For fans of “Hawaii Five-0,” nothing beats meeting an actor or crew member from the show, getting a picture or a hug and sharing a few precious minutes with their favorite star. Hundreds of fans I’ve met in person and thousands I’ve talked to online can attest to this, and many have shared the details of their personal experiences.
Back in March I asked “Five-0” fans to tell me their stories, and they flooded in. I heard about meeting Alex O’loughlin, Scott Caan, Mark Dacascos, Dennis Chun, Ian Anthony Dale, Brian Yang, Terry O’Quinn, Will Yun Lee and Claire van der Boom, as well as guest stars DJ Squalls, Jimmy Buffett, Kala Alexander and Egan Inoue.
I was thrilled — I can’t make up as good of a story as the ones shared with me. I was even part of one cast encounter sent in by Candy Abrams from Ohio, who I met at Sunset on the Beach in 2011. Abrams has met all of the cast and crew after attending three of the five red carpet premieres.
“It usually is a very quick meeting with each person (on the red carpet), but they were all amazing,” Abrams said via Facebook. “They were friendly, open, funny, and so grateful that we were all there to appreciate the hard work they’ve done. I have loved meeting each and every person associated with ‘Hawaii Five-0.’” Abrams also attend several fan gatherings and met some of the Hawaii actors and guest stars, but one of her more memorable moments was a chance meeting on Kalākaua Avenue.
“A group of us ran into (executive producer) Peter Lenkov and (producer) Peter Tassler as we were walking down Kalākaua after meeting for dinner,” she said. “I spotted Lenkov and yelled his name as he walked by. He and Tassler stopped and talked to us for a while about the SOTB events happening the next day.”
The producers proved to be more down-to-earth than Hollywood, and event took a moment to pose for a picture with Abrams and fellow “Five-0” fans.
Like Abrams, Toronto resident Sara Barua got a chance to meet the stars at Sunset on the Beach in 2014. As the cast and crew came off the red carpet, they all stopped and took selfies with Barua.
“Everyone was so great! Friendly and super nice,” Barua said via email. She got a rare treat by meeting Scott Caan, who had not attended a Sunset on the Beach premiere since 2011.
Christine Corio had a similar type of experience meeting Caan after seeing his play, “No Way Around But Through,” in Los Angeles.
“We waited in the lobby after the show and he offered to have his picture taken with us,” she said in an email message. “We saw his play three times, and after each performance he would thank us and gave us all unsolicited hugs. I was scared to death to meet Scott in person, but he was relaxed, kind, humble (and) grateful. He was so generous with his time and attention.
“And did I mention the hugs? He gave the best hugs, and no one asked him for one. He was very open.”
German fan Nadine Schober met recurring cast member Brian Yang in Berlin in August 2013.
“Brian was in Berlin for the Asian Film Festival to promote his movie, “Linsanity,” and to give a workshop.” Schober said via email. “I wanted to see “Linsanity” and, of course, I wanted to met Brian. I think my friend and I were the only ‘Hawaii Five-0’ fans around that day. I asked for a photo and I thought that was it, but Brian was really nice, took his time and started to talk with us.
“I have to say that I was really nervous and I tried as best as I could to answer his questions. Questions like which season of ‘Hawaii Five-0’ was airing in Germany airs at the time, why we are watching, and our opinion about the show.
“If I remember right we talked about 20 minutes before he had to go because ‘Linsanity’ was about to start. He said goodbye and I saw him later again in the room where the movies was shown. He came over to us again and told us that Daniel Dae Kim also worked on the film and that we would hear his voice in most of the documentary. Brian wrote a (Twitter update) to me later and said thanks that we had come to see him and ‘Linsanity.’”
“It was amazing because I got the chance to met one of the actors from my favorite television show. It doesn’t happen all the time that the actors come to Germany, so it was really great to have this experience,” said Schober.
New Zealand fan Caroline White met guest star DJ Qualls, who played the emotionally distraught Marshall Demps in the Halloween episode from season four. Qualls was also one of my picks for a not-so-likely villain. White met Qualls in Hamilton, New Zealand in 2014 after he had been on “Hawaii Five-0.”
“When I met DJ (at the Armageddon Expo) I told him I was the biggest ‘Five-0’ fan in the country,” White wrote in an email. “We talked his time on set. He told me how Alex has great talent (which we knew). Needless to say we got along great!
“DJ said that Scott is a nice guy, but out of all the people he met on set he really bonded with Alex. He was almost raving as much as the Alex fans! He has been back to New Zealand twice more. When I met him again in Auckland the second time he remembered me from Hamilton.”
“Meeting DJ was awesome. I had liked him from other shows before ‘Hawaii Five-0’ so for me that was the icing on the cake. He is the sweetest man, hugely intelligent, and knowledgeable about the industry. He is also fun, very caring, and sweet. He loves to hug. He is very very funny and has great storytelling ability. He’s a fantastic human,” said White.
Hugging seems to be a major thread with our stars, as Alex O’Loughlin fan Alyssa Elstad, who runs a fan website for the “Hawaii Five-0” star, has a great story about hugging the actor. Elstad has met O’Loughlin several times, the first time after his first series, “Moonlight” was canceled and the second time was when he was filming “The Back-Up Plan” with Jennifer Lopez.
Elstad met O’Loughlin with her twin daughters, Morgan and Jordan, and friend Pam Norris.
“We had a small sign that said ‘FOR ALEX.’ As we stood across the street from the film set and my twins held the sign, a woman came over, smiled, and said Alex would get a kick out of the sign and the kids,” Elstad said via email.
The group was told by the woman, who turned out to be the publicist for the film, that filming would continue later that day on Duane Street, so they headed there to see if they could finally meet O’Loughlin.
“I thought it would be a good idea to prop our ‘FOR ALEX’ sign up. Some of the crew started looking at is. We sat for about 20 minutes watching the excitement and chatting to each other.
“All of a sudden I felt someone standing in front of us, so I looked up and there is Alex looking at us. I got up and Alex extended his hand and asked our names. … He was so good with the girls. We asked for pictures and he said, ‘Absolutely, you can take as many as you want,’ and of course he posed for many with us and the kids. I asked if he had time to autograph a few personal items and he said he would autograph as many things as we wanted.
“Finally, Alex was called away to work, and I that point I just summoned up all my courage and asked him for a hug. That man gives great hugs!”
“Alex must have spent about 15 to 20 minutes with us. He is a most engaging and personable guy. … He gave us his undivided attention and never once seemed annoyed or rushed to leave,” Elstad said.
Pam Norris had a similar reaction.
“As anyone who has met Alex can attest, he is warm and friendly and a pleasure to meet,” she said via email. “He was very easy to talk to and was truly in the moment. He’s just comfortable.”
There are many more great stories about meeting the stars, as I still have more notes, emails and text messages to fill another blog. I suppose the stories will never end, and I’m thankful for that. I always like hearing about positive experiences fans have with their favorite stars, and I’m sure I am not alone.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
Dennis Chun, who plays Sgt. Duke Lukela on “Hawaii Five-0,” sent some great photos from a different kind of fan meeting. Olympic gold medalist and “Dancing with the Stars” champion Kristi Yamaguchi met Chun and Laura Mellow at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii’s Spirit of Aloha Awards on July 25.
“Kristie and her mother are big ‘Hawaii Five-0’ fans,” Chun said in a text message.
The Spirit of Aloha Awards honor five outstanding individuals for their contributions to the JCCH and the community. This year’s awardees were Yamaguchi, architect John Hara, former sumo wrestler Takimiyama (aka Jesse Kuhaulua), Alan Takemoto and Tatsumi Hayashi along with the Hawai‘i Internment Education Committee.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.