I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to not only cover stories about the Five-0 cast & crew but I’ve had the unique opportunity to be on the red carpet year after year (See Blog: Behind the Scenes of Hawaii Five-0)… I don’t take those experiences and opportunities for granted because I know just how special they are!
This year, I worked for SONY and their network in Japan called AXN Japan. I was set up right at the front of the red carpet behind Entertainment Tonight, Entertainment Tonight Canada and CBS – pretty awesome positioning! Erin Cebula from ET Canada has covered the red carpet since the very first year too and it was really an amazing experience getting to know her. Such a sweet, genuine person… I hope we keep in touch in the future!
Back to AXN Japan – I got a list of questions and requests for the actors from the network – I must admit they weren’t exactly what I would have chosen to ask them - but when you’re hired for the job, you do the job. I had about a page of possible questions / requests per actor and I knew I would only get two or three questions (if that). Sure enough, as the actors made their way down the red carpet their publicists made it clear how many questions each reporter could ask – for some, it was just one – a single question… boy, that made my job tough. I had to prioritize what the client wanted based on what I had seen of the finished product from previous years. Fortunately, since I’ve worked with most of the actors before (and even dined, sang karaoke and sparred with some of them) they recognized me and humored me by answering a few more questions than I was “allowed.” lol Hopefully they also didn’t judge me based on my questions! All in all, I think I did my client justice! Here is the live stream from the Star Advertiser – I’m to the left of them so they caught me in action throughout the red carpet interviews. Sweet!
First up, Jorge Garcia – boy does the guy have presence. He really seems jovial, funny, sweet and genuine in person. I asked him a “viewer question” about conspiracy theories and if he had any in real life. He totally lit up and started talking about aliens! It was awesome. I got to give him a hug and kiss on the cheek – for us in Hawaii, it’s automatic. (Am I right? I don’t even think about whether I should or not – it just happens – and then I’m like oops! Was that too much? lol I think I just can’t contain my aloha! ha ha ha!)
Next, Chi McBride – pronounced “shy” not “chai” (thank goodness someone told me that ahead of time!) – his personality is as big as his stature! When Chi is in a room I think everyone turns to look and experience whatever is about to happen. He seems unpredictable – in the most awesome way possible. I honestly don’t even remember what I asked him but his booming voice and larger than life personality definitely made an impression on me.
Ian Anthony Dale is as hot in person as he is in the show… truly dreamy. (I know my hubby is reading this – I love you! You’re the hottest of them all!) This guy is sooooo sweet. He comes across as a very genuine, likable, sweet, kind person. He answered every question I asked him with enthusiasm and had a permanent smile on his face.
I’m in the background interviewing Ian Anthony Dale in this one – thank you to Mark Ramelb Photography for the photos – see his full Hawaii Five-0 premiere gallery by clicking HERE.
Scott Caan, as everyone knows, has a reputation for being short with the media. I’ve heard him say he just doesn’t enjoy it. Fair enough. I was honestly scared to death of asking him anything!! lol I know he’s a surfer and I’ve seen him out in the water at Kaisers before… my friend introduced me to him on set once so I started out by just small talking with him about when I met him and talking about the incredible surf conditions – he was awesome! Totally engaged in the conversation and even made eye contact! lol
Then, I started to ask him the scripted questions… I got an “I don’t know” on one of them which totally deflated me but I kept a smile on my face and continued, not letting it bother me. I asked him about his funny guy personality on the show and whether most of that is scripted or if they ad-lib. He was engaged again! Whew! He answered the question and even did the obligatory call letters that my client wanted. My camera man said it was the best interview he’d gotten from Scott since he started working the red carpet for Hawaii Five-0 premieres 4 years ago! Yeah! Success!
The man of the hour, Alex O’Loughlin was right behind Scott – unfortunately Entertainment Tonight US & Canada were ahead of me and they took up a bunch of his time so I got lumped into a group interview with Hawaii News Now & The Star Advertiser. On top of that, they told us that as a group we would only get a couple of questions. I was sweating now… my questions were so specific to the Japanese audience that I would really have to be brave and jump in as soon as I could. Hawaii News Now’s Ben Gutierrez – my former colleague – asked a great question. If you haven’t seen their coverage you should check it out too. Alex started talking about ohana and how the show wouldn’t be possible without US – his Hawaii ohana. Aw, so sweet.
Then I jumped in and got my question out about a particular actress Sumire – also a Japanese pop star – that was in the first episode. He remembered working with her and had great things to say. He also did a thank you to the Japanese audience. Success!!
Next up, Daniel Dae Kim – since he’s been on Hollywood Game Night a couple times and I was recently a contestant I feel like we’re kindred spirits lol! (Blog about being on Hollywood Game Night: “That Time I got Photobombed by Glee’s Jane Lynch”) Funny side story: The first time I met Daniel I was at the Ala Moana Red Party (where they shut down Ala Moana Shopping Center) and my girlfriend Tianne (Designer and Owner of Blacksheep Swimwear) had a brilliant idea. She says “the wife never gets any love! Let’s go ask for a picture with the wife.” Sounded pretty awesome to me! So we went up to Daniel and asked if we could get a picture – then proceeded to hand him the camera and flank his wife ha ha! It was an awesome moment. We all laughed and years later I love that it’s how I first met him. Over the years, we’ve hung out a few times with mutual friends and he is, quite simply, an awesome person. I really admire what an amazing family man he is. He started a production company this year and it’s so great to see him succeeding at that as well! When he came down the carpet I got a good hug out of him
… and proceeded to ask him a pretty silly viewer question about his hair styles. lol Thank goodness he humored me. What was really cool is, for my second question, he actually knew the actress – Sumire – that my client wanted the actors to talk about and had an awesome back story to contribute about her time at Punahou school. I had no idea!
Another side note: As Daniel jumped over the barriers to say hi to fans – he ripped his suit!!! Right behind the arm, thank goodness it wasn’t his pants! … although, some female fans might disagree.
Grace Park … I mean, what can I say about this gorgeous woman? One word: STUNNING! Inside and out. Kaimi (my hubby) and I randomly had breakfast with her one morning – we were simply in the same place, at the same time with limited seating! She is delightful. Someone I would love to have as a best friend. Sweet, considerate, kind… and boy, did she make an impression on the red carpet! She’s already tall but in that Versace dress and with her heels on she was 6’4″ and towered over the rest of the cast – something I can relate to! lol Thank goodness they found the dress two days prior! It was perfect – simply stunning. Plunging neckline, dark green jewel-toned dress, hair in an edgy up-do … it complimented her body and skin type perfectly.
Mark Dacascos – I don’t know what to write that I already haven’t written (BLOG: The Marvelous Mark Dacascos). I spent a day with Mark for a story and was blown away by how genuine he is. All three of his kids were born in Hawaii because he wanted the “mana” (spirit) of Hawaii to live within them. He was jumping barriers to take photos with fans and posing with his martial arts stances and that “look” – you know the one – the Wo Fat “I’m gonna kill you look” … the guy is such a character!
Unfortunately, Masi Oka was not at the red carpet premiere this year. My client really wanted to get him. He speaks Japanese and it would have been an awesome opportunity to get some good content for AXN Japan. Oh well… maybe next year! As the red carpet started to slow down, it got dark and 100 hundred hula dancers lined up to kick off the program (you can see them to the right in the photo below).
As for me, I totally forgot to eat. Thank goodness I had brunch with my news lady friends and was well fed at about 11:30am that day. Side note: I cherish my “lady lunches” with these awesome women!!
The adrenaline totally got to me and I forgot to bring anything to sustain myself during the event! Fortunately, they were handing out water for free! Whew! So I didn’t faint… but I was starting to get a headache from the lack of food. The program was underway so the tent with the food was pretty much deserted – except for the band BUSH… and me! I tried to sit out of the way, so I chose a spot on the outside where the guitars were. I guess it was the perfect spot because before I knew it the guitarist for BUSH – Christopher – sat down next to me to practice a little and we struck up a conversation. What a sweet guy! It was his first time to Hawaii and he was super interested in learning more about Hawaii and the culture so I shared a bunch of interesting facts about Hawaii.
I was actually introduced to Gavin Rossdale by Christopher. So awesome. Others were taking photos with them so after hanging and talking for an hour I decided to get the nerve up to ask if I could get a photo too. They were both super sweet and said “of course!” I ended up missing the entire program and premiere but it was totally worth the trade off! lol
The Bush concert followed and it was AMAZING. I mean does it get better than this?? I sat on the sand in Waikiki, under the stars, next to my friends listening to music that brings me back to my high school days… truly epic. He even did three or four hanahous! (encores)
After that, everyone was filtering out to go to the after party or head home. I was dropped off earlier in the night so I didn’t really have any plans. I was either going to find a ride home, get a taxi, go to the after party or grab dinner. My girlfriend ended up inviting me to dinner with her clients and their families – super awesome way to end the night. I got to catch up with one of my besties while also knowing how special it was to even be included in this group of people. My friend Rusty offered to drive to the dinner location and escorted me down the streets of Waikiki back to his car so he could drop me off. I mean, the entire night was magical and special and full of amazing people.
I was also stoked to catch up with my friend Kala Alexander – a member of the “kapu” on Hawaii Five-0 but also a professional surfer & stand up paddle surfer who shreds! He was really looking forward to surfing the town swell the next day… which made me think twice about surfing it myself! lol <I didn’t end up surfing – too big! And, I was exhausted.>
I also need to give a shout out to the crew – Mike Yasutake was the AXN Japan cameraman and Lele did audio. Thank you to Bill Paris for giving me the opportunity!
What a night! Around 12:30am … I was about to turn into a pumpkin – and decided to head home. I called the Eco Cab (my new favorite) and got dropped off in Manoa. I packed my bags and hit the sack knowing that I would see my munchkin the very next day. It was an amazing week, full of adventure and unforgettable experiences about to culminate with a very happy reunion with my family! Life’s Swell….