well. I’m not that smart. So, I … you know, the smarter are, the more healthy fear you have.
The important thing … and especially if your work is likepurely physical, like a stunt mans’ is. You know, they don’t even see your face. It’s kind of like, you know, they’re our … you know. Our heroes, in the shadows. You know, they put my face on that body. So, the most important thing is to …. your body is your temple. You know, look after it. Be aware of what and put in it. Don’t smoke EVER. You know, like keep fit. Always stretch, you know.
But ….. but just as important as that, is what I said before, is you know, keep your mind as flexible as your body. Because that’s the one thing that’s gonna …. you know, when you’ve got something to do – your really high up, or you really close to danger or flames or whatever, if your mind is good and your mind is quiet, then you know the parameters of what the body can do. And it’ll all come together. Unless your stuntman drops you.
Malika: [Laughs] Tell me about the last time that you felt like, “Oh, I’m so glad he did that?”
Alex: Uhm … about 40 minutes ago. Justin jumped … off like, off the roof of a car into the … through the window of a moving trolley car. And I was like, “Shit man”. And he’s got like a cut, up his tricep. But if I did that, I would have sliced it off.
You know, I mean that’s the kind of … It’s the thing with coordination as well, I mean. It’s like … he’s so good. He’s so precise. He does it all the time, you know.
And so … I …. just the potential to hurt yourself. You know, with the moving stuff. Moving vehicles and stuff. So I’m kind of glad he can did that.
We had an amazing team on the pilot. And I had an amazing stunt man. And… and, you know, we ….we had the budget and he had a lot more time than a normal episode of television.
We also had Len Wiseman directing, you know. And he’s a big action director. And, you know, these guys know what they want. And they know what’s good. And they know what’s going to sell. And, you know, their attitude …
I mean it would have been incredible if we had ten million dollars in four weeks for every episode of Hawaii five-0. But we don’t.
And, you know, but when you’ve got the time … the luxury of time and money. And you’ve got a crew of people that know what they’re doing. You know, there’s no reason why you can’t put a movie scale stuff on TV, you know. And we proved that in the pilot.
Malika: What do you think was the best stunt for that pilot? For so far, I guess in the show?
Alex: I mean, I don’t know. All the …. all the … We’ve got a lot of great stunts, you know what I mean. We have a lot of amazing … like smaller stunts week to week. Where our stuntmen will run and like dive head-first into car windows, while the cars driving. And things like that that are pretty underrated.
I mean, it’s like you see it and you go, “Oh, wow that’s cool”. But it’s like, “No that’s super cool. And that guy is bigger than the window. And oh my god how did he do it?”
And so, a lot of stuff kind of … like when you … when you’re not exploding helicopters and like mowing down villages of people and people…. I don’t know, people get underwhelmed quite easily, because they’re used to the really huge stuff.
But .. the coolest stunt? I don’t know. I loved all the beginning of the pilot and the teaser. You know, and all that stuff in Korea, you know, with all the Hummers and helicopters. And guys like repelling out of helicopter shooting.
Malika: That was cool.
That was pretty great stuff.
I’m not sure in the business …. nobody really knows what goes on and how much … like without stunt doubles … you know. And without the stunt teams and the guys that coordinated all that and the safety. I mean we don’t have an action show.
You don’t have action. You just have talking heads. You know, and it’s like … they play such a huge part. They’re like … they’re like a huge part of the backbone of any action television show or feature film.
And, like I said they’re the unsung heroes, you know. And even though people know about stunts or know the rest of it, I don’t think they really realize that so much … for this show, for instance, so much of the show hangs on how good our stunt team is. You know, what I mean?
And it’s … and without good act … like we have to like lift our game as actors to match the stunts because they are so good.
So I mean, I think it’s important for audience members to understand that when they’re sitting back and being wowed by all these and all these incredible actions, it have nothing to do with us. You know, it’s … it’s the stunt person.
Link to Video
- You can also watch the news report about these interviews with Malika here:
In it you can see a bit more of what the others and also Alex had to say about stunts.
- Link to the transcript of Malika’s interview with Alex at SOTB 2010
- Link to the transcript of Malika’s interview with Alex at SOTB 2015
- You can also read the story about stunt troubles on the Hawaii Five-0 set here: