‘Five-0’ begins filming fifth season
With smiles, selfies and a Hawaiian blessing, the cast and crew of “Hawaii Five-0” started their fifth and longest season to date — a 25-episode marathon that began Tuesday with scenes in Waikiki and will last until April.
None of the principal actors worked Tuesday, but show stars Alex O’Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park and Jorge Garcia joined executive producer Peter Lenkov (and a lot of wide-eyed extras) in the Honolulu Zoo parking lot for the show’s annual ceremony.
“I don’t think it’s old hat,” Kim said, wearing shorts, slippers and a maile lei, his hands shoved in his pockets. “I think a better way of describing this is comfortable. It’s been five years now and so it almost feels like a tradition. It’s nice on TV when you are around long enough to establish traditions.”
For much of its run, “Five-0” has shot more than the typical 22-episode season found on network television: 24 episodes in its debut season, 23 the next year, 24 after that and, last season, 22 episodes. It’s a long haul with 12- to 14-hour days a part of the routine.
O’Loughlin, wearing a thick, scruffy beard, said he has to ease into the season gradually.
“I don’t get jazzed up about the start any more because I know how long the road is ahead of us,” he said. “We are doing a lot of work. It’s a marathon. I am sort of at the top of the workload list and I have to keep myself healthy and strong. I’m very, very grateful and very excited to be back on the air for a fifth season but I’m planning … planning how I am going to do it.”
Lenkov said he couldn’t sleep the night before. He woke up at 3:40 a.m. for a blessing ceremony that started at 6 a.m.
“It’s always exciting,” Lenkov said. “It’s a new season. And this business is so fleeting. To be here for season five, it’s a thrill, it’s an honor, it’s a privilege and it’s always exciting.”
Lenkov promised fans action, character development and surprises.
“I’m not going to tell you specifically, but I will tell you this: In the premiere episode you’re going to see the island like you’ve never seen it before,” he said. “And it’s going to be abandoned. It’s going to look like a ghost town. Yes. A million people will have disappeared and we’ll wonder why.”
One of the fifth-season themes is resolution and Lenkov said he plans to revisit story arcs that were left hanging as well as bring back characters that were fan favorites. No, he isn’t naming names, but Carol Burnett, Larry Manetti and Frankie Valli will appear together in episode eight, he said.
And you might see Hawaii golfer Michelle Wie.
“We’re hoping,” Lenkov said. “It looks good. We would love to have her on the show and would love to do something golf related. It would be fun.”
Park liked the idea of a blessing, even if it was in a parking lot.
“Keeping real, right?” she said with a grin. “There’s a beauty to the commencement of something and to come together and to recognize not only that point but to have a vision of the entire time. You don’t know what it will look like but you feel there is a hope and some reflection.”
“Five-0,” which will celebrate its 100 episode this season, will premiere the fifth season at its annual Sunset on the Beach red carpet screening Sept. 13. Fans will get to watch the episode on the beach almost two weeks before the network’s Sept. 26 broadcast premiere.
Mike Gordon covers film and television in Hawaii for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter. Read his weekly “Outtakes” column Sundays in the Star-Advertiser.