The producers, cast and crew of Hawaii Five-0 gathered for a Hawaiian blessing this morning before beginning work on the new version of the television series in Hawaii (“hana ho” means “to do again”). The lawn of the Hilton Hawaiian Village was filled with crew members, reporters, photographers and a few tourists who slipped in to snap photos of the event.
Before the blessing, Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and other officers welcomed the production to the islands. I asked Chief Kealoha if he would be making any guest appearances in the series; his “No!” was both swift and emphatic. He smiled, saying the series is most welcome to Hawaii but he’s not planning to join the actors on camera.
The series stars Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett and Scott Caan as Danny Williams. Daniel Dae Kim keeps his Hawaii location, moving from “Lost” to “Five-0” as Chin Ho Kelly. One character has a sex change in this “re-imagining” of the classic series, which aired originally from 1968 – 1980 on CBS. The character of Kono Kalakaua was originally played by Hawaiian actor Zulu (Gilbert Kauhi), who was born on Hilo and died there in 2004. In the new series, the part of Kono is played by Grace Park, seen recently on Battlestar Galactica.
The series stars were relaxed, attentive during the blessing, and joined in a group hug immediately after. Then they faced a line-up of television cameras for brief interviews before beginning the day’s shooting. At the conclusion of the ceremony, someone shouted that the crew had five minutes to get in place. As I walked back through the Hawaii hotel property, trucks full of props and crew were maneuvering in front of the registration area and cameras were setting up their shots. As always, the beautiful weather and scenery of Hawaii were ready for their starring roles.