Set in the beautiful surroundings of the US’s 50th state, the original Hawaii Five-0 saw a fictional police station tackle all manner of criminals, and was known for the famous catchphrase, ‘Book ’em, Danno’. Now the show is back and has been revamped with a glossy Hollywood finish and a whole new cast – and it’s worked. In the US alone, the first 14 episodes picked up 19 million viewers, and now UAE viewers have a chance to see what the fuss is about. Scott Caan, who plays good-guy cop Danny Williams, tells us about his new project.
As well as film work, you’ve starred in Entourage and now Hawaii Five-0. What are the differences between film and TV, and do you have a preference?
I want to do movies – everybody wants to do movies. I liked doing Entourage a lot and there are things about Hawaii Five-0 I like. I’ve been stubborn and never wanted to do television. I don’t even know if I want to act any more. I want to make movies. I like writing, I like photography, I like so many different things that I still don’t really know what I want to do, so of course I’d rather be making movies, but movies aren’t a steady paycheck. I also want to be able to take care of my kids – although I don’t have any kids yet. I don’t even know if I want to be rich. I don’t know what I want.
How do you prepare yourself to play the role of Danny Williams?
This role comes easy to me. I feel there’s a lot of me in the part – mostly I just memorise my lines and hit my marks and have fun. That’s the only way to do a show like this. Alex O’Loughlin [who plays Steven McGarrett] has a really tough job, because his role is not the most fun role to do, and he has to come back and do it every day.
What has been the most rewarding thing about taking on the role?
I’ve been in the business for a long time and I haven’t really gotten the roles I want to get. I was in Ocean’s Eleven; I was the 10th guy in that movie. Casey Affleck, for example, went on and got some good parts and got offered good movies, and I didn’t. You know, I wasted a lot of time. I went off and made my own movies and I spent a lot of my own money on movies – I wanted to be John Cassavetes. I didn’t want to be Tom Cruise, and so you pay the price. There are things that I really want to do and I have to take opportunities like this. This is a wave, you know – you really have to take those moments in life you say no to, and you look back and go, ‘I wonder where I’d be if I’d done that.’ Ultimately, I’m in my thirties and the things that I want to do are ahead of me.
Would you ever get back into music [Caan was a member of ’90s hip-hop group The Whooliganz] or do any producing?
I have produced: I’ve made three movies and directed two movies. I don’t want to make music any more. I just listen to it, you know. A movie is never done, you just stop working on it. That’s the life of someone who is a real artist. I look at Matt Damon and he can do any movie he wants, but I guarantee he’s not happy with his last performance. He’s looking to the next one. I don’t think if I was in Leonardo DiCaprio’s position I’d be happy. I’d be in the same place I am, only I’d feel like I’d be doing something with a little more heart. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with work, but I don’t want to be a miserable artist either. I don’t always want to be unhappy, but I don’t know. It’s interesting.
Are there any similarities between you and your character in Hawaii Five-0?
Yeah, of course. There’s no longer a character. It’s just me.
Do you like that?
Yeah, that’s the only way to do it for me as an actor. I read something. If I find myself in it, I want to do it – you can’t do anything out of yourself. If I’m going to play a kid who’s got Down’s syndrome then there’s got to be a part of me that understands, or it’s not going to be good.
Who would you really like to see on the show?
Hawaii Five-0 airs at 10pm on Tuesdays on MBC Action.