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Kelly Hu’s first taste of stardom came courtesy of Jack Lord

  • Kelly Hu

Fans of Kelly Hu owe a debt of gratitude to Jack Lord. The star of the original "Hawaii Five-0" was the first actor she ever met. She was in preschool in Liliha and suddenly smitten with the idea of being a superstar.

"I remember getting an autographed photo of him," Hu said. "I was 4."

Now those fans can send their mahalo to the producers of the new "Hawaii Five-0," as they bring Hu full circle for a part in the CBS reboot. The 42-year-old Hu is so excited, she’s paying her own way home from Los Angeles to shoot an episode here this week.

"It’s not a huge role right now," she said. "It’s only a guest-starring role with a possibility of recurring. But I have no idea what it’s going to hold in the future."

Hu will be the public safety liaison for the show’s fictional governor, played by Jean Smart.

A Kamehameha Schools graduate, Hu appeared in last year’s martial arts DVD "The Tournament" and this spring as Pearl in CW’s "Vampire Diaries." She had key roles in "X-Men 2" and "The Scorpion King," and appeared in "NCIS" and "Army Wives." She also has a recurring role as the voice of Stacy in the animated series "Phineas and Ferb."

It’s only a coincidence — at least that’s the official CBS line — but Hu got the part as fans lobbied on her behalf on Facebook. Fans had assumed she was already a part of the show and were surprised to learn otherwise.

So last month a small group of them created "I Want Hawaii’s Kelly Hu on Hawaii 5-0!" They got help from Tracy Larrua, a publicist who was Hu’s dance teacher in high school.

Hu doesn’t know whether the show’s executive producers even saw the site, but something swayed them.

"I guess it was a little bit of everything," she said. "Maybe the fact that I fit so well in that series. It seems perfect."

A recurring role would likely generate some frequent-flier miles for Hu, who will leave for China not long after shooting here so she can spend three months learning Mandarin and checking out the film industry.

But she fell in love with the pilot, which she called gritty, and the chemistry between Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan.

"That’s why I got excited about doing the show," she said. "That’s why I am willing to go the length I am going to do it. Usually when people say, ‘You fly yourself,’ you say, ‘What, are you kidding?’ But this is ‘Five-0.’"

And speaking of Hawaii-born women who can throw a punch, Maggie Q is making quite an impact in "Nikita," the new CW series about a sexy spy gone rogue. She even has a fan in "Hawaii Five-0" executive producer Peter Lenkov.

But he has history with the story. From 1998 to 2001 Lenkov was a supervising producer and writer for a previous TV version called "La Femme Nikita." He saw the pilot for the current version and loved Maggie Q’s performance.

"They just did an amazing job," Lenkov said. "She is great in the show. If I wasn’t doing ‘Hawaii Five-0’ I would want to do that show."

Nine short films, music videos and experimental videos based on "Soul Saviour," the supernatural dramatic series from Honolulu filmmaker Jeff Katts, will be shown at the "Soul Saviour Film Festival" at 5 and 7 p.m. Wednesday at Consolidated Ward Theaters. Tickets are $12.

The series, which has run for six years online and on stage and screen, follows the adventures of ordinary people chosen by God to vie against a demon to save human souls.

Katts says that while the subject matter deals with religion, it’s the story line that attracts audiences.

"It’s a basic story of good vs. evil," he said. "It’s kind of dark. It’s like an ongoing soap opera dealing with the whole supernatural realm."

And that’s a wrap.


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