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Son of original Chin Ho portrayer meets actor now filling dad’s role

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Not even Hollywood could have scripted this encounter:

The son of Chin Ho Kelly meets the new Chin Ho Kelly.

Honolulu actor Dennis Chun, whose father, Kam Fong, played Chin Ho in the original "Hawaii Five-0," was at the recent showcase by the local Academy of Film & Television when he spotted the actor who will play the role in the CBS remake: Daniel Dae Kim. So he walked up and introduced himself.

"I told him he will do the show proud and do Dad proud," Chun said. "I wanted to wish him all the best. He was very grateful for that and very gracious."

Chun, who works for the state Judiciary and acts in local theater, is ever the gentleman. Last spring he auditioned for the role of the "Five-0" detective when CBS was preparing to shoot the pilot. But the network cast Kim, a familiar face to the millions of fans of ABC’s "Lost."

The audition was a bittersweet experience for Chun, whose father, a one-time Honolulu cop, died in 2002. When Chun read the line "I am Chin Ho Kelly," there was a lump in his throat.

It was a treat to meet Kim, who was surprised by the introduction, Chun said.

"It felt good, and it was something I wanted to do," he said. "You want them to do well, and you want them to be a success, not just for the legacy of the show, but for the actors and the community."

ORGANIZERS OF the showcase, an actor-driven event that brings casting directors and producers to a performance, say it was a huge success. Held at Indigo, the showcase hosted more than two dozen industry honchos, including Peter Lenkov, executive producer of the new "Hawaii Five-0," and the show’s producer-director, Brad Turner. Also in the audience was Chris Lee, a former president of production for Tri-Star Pictures and Columbia Pictures, and Katie Doyle, who is helping with casting for the action-adventure film "Battleship," expected to begin filming on Oahu in September.

Brian Hirono, who helped organize the showcase, received a speaking role for at least one episode, and five other actors have been contacted about potential parts. Hirono grew up in Makiki and performed in New York with LaMama E.T.C., the Immigrants’ Theatre Project and the National Asian American Theatre Co.

"This is my first professional speaking role," Hirono said. "I did student films in New York, but they didn’t pay anything. This is my first big production, and I am very excited."

RUSHES … The "Battleship" filmmakers have been logging serious sea time with the RIMPAC war games taking place in Hawaii waters. Their cameras have been rolling to capture footage of the vessels and their crews in action.

The Navy has shuttled a nine-member film crew from ship to ship ever since the fleet left Pearl Harbor on July 6, according to Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Self-Kyler. The crew was on the destroyer USS Benfold, the oiler USNS Yukon and the destroyer USS Sampson, she said. Also on the itinerary is the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

The project from Universal Pictures stars "True Blood" vampire Alexander Skarsgard, who spent time aboard the Benfold.

"He was here to do research and watch the officers in action so he can see them before he plays the role himself," Self-Kyler said. …

The hosts of the state’s newest home-remodeling TV show have vowed to answer the question many homeowners have asked: Can anybody do it?

"The Aloha Home Show" will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday on KHON. Expert advice will come from Jim Byxbee, president-elect of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii. He has 30 years of experience. His co-host is Kirsten Fujitani, dubbed "The Novice" because she just purchased her first property.

"I can’t do very much," she said. "I enjoy painting. I like the brush strokes, but I don’t necessarily do a great job. I don’t know if I could ever fix anything like a garbage disposal."

If the show finds sponsorship, more episodes will be taped and Fujitani will presumably learn more.

And that’s a wrap. …


Mike Gordon is the Star-Advertiser’s film and television writer. His "Outtakes" column appears Sundays. E-mail him at


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