BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
For the last four seasons of “Hawaii Five-0,” fans have been treated to a red carpet Sunset on the Beach premiere long before their favorite show airs on network TV.
SUNSET ON THE BEACH: ‘HAWAII FIVE-0’ SEASON FIVE PREMIERE
Featuring a performance by Bush
» When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Luckily for us, the stars have graciously walked the red carpet, putting themselves in front of a gaggle of reporters and photographers, knowing they will be grilled and prodded by those who want more than just a quote or a juicy morsel about the upcoming season. They have smiled and answered all manner of questions— about their characters; what spoilers they are willing to share about the premiere; as well as personal questions about their off-set lives.
In my experience on the red carpet, the “Five-0” cast, as well as executive producers Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, have always been generous with their time and words.
As the season five opener is set to premiere Saturday at Sunset on the Beach, I couldn’t help thinking about my time on the red carpet, trying to coax one last quote and picture from our favorite stars.
Here are a few of my favorite moments from the last three Sunset on the Beach premieres, chosen with the criteria in mind that these moments stuck with me for the and have brought many readers to the Five-0 Redux. And for that reason alone, I’ll always be grateful.
MEETING MARK DACASCOS (SEASON 2)
I’ve always been a fan of Mark Dacascos. I watched him on the television show “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven” and love him as “The Chairman” on the “Iron Chef” series.
I was definitely excited to talk to the local boy — one of the first recurring cast members from Hawaii (Dacascos was born in Hawaii and is Filipino, Spanish, Irish and Japanese).
My first question was about being from Hawaii and playing such an iconic character like Wo Fat. He was so excited about me asking about his Hawaii roots that he grabbed my arm and spoke animatedly about growing up watching “Hawaii Five-0” with his father and grandfather at their family home on Lime Street in Mōʻiliʻili.
It was such a cool connection, and I was just as moved by his energy and his enthusiasm as I was about his want to tell the fans about how much he loves being Wo Fat. When he was about to move on to the next reporter, I thanked him for coming home and he put his hand over his heart and said, “Thank you,” with a little bow of his head.
Dacascos may play the bad guy, but he was a complete class act to me and to everyone on the red carpet.
ALMOST MEETING SCOTT CAAN
Here’s the sad truth: I have yet to speak to Scott Caan on the red carpet. But he did smile at me and give me a, “Hey, howzit,” head nod while I interviewed Terry O’Quinn.
I was looking at him and secretly hoping O’Quinn would wrap up talking with Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Mike Gordon so I could talk to Caan. Unfortunately, Caan was moved along down the line and then mobbed by fans at the end of the red carpet and never made it back to talk with us.
Sadly, he was not at the season three or four’s Sunset on the Beach, so the future is open for me to talk with him at some point on the red carpet. Now, the big question is, what will I finally ask him?
MEETING ALEX O’LOUGHLIN (SEASON 2)
To be really honest, I don’t really know exactly what I asked O’Loughlin when I first met him on the red carpet. I think I just took a deep breath and told him about all the fans that had come from all over the world to see him and where waiting for him on the beach.
In the picture captured by Star-Advertiser Features Editor Christie Wilson, I am pointing my fingers like a gun and his is looking at me very intently. He did say, “Oh, wow, that’s amazing,” when I told him about all the events we had been attending that weekend, especially arranged for fans who had specifically come for Sunset on the Beach.
And that is where my memory ends. I believe I just turned him over to Mike, who asked him logical and witty questions. I just sort of stood there stunned as I realized I had just spoken to the star of “Hawaii Five-0.” But at least he knew how much he was loved and how much the show meant to the hundreds of fans who crowded Waikīkī Beach.
MEETING DANIEL DAE KIM (SEASON 3)
I missed meeting Daniel Dae Kim in the season three Sunset on the Beach event, because like Caan, he was moved down the line while we were talking with other actors.
When we finally talked on the red carpet, I asked him a few questions about his character, Chin Ho Kelly, and how he felt about his “Sophie’s Choice” decision between saving Kono or saving his wife, Malia. He was appropriately evasive with his answer, so I didn’t get a single spoiler from him about how he handled trying to save both.
But the coolest moment was when a reporter next to me asked him what he was wearing, and I offered to look at the label on his shirt. So, Daniel Dae Kim bent down to allow me to reach into his coat so I could read the label on his shirt.
Don’t ask me what it said, all I know is that it was a cool moment. I can tell you that Kim not only dresses well and is extremely easy to talk to on the red carpet — and he smells as good as he looks.
SECOND CHANCE WITH ALEX O’LOUGHLIN (SEASON 3)
The first time I talked with O’Loughlin, I was more nervous than my first date, my first job interview and the first time I met my husband, combined.
But the second time I was ready and it was a breeze talking with him. We joked a little about him being “emotionally shanked” in this season premiere, versus the season two premiere when he was literally shanked before he escaped from prison.
O’Loughlin had just announced that he and his now wife, Malia Jones, were expecting a child, and he seemed far more at ease with all of the press than he was in season two. All I know was that it was great to laugh with him and have a good chat about McGarrett. In the end, he shook my hand a second time and bent down (all the reporters are about six inches below the actors who are walking on a platform above the sand) to look me in the eyes and ask my name again. As always, O’Loughlin was a complete gentleman.
OVERALL, being on the red carpet is a very unique experience. It’s interesting to have your feet in the sand while you are talking to stars, and to find in reality they are as bright and vibrant as the red carpet they stand upon.
If you are lucky enough to be waiting on the beach tonight to hopefully shake hands or get a picture with any of the stars, enjoy the moment. It will stick with you longer than it takes to sign a picture or snap that selfie.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
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Dear Wendie: Ahhhhh thanks for the memories sistah. I know it must be hard for you to be so far away from Oahu today and not being able to be on the red carpet for another season premiere. But you have to know that the reports, blogs, pictures, audio and video interviews you and all the other Ohana in Hawaii have sent back in the past, and will send back today, to us poor land locked mainlanders, is immensely and overwhelmingly appreciated by us all.
It has made us feel that we are a part of the island family, that we are “there” in spirit and that those we know who are lucky enough to be there in person are bringing a little bit of us with them too. I can’t thank you and the other bloggers and friends enough for all the fun and pleasure you have brought to us over the years. You have all taught us what Aloha and Ohana truly mean.
Now sit back, fire up the laptop, open that bottle of wine and enjoy all the fun online with the rest of us poor souls who couldn’t get there this year. It really isn’t a bad way to spend a long Saturday night and we’ll all do it together. Hopefully, we’ll all meet up on Queen’s Beach next year! Aloha nui loa
Oh, Wendie – I just laughed out loud when I read your comment about Daniel smelling good. I guess it sort of “runs in the family” with the Five-0 `ohana. One of my friends who met Alex by chance during the filming for Season 1 said the very same thing about Alex 🙂
Since Linda spilled the beans and has mentionned that you can’t be at home to enjoy this year’s SOTB celebration live at the red carpet, I might as well say that I feel terribly sorry for you because I’m quite sure that, especially on occasions like these, you’re not only missing your beautiful home, family and friends but are also missing the very special atmosphere at the SOTB, too, which you enjoyed in the past few years. Hopefully, it’s comforting to you to know that thousands of fans around the globe can’t be there either – even though it is a fan’s dream to meet their favorite cast or, at least, certain cast members. Those who are lucky enough to make that experience will cherish and remember those special moments for a long time, for sure – just like you remember your favorite moments from the red carpet, which you kindly share with us in your blog.
Personally, I admit that I would probably prefer a “calm” set visit to being squeezed in the fan crowds at the SOTB. I heard from fans who had a pretty hard time “fighting” for a good place to get close to the cast. With ten thousand fans around you that can be a tough fight, I suppose 🙂 Actually, that’s what I tell myself for comfort since I can never be there.
I have to say that I am incredibly grateful to your colleagues at the Star Advertiser for providing live video coverage online from the SOTB5. It is always highly appreciated by us fans abroad when reporters and fans on location share their videos and photos with us. Mahalo nui loa from Germany!