The Hawaii Five-0 season premiere has become a tradition of sorts for my family and I. I don’t have a very good memory so I just re-read my “Hawaii Five-0: Over the Years” and “Behind the Scenes: Season 5 Red Carpet” blogs… I have more fun at these events than I even remember! Thank goodness I blog about it or those memories would seriously be lost! lol The blogs are hyperlinked above if you would like to read or revisit them.
This year, was no different! What a spectacular event. It’s truly a rush to report on the red carpet. You never know what to expect so you always have to be on your toes! First off, we had crazy flooding in Honolulu the few days leading up to Sunset on the Beach. It was VERY worrisome. Somehow, the weather gods decided to cooperate AGAIN this year and bring clear skies to the event under the stars. I did notice that they put up tents this year as a precaution… this really helped with the heat! Win – win!
I’ll start you off with a “blooper” reel of behind the scenes clips and then fill you in on the action…
Okay, so first off, it’s REALLY HARD to find something to wear on a red carpet when you’re 7 months pregnant. I tried a bunch of different dresses on and none of them were flattering. Then, I tried on a tight black (American Twist – not maternity, just stretchy) maxi dress… I came out for hubby to take a picture (so I could compare the different looks and make my choice) and my 2-year-old says “Mama, you cute! Like Frozen!” I had tears in my eyes. Children truly are such a gift. He had never said anything like that before… priceless. So000…. I wore the long, black maxi dress to a sweltering outdoor premiere ha ha! One thing I didn’t notice until seeing photos afterwards? I probably should stick to maternity clothes. Or at least stop wearing that dress. It was so stretched out that you could *kind of* see through it!! Yikes!
This event has truly become a tradition for me but it was my first time covering it for Maui Now and Big Island Now so I made it as cost effective as possible for them by enlisting my best friend, Ashley Nagaoka, to be my camera woman. I also slept on her couch and borrowed her car… you gotta do, what you gotta do. She’s the best. Parking is horrendous during this event so I asked Keahi Tucker (yes the anchor man at Hawaii News Now) if I could park at his house and walk from there. He is SO SWEET. He immediately offered to drop us off in his “limo” (truck – I’d rather have a truck than a limo any day!).
Ash and I get to the red carpet near the end of the check-in period for press. We wait in line to get our press credentials and say hello to friends like Billy V, Erika Kauffman, Rich Miano and Patrick Gey. (I love that this event is also a reunion of sorts!) As we waited, I put the camera together and set up my tripod so that we could get started right away once we got to our spot. As I’m carrying the tripod and camera while rushing along on the red carpet, I could feel everyone’s eyes on me. lol A pregnant lady carrying things – for some reason doesn’t sit right with people. It’s sweet, but really… it probably weighed 7 pounds. I sure hope I can carry 7 pounds! Ash was carrying everything else – so I had the easy job.
I joked that last year I was with Sony Japan and at the front of the line so this year I would probably be near the end. We walked along the red carpet reading the signage – Sony Japan, ET Canada, Hawaii News Now…. etc…. until AT THE VERY END OF THE CARPET – Maui Now. Awesome. Hilarious. And actually not so awesome but hey you gotta live with what you get. I’m no diva… so it was like “Okay, let’s do this!”
We set everything up and within a minute my girl, Erika Kauffman (who started the whole event and ran it for many years), comes over and says “What are you doing here? Come with me.” She moves us all the way to the front of the line behind Hawaii News Now and along my former colleague Ben Gutierrez – PERFECT. Seriously a life-saver!
For those of you that are wondering how the red carpet works… the celebrities start at the front of the line and generally do the first 4 or 5 press interviews. If there is more than one celebrity – we swap them around but you really need to keep your eyes open or you could miss an interview. The stars walk the red carpet and greet the fans. Some of them make it all the way down the red carpet – and some don’t. For the most part, they will at least go to the end of the carpet to greet fans but perhaps not give interviews to every press outlet.
Chef Morimoto was up first. He is such a character! Soooo Japanese – in the most wonderful way. Funny, polite, humble and so endearing. I’m not sure he really understood everything I asked him but regardless, he was hilarious and on point with his answers. John Ondrasik, Five for Fighting (Remember the song “Superman”?) , was a delight to interview as well. He has visited Hawaii many times and really seemed to “get” it, if you know what I mean and Dennis Chun (the son of the actor who played Chin Ho Kelly on the original series) was so eloquent and sweet … I still can’t believe I called him Dustin Chun! I went to high school with a guy by that name and it just came out! lol He was very forgiving. Here are my interviews with them.
Next up, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov – Peter greets fans at noon every year on premiere day. Such a sweet guy. He passes out Hawaii Five-0 gear and spends time with the fans. Right as I was about to interview him a 2-year-old child and his family said hello and Peter immediately got a “Junior Investigators Badge” for the toddler. It was super cute.
Unfortunately (as usual) the red carpet got started a little late and my camera gal/bestie had to leave for a dinner at 7pm. I thought “Ah, I got this! Just hit record, right?” Hindsight is 20/20. ha ha ha! I quickly realized that it is very difficult to focus a camera on yourself. Fortunately there were some very nice people and reporters hanging out on the sidelines right near me and they all chipped in to help! Thank you!!
Jorge Garcia was a fun interview because he started to rile up the crowd. Even more interesting than the interview was what happened during his interview! Peter Lenkov accidentally passed in front of the camera and Duane “The Dog” Chapman passed behind us with his wife. There was a lot of “action” going on! I was only supposed to get one question with Daniel Dae Kim but I managed to double it! Check out their full interviews below.
I totally lucked out at about this time of the night. (1) I had no light and one of my dearest friend’s (Stacy Loe) husband Bill Paris had a giant light that happened to point just enough in my direction that I could use it for my interviews! Whew!! (2) My friends Lance Rae and Shane Curtis showed up and saved the day. Shane actually works on Hawaii Five-0 and graciously offered to run my camera. Or did Lance volunteer him? Regardless, it was awesome to have someone there to make sure the rest of the interviews ran smoothly. Thank you guys!!!
Back to the action – Chi McBride is sooooo tall! I’m a tall girl – 5’10″ and he towered over me. I thought it was really sweet how he kind of held my back during the interview. What a jolly guy! I really enjoyed talking to him because he made me feel at ease – like I was a friend. Grace Park is also a sweet heart – we accidentally had breakfast with her once at Bogarts (see my Season 5 blog for deets) – I loved her answer to my question about how her character represents “water woman” and the culture of the ocean that is so important here in Hawaii. Interview below!
But of course, as usual, the interview I looked forward to the most was Alex O’Loughlin! I’ve met him so many times before and done a couple of stories (see Hawaii Five-0 over the years blog) - including a stunt story that was so much fun! BUT, I always feel like he won’t remember who I am! If he doesn’t remember… he does a REALLY good job of masking it. lol We chatted a bit about my pregnancy and his wife and then I pretty much grabbed him and put him in the light. I don’t even realize I’m doing things like that when I do them. I’m just a handsy person and watching the video … I’m like “oops.” The look on his face is actually quite priceless.
The interview was AWESOME. I love that he shared about his favorite neighbor island and how it reminds him of home. His viewpoint on the Aloha spirit is … a strong opinion. But he backs it up with genuine respect and understanding of Hawaii and its culture. He even shared how he thinks Hawaii has changed him as a person and what lessons Hawaii has taught him that he would like to pass down to his children. So candid. So genuine. So REAL. See the interview below. Oh, and I really hope he takes me up on my offer to “hook him up” when he finally makes it to Maui… because it’s my dream to surf with Malia.
The premiere was great. I sat with Lance and Shane and enjoyed watching the show. After the premiere, I was super tired so I didn’t stay to see Five for Fighting perform. Instead, I decided I could walk back to the car parked at Keahi Tucker’s house. He offered to pick me up but for some reason I just felt like walking and didn’t want to bother him and his ohana at 10 pm at night. I started walking and had my hubby and son on FaceTime the whole time. I figure if someone wants to attack a pregnant lady they are pretty desperate. It somehow made me feel safer (plus I’m a black belt in karate so they would have been surprised at my response).
Something super strange happened on my way around the park. There was a 10 dollar bill and a 5 dollar bill on the grass. So I stopped. I was going to pick it up when a local guy in the dark under a tree says “You gonna pick that up?” I’m on FT with Kaimi so I kind of look at him and I say “I was going to… is it yours?” He says, “You were gonna pick that up, huh?” I’m like “If it’s yours, you should pick it up.” … and start walking away quickly! He calls after me, “Bless you and your child.” … what. just. happened. SO WEIRD. The couple I was walking behind asked me “Was that your money?” I said, “Nope, maybe it was his but I wasn’t gonna stick around to find out.”
Anyhoo, the walk was WAY longer than I remember. I think because I usually cut through the park and I had to walk around since I had a rolly bag with me. By the time I got to the car – I had been walking for 20 minutes! lol That was a bad decision. I’ll file that away for future reference. Call for a ride next time. ha ha! I was starving so I did what any other red carpet reporter does… no, I didn’t head to the after party with the stars, I went straight to Taco Bell!
Life sure is Swell~
Images from Hawaii Five-0 Season 6 Premiere at Sunset on the Beach – Waikiki, Oahu