Fans, ‘Five-0′ stars enjoy ‘Sunset’ in Waikiki
BY NANCY ARCAYNA / firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Lenkov and Roberto Orci, executive producers of “Hawaii Five-0,” are always trying to outdo what they did during the previous season, so Lenkov promised “lots of surprises, lots of twists and turns” during the show’s third season while on the red carpet at “Sunset on the Beach” on Sunday, Sept. 23.
Fans who camped out on the beach Saturday night were surprised when the two checked up on them, promising to return with a treat in the morning — which turned out to be Liliha Bakery’s Coco Puffs for all.
About 8,000 fans — a mixture of tourists and residents — gathered in Waikiki for the screening, with many waiting to get a glimpse of their favorite actors or possibly an autograph or photos. Among the stars walking the red carpet were Alex O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett), Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly), Masi Oka (Dr. Max Bergman) and Michelle Borth (Catherine Rollins).
Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, joined executive producers Lenkov and Orci on behalf of the network.
Avid fan Beth Arritt was there to see them all.
“I’ve been waiting here since 6:45 a.m.,” she said. “I flew 5,000 miles from D.C. to get here. We were planning on coming later this month, but we changed the trip just for this.”
Last year, Arritt made the long trip and only stayed for the weekend. She collected autographs on her DVD cover and and was all gaga over the photo she took with Alex O’Loughlin as he greeted his fans in the crowd.
“It’s awesome; just so much fun. It was definitely worth the trip,” she said, beaming.
Claira Parsons traveled from Australia to attend the premiere.
“We love Alex. We love the show. Hawaii is such a beautiful place, it’s amazing. It was definitely worth it,” she said.
The crowd went wild as each star’s name was announced upon arrived on the red carpet.
A couple from Northern Ireland, Lynn and John Williams, attended all three premieres and arrived at the beach at 9 a.m. Sunday to claim their spot.
“We really like seeing the local people on the show. We met one of the extras on the beach,” said Lynn Williams, who explained how Hawaii holds a special place in their hearts. “I’m originally from New Jersey and my husband is from Ireland. We met in Hawaii 16 years ago.”
Lynn said Scott Caan is her favorite, because his character is from New Jersey and it reminds her of home. Caan and Grace Park, however, didn’t make it to the event.
Mary Enriquez of the Long Legs O’Loughlin fan club traveled to the premiere from Ireland. O’Loughlin signed a photo she’d brought for her friend Elsie, who lost her husband after 41 years of marriage. Enriquez explained her friend was in the doldrums and watching “Hawaii Five-0″ lifts her spirits.
“She loves Alex and loves Hawaii,” she said. “He signed ‘to Elsie, with all my love, Alex O’Loughlin’ and this will make her world.”
Enriquez also makes a “Hawaii Five-0″ scrapbook for each season.
“I’ve already started on number four,” she said.
AS FAR AS juicy gossip goes, we did find out from Lenkov and Orci that Masi Oka’s character will get a love interest this year — but the role has yet to be cast.
“They’re always teasing me,” Oka said. “We don’t know who it will be.”
Oka talked about going to his favorite restaurant, Alan Wong’s, and how much he enjoys being in Hawaii.
“It’s great to be back and working again,” he said.
According to Oka, his character, Dr. Max Bergman, starts the season with a cane. He’s in recovery after getting shot last season.
The show also gives local actors work. About six to 10 locals are cast in each episode, said Orci.
“We’ve found great talent and it’s good for the show,” he said. “In one episode, 150 extras are used in one scene.”
Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment and an O’Loughlin fan herself, made her way down the red carpet. It was her first time attending “Sunset on the Beach” and she was blown away by the devoted fan base.
“It’s one thing to have a vibrant audience, but for people to make a trip here just to see the show is real devotion,” she said. “The fan base is beyond anything we’ve seen before. These people are planning their vacation around this event.”
When “Hawaii Five-0″ was first introduced by Lenkov, she said, “It wasn’t a remake, it was a reboot. And, they are respectful of the show’s history.”
Tassler expects more “Sunset on the Beach” premieres in the future.
“We hope to be doing this for many years to come,” she said.
Michelle Borth talked about the camaraderie among cast members.
“We all get along, we really gel,” she said.
Borth jokingly commented on her intimate kissing scenes with O’Loughlin.
“He hates when I smoke cigarettes, and I hate when he eats tuna fish sandwiches, so we do it to mess with each other,” she said. “We laugh a lot … it makes things less awkward.”
She said viewers can expect to see more intimate action between her and O’Loughlin during the season.
“He is the lucky one,” she said. She is accustomed to getting asked how he feels.
Borth said she never had to physically train like she has to for “Hawaii Five-0.” Having never dabbled in martial arts or action scenes before, Borth said she now trains with Grace Park three to four days a week to prepare for fighting scenes.
“I’ve always wanted to be a superhero, so it’s a lot of fun for me to be a badass,” she said. “I was lucky enough to glance at a clip at a fight seen that I did. With the editing and music, I was blown away. It’s so rad.”
She’s also been hitting the waves and enjoying Hawaii’s surf. Borth seemed overjoyed to have become a series regular.
O’Loughlin claimed he doesn’t have much time between work and family. He beamed when talking about becoming a dad again, and is looking forward to an upcoming trip to the neighbor islands for filming.
“I love all of the islands,” he said. “The Big Island is my favorite. It’s so diverse. If we drive up to Waimea, it reminds me of my home in Australia.”
When asked about Borth’s fighting scenes, O’Loughlin commented, “She’s badass. I’m kind of afraid if they write any sex scenes in because she’s so good at karate and stuff. Because I need to stay on the show.
“She’s a great friend and actor and a great spirit to have on the show,” he added.
O’Loughlin said he loves that fans travel far and wide to attend “Sunset on the Beach” and appreciates CBS for their continued dedication to the show’s characters.
“There’s a lot of issues that the characters need to deal with on a personal and emotional level,” he said. “They keep filling us with great back stories. It really fuels me as an actor and a person. I’m really excited for season three.”
Daniel Dae Kim said he dealt with some heavy emotional scenes during the season two finale and was happy for the summer break.
“After shooting the season the way we did, it was nice to get away,” he said. “We’d shot 24 episodes at that time, so it was kind of a nice breath of fresh air to enjoy the summer.”
When asked if the island was going to claim another wife, he said, “We’ll see if he is unlucky in love a second time.”
“Hawaii Five-0″ kicks off its third season on CBS at 9 p.m. tonight.