Michelle Borth, the newest member of the “Hawaii Five-0” team, gave a few Hawaii fans a sweet surprise on Thursday, Aug. 2, when she teamed up with the “H50hana” and “TeamH50” blogs to throw a casual fan Tweetup at Big City Diner Pearlridge. We often have these meet-ups during the summer months to soothe the rerun doldrums during the show’s hiatus.
Earlier this summer, fans got together with actors Dennis Chun (Sgt. Duke Lukela) and Jomar Miranda (Will Ling/Wo Fat’s bodyguard), as well as with season-ender villain, Karl Herlinger (Toothpick).
But this Tweetup was a little different, as it was the first time we had a series regular join us to take pictures, hold an impromptu question and answer session, and enjoy a very special custom cake.
Borth was completely gracious and posed for pictures with the 62 fans who were there, signing photos, newspaper articles, and T-shirts. Everyone was excited to meet the actress, who arrived with “Hawaii Five-0” publicist Erika Kauffman. Actors Dennis Chun, Melissa Puana-Martin and Rob Chiong (from “Ka Iwi Kapu”) were also there to mingle with fans. Many brought gifts for Borth; “TeamH50” blogger Amy Bakari presented her with red velvet cupcakes and Mes Bijoux bracelets from Atlanta, Georgia, while Kaua‘i fan Jen Leines sent Borth and Kauffman glass tile pendants from her Jenny’s Jems line, which Borth wore all night. Blogger “Officer808” from “50Undercover,” as well as Dana Rachlin, who hosts “WebSouffle’s Hawaii Five-0” podcast, joined the fun.
“H50hana” bloggers Lisa Woo and Keith Sato made Borth a “Welcome to Season 3 and Happy Early Birthday Michelle” cake that depicted her first scene in “Hawaii Five-0.”
The creative cake depicted a bed with two heads sticking out of the covers, fondant Navy digicams on the girl’s side of the bed and khaki cargo pants and a black T-shirt on boy’s side. It was a good representation of the costume Borth wears as a Navy Lieutenant as well as McGarrett’s ever-present cargo pants.
The cake recalls Borth’s scene with Alex O’Loughlin in “Kai e‘e,” and during the Q-and-A she shared a story about how the scene was shot. Borth said it was her first time on the “Hawaii Five-0” set and her first meeting with O’Loughlin. In order to put themselves at ease, they tried to do “little things to not make it so serious” for each other during their scenes.
“It’s awkward when you first meet someone and say ‘Hi, I’m Michelle’ and “Hi, I’m Alex, and let’s make-out,” she said. “So he ate a tuna fish sandwich, and I smoked a cigarette, because I hate tuna fish, and he hates the smell of smoke. It made everything funny and light, and then it wasn’t weird or awkward at all.”
Borth added she gets along well with O’Loughlin and “thinks it shows” on screen.
Borth was like this most of the night, open and candid, as she talked about her experiences on the “Hawaii Five-0” set as well as on “Combat Hospital.” She also talked about playing a Lieutenant in the Navy, and her desire to be as accurate as possible and pay correct homage to the naval uniform and protocol.
When asked about the skillset Lt. Rollins brings to the show, she quickly replied, “her badassness.” Which of course, was the answer we all wanted to hear. She was also very thankful for her fans. She talked about how moved she was by the kind reception she received from them, and she wanted everyone to know how grateful she was with everyone who showed up to the Tweetup and for all the warm aloha she has experienced since arriving in Hawai‘i.
Kauffman added that the entire cast and crew “are out there everyday to make a great show for you,” and are “all really grateful to the fans for their passion” for the show.
After the Q-and-A, Borth posed for more pictures with fans and said her goodbyes. Her special cake was wrapped up to take to set the following day, as rumor had it that O’Loughlin himself wanted to share it with the cast and crew. The evening was a treat for everyone who attended, as fans not only got a glimpse into what it’s like to be on set with the “Five-0” crew, but also a little more about “the new girl.”
Even though we have seen her in both seasons one and two, Borth will be a series regular this year, and most people would probably be really nervous about that — but for Michelle Borth, and her amazing positive and gracious attitude, it most likely will be a piece of cake.
Redux Side Note:
This week’s repeat was “Ka Hakakā Maika‘i” where McGarrett fights a charity MMA fight against Chuck Liddell. Next week’s repeat is “Kūpale,” a star-studded episode with not only Major League Baseball star Shane “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” Victorino and Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno, but local actors Dennis Chun and Al Harrington guest star as well.
For more photos and video clips, visit the Five-0 Redux on Facebook to see more of Michelle Borth with her fans.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.