Five-0 Redux: Catching up with Cadiente

Jul. 19, 2014 | 10 Comments

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BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

In Hawaiian, lokomaikaʻi means “good will, good disposition, generosity, grace; kind, humane, gracious, benevolent.” It’s a perfect description of “Hawaii Five-0” stunt coordinator Jeff Cadiente.

"Hawaii Five-0" stunt coordinator and director Jeff Cadiente on location in Hong Kong during season four. (Courtesy Jeff Cadiente)

COURTESY JEFF CADIENTE

“Hawaii Five-0″ stunt coordinator and director Jeff Cadiente on location in Hong Kong during season four.

Whenever I have the chance to chat with Cadiente, I always feel like I’m talking with a family member. He’s so down-to-earth about his successes and his career, always gracious and sincere. He never forgets to mention and praise his stunt team as being a big part of the reason why “Five-0” is being recognized again with Emmy Award nominations for their outstanding stunt work.

Cadiente often misses press events because of his shooting schedule. During last year’s Sunset on the Beach season four premiere, he was off shooting a car chase with Kono and Adam running from the Yakuza in Hong Kong, one of my choices for best season four stunts.

Even though Cadiente is not a red carpet regular, many viewers are familiar with his work, as he is a fan favorite on Twitter and Instagram. Cadiente is not afraid to share his pictures from the set, as well as images of his family and wife, fellow “Hawaii Five-0” stuntwoman Jacqueline Cryan.

One of the most popular videos shared by Cadiente was his on-set proposal to Cryan during the season four episode he directed. He worked with Alex O’Loughlin to surprise Cryan and posted the video for all of the fans to see:

He’s not only generous with fans — after I interviewed him during season three, he continued to be available for quotes and quick interviews when I had a question about stunts or his directing experience. That’s really the kind of guy Cadiente is; easy to work with and generous to everyone. Every guest actor I’ve interviewed said the same thing about him.

For a man of his level of expertise and professionalism who grew up in Hollywood, has worked in the industry since he was a teenager, and has seven Emmy nominations (four nominations as stunt coordinator for “24” in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and three for “Hawaii Five-0” in 2011, 2012 and 2014) under his belt, his positive nature is always a breath of fresh air. Not that he’s not proud of what’s happening for “Hawaii Five-0” or for being recognized, but for Cadiente, it seems as if it’s more about the show and his crew being recognized.

Emmy nominated stunt coordinator and director Jeff Cadiente with Alex OʻLoughlin on the "Hawaii Five-0" set. (Courtesy Jeff Cadiente)

COURTESY JEFF CADIENTE

Cadiente and O’Loughlin on set.

“I’m happy for the show, I think it’s a good show and we don’t get a whole lot of award recognition, so it’s nice to get two nods for this season,” said Cadiente (the second nomination was for outstanding special and visual effects).

Cadiente’s nomination is a little different, as he is being recognized for outstanding stunt coordination for a drama series this year, rather than just for one specific episode. In 2011 he was nominated for stunt coordination on “Ua Hiki Mai Kapa Lena Pau” (“Until the End is Near”) and in 2012 for stunt coordination on “Ka Meʻe” (“The Hero”).

This year’s Emmy nod is definitely a great honor not only for Cadiente, but for his entire stunt crew. Cadiente has two Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding performance by a stunt ensemble from 2008 and 2010 for “24,” but this Emmy nod seems even more special him.

“I couldn’t do this without my crew, so I like to give them props for their work whenever I can,” he said. “Unfortunately only the stunt coordinator gets recognized, but if you’re only as good as your team, I have a great team and it shows that their work is being recognized with this nomination.”

In the past, Cadiente usually chose one episode to submit to the Emmys, but this was the first year he had to submit a body of work from the season.

“I didn’t want to bombard them with a bunch of eye candy in my submission reel, so I picked the 10 best stunts, kept it short and sweet, and it must have paid off,” he said.

Jeff Cadiente's pick for one of the best stunts of season four: the helicopter stunt from “Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi (Love One Another).” (Courtesy CBS)

COURTESY CBS

Cadiente’s pick for one of the best stunts of season four: the helicopter stunt from “Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi (Love One Another).”

I asked him what his best stunts were of season four, and he was quick to choose the car chase and crash along with the helicopter stunt at Aloha Stadium in the season opener, and the car driving under the truck in the clown car chase through Waikiki in the season four finale.

“That was actually a big stunt,” he said. “I’m not sure if people understood how intricate and dangerous that was because it was a comedic scene; it was supposed to be funny, and funny stunts really go unnoticed because you’re laughing.

“But that was a dangerous stunt. That was about as dangerous as we’ve gotten in the last few years.”

Cadiente was also able to step up as director for one episode during season four.

“There’s a little bit of stigma of being a stunt coordinator that you can only direct action, which is why I liked the episode,” he said. “It wasn’t a big episode for action, except the foot chase and one shoot out, but I liked that — I like telling stories and having to deal with a touchy subject, like religion and extremism — which is a really scary subject.

“Don’t get me wrong, I like action, but I liked being able to deal with the acting and the emotional storyline. I loved that episode. It had a little bit of everything in it, a little bit of action, it had drama, it had really good acting, and there was humor, and then the emotional ending scene. I was really blessed to get a really good script.”

I asked Cadiente if he did anything during the hiatus besides having a “barefoot on the beach” wedding with Cryan.

“I wanted to take some time off to recharge my batteries after season four, but I did some stunt driving during a helicopter chase during the Oahu filming of ‘Jurassic Park’ and did some action and car stunts in a music video with rapper Childish Gambino (aka actor Donald Glover from ‘Community’).

He hopes to be able to attend the Emmy ceremonies this year, but it depends on the 25-episode “Five-0” shooting schedule. Cadiente said he will need to shoot every Saturday this year.

“I think the Emmys are kind of comical, because I consider myself the Susan Lucci of the stunt world, because I’ve been nominated so many times and still no wins,” he said.

I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing Cadiente pōmaikaʻi at the Emmys and for season five. Good luck to you and your team.

REDUX SIDE NOTE

After the lovely season five blessing on July 8, I was sad to hear so many negative comments about the fact that Scott Caan missed the ceremony. It seems as if Caan’s daughter was born the day after “Hawaii Five-0” kicked off their fifth season. I’m sure we all can appreciate why he was not on set. Scott and Kacy: ho’omaika’i ma ka hiki ‘ana mai o kāu kaikamahine; congratulations on the birth of your daughter.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Linda M. Stein

    Great article Wendie! Jeff is one of my most favorite people connected with Five-0 because he is everything you said he is. I have never met him personally, of course, I live vicariously through those of you who have, but he is always open and funny and generous on social media. He gives fans a connection to our favorite show in a way that is both unique and personal.

    I have said it a million times, I was hooked on Five-0 five minutes into the pilot episode and it was because of the action and stunts (ok…my first glimpse of Alex didn’t hurt LOL). But in all seriousness, I honestly do sit and watch and remind myself over and over again, even after 4 years, that I am watching a TV show and not a movie every week. The action and stunts are mind boggling and I often marvel at how they are able to pull off what they do without someone getting seriously hurt. It is a testament to the skill of the stunt crew and the organization and coordination of Jeff. He deserves every nomination he’s ever gotten and this year he deserves, more than ever, to win.

    As to the Season 5 blessing and Scott not being there…… seriously??? People need to get their priorities straight. I would have had a negative reaction if Scott HAD been there. I mean, come on people. He chose to be in LA with his “wife” and she gave birth to their first child instead at a non-mandatory ceremony on a day he was not needed on the set. I am very grateful that TPTB understand what’s important in life and are willing to work around the personal events in the lives of the cast to allow them the time they need while still putting a stellar product on our screens. It’s too bad people who like to call themselves “fans” can’t be as understanding.

  • Brenda

    As my Twitter followers can attest, I am a huge fan of Stunt Stud Jeff. He always takes the time to respectfully acknowledge the fans and as you mentioned Wendie, share his photos of Hawaii, the show and his family. CBS should be very proud to have such a great ambassador for Hawaii Five-0. I am so happy that his work is being honored.

  • Dina Bellamia

    I think there were negative comments about the fact Scott missed the ceremony because he missed the one of last year too. He missed the SOTB too. He missed everything actually.

  • Terry FiveOs

    Love, love, love Jeff. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him, every comment I’ve heard heard about him, backs up your impression of lokomaikaʻi, Wendie Joy, and that is so rare in “show business.” I’m really happy that Peter Lenkov is giving him opportunities to direct the show because Jeff has turned out to be extremely talented in that arena as well. I’m looking forward to another season with Cadiente.

  • Angela Gerstner

    Thanks for dedicating a blog to the best stunt coordinator – The one and only Jeff! He is not only brilliant in his stunt work but he’s also doing a fantastic job at directing. While the average fan probably expected him to focus on action and stunts in the episodes directed by him, it was a very pleasant surprise to see that these episodes had very enjoyable, well-done comedy (I love ep. 3.19 and the funny “Air Kamekona” scenes in it) and emotional acting in them, too.

    Jeff is definitely a fan-favorite because he’s so modest and grounded, and because he’s so good with fans. One fan told me that Jeff actually responds to just about every tweet from her – even when he’s busy with work. I just hope this comment does not encourage fans to flood poor Jeff’s mailbox with tweets since he might actually not get around to viewing them all (let alone reply to them) because of his packed shooting schedule for H50 this season.

    Fans were so happy for Jeff when news about his third Emmy nomination for H50 came out, and, Wendie, you’re definitely not the only one who hopes that he will actually GET the Emmy this year. It is long overdue and so well-deserved – both by him and his awesome stunt team. I’ve said this before but the stunt guys are my personal heroes because they take a lot of risks for the main cast, and I’m very grateful for that. I’m pretty sure that Alex and his co-actors very much appreciate the work of Jeff and his team, too. When you watch the video of Jeff’s terrific wedding proposal, you can tell that he and Alex are probably very good friends who enjoy working with each other and can fully rely on each other’s support.

    Good luck from me, too, for the Emmys!

    PS: The side note about Scotty’s absence at the blessing was very good. Hopefully, all those complaining fans finally know now that Scotty’s baby was born the day after the blessing and that Scotty merely set the right priorities in life by staying with his partner in L.A. for the birth. Some fans will argue now that he was also absent at previous ceremonies but he had very good reasons for that, too. While I’m very sorry for his fans, I can totally understand him – and his fans should, too.

  • KAD1228

    Thanks for this Wendie. Love Jeff! He’s always so giving of his precious time – he shares parts of his life with us on twitter and Instagram and even takes the time to respond! Who else in Hollywood would do that?! His stunts are phenomenal and executed so perfectly that they look easy! He’s also so down-to-earth in an industry filled with fat heads and puffed-up chests.

    Jeff (and team) are so richly deserving of this award and there’s an old saying that 3′s the charm! Let’s keep the faith, Susan Lucci finally won and I know Jeff will too!

    PS – congrats to Scott and Kacy!! can’t wait to meet the newest addition to the 5-0 Family!!

  • edmattes763

    Jeff and his team work as hard as Peter or any of the actors in making the show a success. Hopefully they will win the award this time. His whole family is dedicated to this show, Jackie as a stuntwoman and even their daughter who played Rachel’s baby in Season 2. I really enjoyed watching the proposal again. Jeff has had a long history doing stunt work, and Five-0 is his latest and greatest.

  • jlopie1

    What a great article about a true H50 fan favorite! I love the H50 proposal video, and I’m very happy for Jeff and his bride and wish them nothing but the best always! Jeff and Company stunts – week in and week out, all season long — never cease to amaze and delight me. Jeff’s presence, wit and charm on social media add to the fun for fans and I do not think there is a single fan who does not completely admire and respect Jeff for his talents. I sincerely hope THIS is his Emmy year, as the stunts for season 4 were simply amazing.

    As an aside, I’m a huge Scotty fan and I was not in the least disappointed that he was not at the Blessing. The actors that were present accepted the blessing for all the actors, both regulars, recurring and guests, for the entire season. Not all the writers or producers were there, and certainly not the entire crew or office people were there, either, but those that were, received the Blessings for everyone who would have anything to do with the production of the show this season.

    So, fans, let’s get over that “Scott hates Hawaii” mentality and just look forward to a great Season 5, leaving hostilities by the wayside!

  • alavenia

    Amazing interview Wendie, hoping that Jeff will win an Emmy this year. The proposal video was great, I don’t know how many times a day I check Jeff’s Twitter and Instagram account, I know he will keep as posted with new pictures every time he has a chance, he is an awesome guy, hopefully he will have a chance to come to the red carpet for the SOTB5, I will be looking forward meeting him. Thank you!

  • Diane

    Wendie, this was a great interview. What a sweet proposal, and I have my fingers crossed for Jeff and his crew to win this time. I definitely think they deserve it. After all Susan Lucci did finally win one. Jeff certainly seems down to earth and I wish for the him and his wife many years of happiness with their marriage. Thanks Jeff for all the great stunts on this show.

    As for Scott Caan, these people are real, they have lives, family, situations. He is always there when he is needed for filming, he does not make any trouble, he does his job. Grace Park missed more than one of these also, but nobody said anything then. Unfortunately social media has become the medium for people who are so unhappy in their own lives, they feel the need to spew hatred to others, while hiding behind their computers. Congratulations Scott on your baby, I wish you all the happiness in the world. The real fans of H50 love you.