Only one of the main characters of “Hawaii Five-0” had scenes to film on Wednesday morning, but that didn’t stop a number of stars from showing up in Waikiki for a traditional Hawaiian ceremony to kick off the CBS show’s seventh season.
“They all came here for the blessing,” said executive producer Peter Lenkov. “We take this very seriously. Clearly it’s something that’s meaningful to everybody.”
Lenkov was joined on the sand at Kahanamoku Beach fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village lagoon just after sunrise by series regulars Alex O’Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Jorge Garcia, Teilor Grubbs, Dennis Chun and Shawn Garnett. Chi McBride, who was scheduled to shoot Wednesday, was also on hand and still couldn’t believe the amount of attention the first day back at “Five-0” got from production staff, even after three seasons as part of the show.
“I don’t know why everybody’s kissing and hugging?!?” he joked. “We just left out of here a few weeks ago!”
Like many of his castmates, McBride spent part of his hiatus visiting New York City to see Daniel Dae Kim star in “The King and I” on Broadway. While Kim didn’t specifically ask his friends to attend in support, McBride said there was no way he was going to miss catching his friend on stage in the Big Apple.
“He crushed it as we expected,” he said. “It was great. We genuinely have affection for each other. These are lovely people.”
Kim, who returned to Honolulu on Monday and resumes filming “Five-0” on Thursday, wasn’t sure how his time on “The King and I” would affect his performance as Chin Ho Kelly, but was happy to be back in Hawaii and ready to start a new season with the “Five-0” team.
“It feels like I’m coming home again, which is what I’m doing literally, but also on ‘Five-0,’” he said. “Being back here with the water and the beach and the people, it feels like I can rest and settle and start work again.
“We’ll start shooting tomorrow and I’ll see if any choices are different or if the way I approach the character is a little bit different. But right now, I’m just thinking about the task ahead and everything else will work itself out.
According to Lenkov, “Hawaii Five-O” expects to film 25 episodes this season, which is the same amount filmed during season six. CBS has yet to make an official announcement whether the show will return to Sunset on the Beach for another red carpet season premiere screening this fall.