'Hawaii Five-O' star Daniel Dae Kim: I get to do what I have trained my whole life to do
"Hawaii Five-O" star Daniel Dae Kim stopped by Malaysia during his holiday to promote the show's season's finale , airing on AXN on July 2nd, Monday, 10pm.
Daniel plays Detective Chin Ho Kelly, a former cop from the Honolulu Police Department (HDP) forced to retire because he was wrongly accused of corruption. Then, with the help of Steve McGarrett, (Alex O'Loughlin), Detective Chin returns is back to being a cop, this time with the "Hawaii Five-O" team.
If Daniel looks familiar, that's because he was also from the hugely popular series "Lost" as Jin-Soo Kwon. The actor was born in South Korea and moved to the United States when he was only two years old. He now resides in sunny Maui, Hawaii with his wife and kids.
We caught up with Daniel Dae Kim for an interview when he stopped by Malaysia to talk about "Hawaii Five-O" and how the show has changed his life.
What is the schedule like on a daily basis when filming?
Daniel: We shoot approximately 9 and a half months out of the year and on a daily basis if I'm working that day I'm generally called in around 5 o'clock in the morning and we generally finish 12 to 14 hours after I'm called in. I don't work every day but I'll work maybe three or four days out of the week.
Does it take long to get a scene done?
Daniel: It depends on a scene if it's a two person scene which is just kind of dialog it's a bit quicker but if there's an action scene planned there's a lot of people in the scene then definitely one scene can take all day.
As a detective on the show, how has it changed your life?
Daniel: I get to travel to great places like Malaysia, and I get to talk to great people like you, and I get to see the world and I get to work. I get to do what I have trained my whole life to do.
What is the best part of playing a detective?
Daniel: I think the best way to get better at something is to be able to do it every day and acting is a profession where we have to wait for the jobs to be given to us. So to have the opportunity to work on a daily basis at my craft is a real blessing and I have been able to do that now for 8 years.
Are Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Cann easy to work with?
Daniel: Alex and Scott are very individual in the way they work. We learnt what each other working style is and yeah, as a result I would say, yeah they are easy to work with and we all know each other.
How long does it take for you to get comfortable during scenes?
Daniel: Well, I actually do appreciate rehearsals and some actors don't like to rehearse and they want to shoot right away but away but I prefer if I can get an idea of what's going on so it takes me a little bit more time but on television there isn't very much so everything's rush rush rush.
Have you watched any crime scene shows like CSI after you knew you were going to be playing a detective on the show?
Daniel: Sure, I mean there are so many kinds of show on Television in America that you can't avoid them and one of the first job that I've ever did was on 'Law and Order' so I was familiar with the job.
Have any fans came up to you and call you Detective Chin?
Daniel: Only in Malaysia. You are the third person to ever call me that and three of them are from Malaysia.
How is it like having your fellow Asian co-star Maki Oka and Grace Park alongside with you?
Daniel: It's great; I mean we joke around on the set that we are the Asian all stars. (Laughs). Grace came from "Battlestar Galactica" and Maki from "Heroes" and I came from "Lost" so it's nice to all work together and for us to have an opportunity it means we are making progress.
Do you think Asian actors/actresses are getting bigger in Hollywood?
Daniel: I don't know; I know they are eating a lot more so maybe. I do think we are making progress. The fact that we can be on the show like "Hawaii Five-O" and have so many of the main cast be Asian I think is something I don't think can be done maybe even 10 years ago, so that's nice that we are making progress.
Do you have any cop friends you hang out with to get a hang on how to be a detective?
Daniel: When I first learnt that I was going to work on "Hawaii Five-O" I talked to a couple of police officers and stayed at the police station for a few days and then rode along with them in the car just to get a sense of what they do on a daily basis and what it means to be a policemen.
Are you surprised by the viewers who tune into the show and to keep it going?
Daniel: I'm surprised anyone watched it. I'm always grateful whoever audience is because they are the one that make our show successful. We worked really hard to make the best show that we can but that doesn't mean that it'll be a success. There are a lot of great shows that were on television and never found an audience and so it's cancelled. It's got to be a combination of things so I'm grateful that people are watching it.
What would have been your best memory from the show?
Daniel: You know, our recent memory was shooting the season 2 season finale. That was a really good episode because there were a lot of character development and that's what I find most interesting working on the show. The characters past, the history of the show and the personal conflicts.
Do you have a favorite episode?
Daniel: I honestly would say the first and the last episode of this season, season 2 I think are my favorites.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Daniel: I would like to think that I have a highlight for my career yet but that's still in my future.
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