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Five-0 Redux

Dale enjoys ‘good guy’ role

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Actor Ian Anthony Dale turned what should have been a four-episode arc into one of the most romantic and beloved characters on “Hawaii Five-0.”

The storyline featuring Kono Kalākaua and Adam Noshimuri had us hooked from the moment we saw them share a sexy shower interlude in season two. Fans loved watching their relationship move into near-Shakespearean territory as Adam, son of a Yakuza boss, fell in love with Kono, a cop and member of McGarrett’s Five-0 task force.

Ian Anthony Dale and Grace Park sharing an emotional moment as partners. (CBS)
Ian Anthony Dale and Grace Park share an emotional moment on “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

I spoke to Dale a few days after “O Kēlā me Kēia Manawa” (“Now and Then”) aired on CBS when he was a guest on the “The Amy and Friends Show,” which airs Mondays and Fridays at 2 p.m. HST on KPRP 650 AM. Blogger Amy Bakari and I recap “Hawaii Five-0” every Monday, and Dale was gracious enough to speak to us about his role as Adam, as well as his newest project on TNT, “Murder in the First.”

“It’s been one of my most favorite roles that I’ve ever gotten a chance to play, and I hope it continues for the life of the show,” he said. “It’s certainly been a lot of fun working on ‘Hawaii Five-0’ and particularly with Grace.”

Kono started off on the opposite side of Adam, but obviously opposites attract. Dale said their on-screen chemistry has more to do with mutual respect and friendship than anything else.

“(Grace has) been a great partner and it’s always a pleasure to work with her,” said Dale. “We’ve spent the last two years working together and getting to know each other, and once you develop that relationship and that rapport and that friendship, it just makes working together that much more enjoyable.”

We spoke at length about “O Kēlā me Kēia Manawa,” and Dale shared his experience shooting a dramatic scene where Kono finds Adam “lovesick” and (falsely) bearded, washing dishes in a diner in Canada.

I told him that it was very rewarding to see them find each other and that he was alive, as viewers were not sure of his fate when he was taken away by Sato’s men in “Kupuʻeu” (“Fallen Hero”).

Ian Anthony Dale as Adam Noshimuri during his bad guy days. (CBS)
Ian Anthony Dale as Adam Noshimuri during his bad guy days. (Courtesy CBS)

“We knew we had an opportunity to create a really heartfelt scene together, one that could be compelling,” he said. “We both agreed that it needed to be emotional in order for the audience to have the payoff that they were looking for.

“The majority of ‘Hawaii Five-0’ fans wanted us to get back together and find each other and have there be a happy ending. So in order to satisfy the audience, we had to take it to a really genuine emotional level. Even though we were crying, it was tears of joy in this situation. Grace did a phenomenal job; my opinion is when we shot that scene, that was the best work she has ever done in my presence.

“It was a great moment, it was a great connection, and I’m happy it turned out really well. I hope it provided the payoff that the audience was looking for.”

Dale added the way their storyline played out was “better than getting a bullet in my head,” since he was only supposed to be part of the show for a short time.

“When I first started … I thought I was going to be in four episodes and that’s it, and look what it became,” he said. “I’m happy and fortunate that I have gotten to do so many. As long as the ‘Five-0’ ʻohana want me around, I’ll happily oblige.”

Kono (Grace Park) and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) on the run from Adam's past. (CBS)
Kono (Grace Park) and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) on the run from Adam’s past. (Courtesy CBS)

Kono and Adam have faced a number of trials and tribulations in their relationship. I asked about Adam rescuing Kono in the season three opener and what it was like to save her life. Dale said it was a very intense experience, but was quick to give credit to the “amazing stunt team led by Jeff Cadiente.” He said despite being out in the middle of the ocean, he felt very safe with all the water safety teams surrounding them.

“Those scenes are really intense,” he said. “They allow actors and humans to connect due to the intense nature of those scenes, so it helps with our character arcs because it really felt that you went through a very trying experience together and only you two have shared that experience. So it was really helpful in allowing Grace and myself to embody these characters and give the audience a couple they could root for.”

While Adam started off as a bad guy, deep down he really is a good guy. He’s been stuck in a moral conundrum between his business and his family lives — his father, the Yakuza, and his love for Kono — and where they are going. Bringing in Adam’s brother, Michael (Daniel Henney), added another major twist to his character.

“I like Adam being a good guy,” said Dale. “When Adam kills Michael to save Kono’s life, that was the moment when the audience decided to trust Adam. He genuinely had Kono’s best interest at heart.”

Five-0 fans are definitely hoping to see more of Adam and Kono as the season continues. Executive producer Peter Lenkov confirmed via Twitter that “Adam is NOT being killed off,” so I think Dale will return, just maybe not as often as he has been in the past. His role as Lt. Jim Koto in Steven Bochco’s “Murder in the First” starts shooting in February and will air on TNT this summer, which will probably affect his ability to shoot scenes for “Five-0.”

You can follow Dale on Twitter and visit his website to keep up with what he’s doing.

Redux Side Note:

This week’s episode was a repeat of one of my Best of 2013 picks. “Hoʻopio” (“To Take Captive”) also featured Hawaii actress Kanani Rogers, who will be on “The Amy and Friends Show” on Monday, Jan. 27.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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  • Wendie….I really enjoyed Ian’s interview with Amy on her show and this article sealed it. He is really a great guy. I hope his new show is a huge success for him but still gives him some time to come back and do a bit of Five-0. Adam is such a great character I’d hate it if all we ever get from now on would be off-hand mentions from Kono about seeing him “later”.

    One thing that always bugged me, and I wish I had been home the day of Ian’s interview with Amy so I could call in and ask him about it, is the notion that Adam is a bad guy turned good. In my mind, Adam was ALWAYS a good guy. The first time we ever see Adam, his father is saying how he always tried to keep Adam out of “the family business”. Adam himself said it was Micheal who Hiro was schooling to take over the “business”, not Adam.

    I think when Hiro went missing and then when WoFat killed him, Adam was driven by grief and revenge into a life he never wanted and wasn’t really very good at because he was ALWAYS a good guy and didn’t know how to be a Yakuza boss. He didn’t know his attorney was responsible for the CIA agents death, Adam never ordered it and he was shocked and appalled to find out one of his people did it.

    No he may have taken a short detour into blind grief but Adam was never a bad guy. Well, in my opinion anyway! Thanks again for a great article Wendie. I just love waking up on Saturday mornings to find a new one each week. Mahalo!

  • I’m glad you took the time to write down some of the statements Ian made in the talk on “Amy and Friends” because many fans might not have taken the time to listen to the whole interview with him – which, however, was great and made me like this guy even more. Hopefully, Adam will get to return to the show repeatedly – even though we might see a little less of him in the near future due to his filming for the new show, which I hope will be a success for him. Even though I can’t really speak for the entire H50 `ohana, I’m definitely one of the “family members” who want him to stay around and I’m glad he will happily oblige 😉
    PS: I agree with Linda – I think he was always a good guy and was just “pushed” into the role of the Yakuza leader after his dad’s death – or was rather pretending to be the leader while he was trying to legalize the family business without getting himself killed by his father’s followers.

  • I’ve always wondered about Adam’s turnaround, but like Linda I can look at it logically. They only times he’s been at odds with Five-0 have been when Hiro was involved. He was having Joe White beaten up because of the fact that he thought his father had been killed, then his father really was killed by Wo Fat. (And he tied up Kono because of it.) But then Steve, Joe, Adam (and presumably Hiro) came to some sort of understanding and a few weeks after that we saw Kono and Adam together.
    I’m still hoping that sometime they show us how they met. (Like they did with Chin and Malia.)

    • Thanks Ed..that’s exactly what I meant when I said Adam wasn’t very good at being a Yakuza boss. Taking Joe White was sloppy and he and his men gave no resistance when Steve showed up even when they outnumbered him something like 4 or 5 to one. Adam had no stomach for a shootout with Steve even when he and his men had very good odds of winning.

      His plan to kidnap and torture WoFat was sloppy as well. Calling Kono to the house where he was planning to take WoFat, letting her see what he had planned and then leaving her behind in that same house. What was he going to do, torture and kill WoFat with Kono duct taped in the next room?

      No…Adam made a lousy criminal because he just doesn’t have it in him. He was always a good guy!

      • Agreed Linda. One point I wanted to make before that I forgot about was that in the very first scene where we saw Hiro and Adam talking was that Hiro said Adam had a business in New York. I guess we must assume he sold it or got someone else to run it.

  • The reunion scene in Canada….sigh…. It met and wildly exceeded expectations. Best acting ever by Grace and Ian and most definitely an Emmy worthy performance by both.
    And I agree, Adam was always good just born into the wrong family. Looking forward to more of Kono and Adam.

  • ALOHA ! and thank you Wendie for anothe great review !

    I absolutely LOVE Adam ! and tbh I never thought he was a bad guy 🙂 (yeya for some things I’ve good ideas lol)
    Since we saw this shower scene in s2, I was like YAAAAY we need to have a real romance between Kono and him !
    As much as I love McRoll, and I truly love them, I do think the relationship between Adam and Kono is more interesting ! Why? because they come from totally different backgrounds, they had a different life, they’re basocally the opposite to each other ! and through the seasons, they made theire relationship be accepted by the team …
    We had several twists during the long story, u mentionned one of them : Mickeal !
    I still can’t believe they killed him !! lol come on, they could have done a huge job around him lol ! But I think the fact ADAM killed his brother brings another dimension to the KonoAdam history, and as u said, people started to believe him !

    As for Ian, he is a great actor who plays brilliantly !
    No one can be compared to Alex, that’s for sure, but Alex, in playing Steve, only plays a good guy ! Ian has to play different kind of characters ! Adam was a bad guy, then a good one ! this absolutely shows how great Ian is and how much his character has grown ! and I do LOVE it 😉

    thanks again for this review hun, u totes rock !!! 🙂 xo

  • Congratulations to Ian Anthony Dale for extending a 4-episode story arc into an enduring and beloved romance! I sobbed right along with Kono and Adam in that Vancouver cafe – so happy for both of them that Kono found her love and he was alive and well! Yep! Grace and Ian certainly gave the fans what they had so patiently waited for – a happy outcome to a roller coaster romance!

    Wishing all the best of luck to Ian on his new endeavor. I’ll surely be looking for “Murder In the First” this summer, but here’s to some down time for future appearances on H50!

    Missed the interview on AmyandFriends so thanks for devoting this week’s blog to the interview with Ian, Wendie! P.S., last night’s ep., “Ho’ opio”, zinged me again, I had forgotten just how poignant that ending was!

    See ya next week, Wendie!

  • Wendie,
    Thank you for the additional info from the other talk show. You always add the extra info that helps understand the various backstories.

  • I know I’m late on this one. Been a little busy. But Thanks for letting us know that Adam will be around, and they aren’t going to kill him off. I’m also looking forward to seeing Ian Anthony in his new show this summer.

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