Production kicks off Tuesday on Kim’s episode, which will feature McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan) spending some time together while staking out the apartment of a beautiful criminal in order to catch her even more dangerous accomplice. As EW first exclusively revealed, this episode also features Cloris Leachman as a nosy neighbor.
“I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to direct for a long time and I’m glad it’s with Five-0,” Kim says. “Peter Lenkov and the production team have been nothing but supportive, and I’m excited to work with my cast mates in a fresh new way. After working on a show for 100 episodes it’s easy to ‘take your foot off the gas’ a bit, but this has reinvigorated me in a great way.”
Adds EP Lenkov: “We are so thrilled to have Daniel direct this really fun episode. He knows our show inside and out, understands what fans love about Hawaii Five-0 and his creativity will be a welcomed asset. I’m proud he feels comfortable enough to take this leap with his Five-0 ‘ohana.”
As title of this series suggests, our Breaking the Asian Myth stories seek to challenge absurd stereotypes about the Asian community. So far we’ve looked into the ridiculous assumption that all Asian women have the same kind of hair, the impossible belief that Asians can’t get fat, and even the dangerous theory that Asian women need not worry about breast cancer. Yeah, my eyes hurt from all the eyerolling too.
In reality, the umbrella term “Asian” is composed of many, many ethnicities so no one should assume we all have the exact same features. However, it seems no matter how many times we have to clarify that these assumptions don’t apply to all of us (No mister, I can’t explain to you what your Chinese tattoo means… seeing as I’m not even Chinese), we still have a load of overgeneralizations thrown at us on a daily basis.
One such overgeneralization that I’ve heard all my life is the idea that all Asians are short. Being a proud member of the fun-sized community myself, I admit that there are quite a number of us. But is that enough to justify the pure shock and disbelief Asians get when they actually are tall? I don’t know about that.
So here’s some love for all of you who are tired of people constantly pointing out that you’re tall for an Asian, and feel left out when you tower over the rest of us. You’re not alone! Check out some of our favorite Asian celebs who certainly break this Asian Myth.
On paper, it looked like a rough year for Asian-Pacific Islanders on network television: The Mindy Project was on the verge of cancellation. NBC axed Community, and confirmed the end of Parks and Recreation for 2015. Sandra Oh officially left Grey’s Anatomy. Glee edged closer and closer to the end of its run while slowly pushing its Asian characters out of the credits.
According to an annual report on television diversity released by GLAAD, the number of Asian-Pacific Islanders on network television had been on the rise.
In the 2013-2014 season, 6% of broadcast series regular characters were Asian-Pacific Islander, but in the upcoming year, only 4% of characters will be Asian–the only ethnic group to see a decrease in diversity from the previous year.
“Aside from the need for more representation despite the real progress we’ve made, I was disappointed that we lost some really great Asian-American representation this past year,” Philip Chung, co-founder and blogger at YOMYOMF, said, listing Oh and Community’s Danny Pudi and Ken Jeong as examples.
But while the number of Asian characters appears to be shrinking next season, the quality of roles, Chung points out, has noticeably changed. Asian-Pacific Islanders in 2014 were cast in more prominent roles than the previous year, giving actors like John Cho, Ming-Na Wen, and Nasim Pedrad (who previously made headlines as Saturday Night Live’s first west Asian cast member) opportunities to step beyond smaller supporting and guest appearances on TV.
The leaps forward in casting choices have not come without their setbacks. After months of anticipation among critics and bloggers about the casting of John Cho, an Asian male, to play the lead in a romantic sitcom, his show Selfie was canceled after just seven episodes.
“It’s rare to see an Asian-American male as a lead in a comedy, especially one that has romantic possibilities,” said 8Asians editor Joz Wang, who called Selfie’s cancellation the biggest disappointment for Asian Americans on TV in 2014. “While the show didn’t catch on as quickly as the network would have wanted, many Asian Americans watched the show specifically for John Cho.”
“Getting [a show] about an Asian American family on the air is a frickin’ miracle.”
Even though Cho never received top billing in Selfie, many felt ABC’s choice to cast him as the show’s male romantic lead was long overdue. His elevation to “leading man material” appeared to be the first step in seeing more Asian-Pacific Islanders as true television stars, not just supporting characters.
To date, few Asian actors have ever been cast in lead roles on a network level. The first to break through was Pat Morita, in the 1976 show “Mr. T and Tina” (it was considered a flop, and went off the air after five episodes).
Today, Lucy Liu plays a prominent character in Elementary, though not the lead, as does Kal Penn in the upcoming CBS drama Battle Creek. Even Hawaii Five-O, which Wang noted has been “great because it’s set in Hawaii and there are many opportunities for Asian-American actors,” stars two Caucasian leads. “All the Asian Americans still play second fiddle in terms of billing,” said Wang.
The last network show to cast an Asian male with top billing was CBS’ Martial Law starring Sammo Hung in 1998. Hung, who spoke little English, had just a few lines in each episode, and was reportedly paid half of what his co-star Arsenio Hall made.
Currently, the total number of Asian actors to receive top billing on a network primetime series is one: Mindy Kaling. Since the 2012 premiere of The Mindy Project, Kaling has received praise for being the first woman of color to write and star in her own show since Wanda Sykes in 2003.
But Kaling has come under fire for what some see as her failure to leverage her influence for push for more diversity on network television.
In a letter to Fox, Media Action Network for Asian Americans President Guy Aoki said the show lacked diversity–particularly when it came to romantic interests. “We are concerned that in the course of two seasons, [Kaling’s] character, Dr. Lahiri, has had a ‘white-only’ dating policy involving about a dozen men,” Aoki wrote. “And except for this season’s addition of African American Xosha Roquemore the cast continues to be all white…She’s creating the impression that by surrounding her character with mostly white people and dating only white men that Lahiri’s become more accepted by the white population.”
Kaling defended the show at a SXSW panel early in the year, saying, “I have four series regulars that are women on my show, and no one asks any of the shows I adore — and I won’t name them because they’re my friends — why no leads on their shows are women of color, and I’m the one that gets lobbied about these things.”
Despite any criticism and low ratings, Kaling herself saw a year filled with successes in her own career, from being named a Glamour Woman of the Year to the announcement of her second book, Why Not Me?, which will be released next year. In November, Fox also added six episodes of The Mindy Project, stretching the season from 15 episodes to 21, and fueling speculation that the show will be renewed for a fourth season.
Kaling won’t carry the mantle for Asian network primetime leads alone much longer. She will soon be joined by Korean-American actor Randall Park, who will star in ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat–the first network show to feature an all-Asian American cast since Margaret Cho‘s 1994 series All-American Girl, which was canceled after one season. Following a slate of recurring roles on television (including The Mindy Project), Park will receive top billing when the series premieres in 2015.
“Getting a television series on the air is an incredible feat,” Park wrote in a post for KoreAm Journal online in June. “Getting one with no bankable name stars in today’s television climate is damn near impossible. Getting one about an Asian American family on the air is a frickin’ miracle.”
The series, based on the memoir of celebrity chef Eddie Huang, has received its share of praise and criticism since ABC added it to its mid-season lineup. Park is one of the targets of the early backlash because his character is Taiwanese (not Korean like Park is) and speaks with an accent (which Park does not naturally have).
But in the same KoreAm post, Park acknowledged he raised that same issue himself, but was repeatedly assured he was the right actor for the role.
“Hopefully audiences and the network will give it a chance.”
“In an ideal world, I would never have to play a character with an accent,” he wrote. “But this is a character based on a real person. So it’s something that I have to honor and try to perfect as the series moves forward.”
Early viewers of the pilot have been defensive of the series, hoping to save it from suffering the same fate as All-American Girl and Selfie. “I thought it was very funny and despite some of the early backlash from people who haven’t yet seen the show,” YOMYOMF’s Chung said. “Hopefully audiences and the network will give it a chance.”
He starred in such films as “The Crimson Kimono,” “Flower Drum Song,” “Cry for Happy,” “Bridge to the Sun” and, later, as a terrorized executive in the Bruce Willis movie.
The Hollywood Reporter:
James Shigeta, a top Asian-American actor of the early 1960s who starred in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song, died Monday in Los Angeles, publicist Jeffrey Leavitt announced. He was 81.
The handsome Hawaiian, who later appeared as the ill-fated chief executive of the Nakatomi corporation in the Bruce Willis action film Die Hard(1988), had a great two-year run in Hollywood starting in the late 1950s.
Shigeta made his feature debut in Sam Fuller’s Los Angeles-set noir The Crimson Kimono (1959), playing a young detective, and followed that by portraying a young Chinese man in the American Old West who battles a freight line operator (Jack Lord) over a woman in James Clavell’s Walk Like a Dragon (1960).
Shigeta then starred with Glenn Ford and Donald O’Connor as American Navy men billeted in a Tokyo geisha house in director George Marshall’s Cry for Happy (1961). And in Bridge to the Sun, he portrayed a Japanese diplomat who is married to an American (Carroll Baker) at the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
In Flower Drum Song (1961), set in San Francisco and directed by Henry Koster, Shigeta plays Wang Ta, who’s dazzled by a showgirl (Nancy Kwan) before he realizes an immigrant from China (Miyoshi Umeki) is really the one for him. A natural baritone, Shigeta did all his singing in the film.
The Golden Globes in 1960 named him (along with Barry Coe, Troy Donahue and George Hamilton) as “most promising male newcomer.”
Shigeta later had recurring roles on the 1969-72 CBS drama Medical Center and appeared on episodes of Ben Casey, Lord’s Hawaii Five-O, Ellery Queen, Little House on the Prairie, Fantasy Island, T.J. Hooker, The Love Boat, Magnum, P.I., Simon & Simon, Jake and the Fatman and Murder, She Wrote.
His film résumé includes Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966) with Elvis Presley, Nobody’s Perfect(1968), Lost Horizon (1973), Midway (1976), Cage (1989) and the animated Mulan (1998).
Born in Honolulu of Japanese ancestry on June 17, 1933, Shigeta moved to New York and studied at New York University, then joined the U.S. Marine Corps and fought during the Korean War.
He relocated to Japan and became a star on radio and television in that country, then returned to the U.S. to sing on The Dinah Shore Show in 1959. Also that year, he starred with Shirley MacLaine in a production of Holiday in Japan in Las Vegas.
Daniel Dae Kim has joined the Divergent sequel as Jack Kang, a representative of the Candor faction. Kim was most recently seen onHawaii Five-0, and is best-known for his role on Lost.
Angry Asian Man/Variety:
“Lost” actor Daniel Dae Kim is set to board Summit’s “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” the sequel to “Divergent” starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James.
Octavia Spencer, Jonny Weston and Suki Waterhouse recently joined the cast, with Jai Courtney, Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort also onboard to reprise their roles. Kim will play Jack Kang in the pic.
The film will be directed by Robert Schwentke from a screenplay by Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman.
Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce the film through their Red Wagon Entertainment banner along with Pouya Shahbazian. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman are executive producing through their Mandeville Films banner along with Neil Burger and Barry Waldman.
“Insurgent” will be released on March 20. The third book, “Allegiant,” will be split into two films that are slated for release on March 18, 2016 and March 24, 2017, respectively. “Divergent” opened this past March and has grossed $267 million worldwide.
Kim most recently wrapped his fourth season on CBS’ “Hawaii Five-O” and his other past credits include “Spider-Man 2″ and “The Hulk.”
Meanwhile, Daniel’s also been busy as a producer, working on a film adaptation of Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World’s Most Repressive Country, a memoir by North Korea specialist Mike Kim about his experience helping North Korean refugees cross over to China. He’s also hoping to remake the popular Korean television series Good Doctor for U.S. audiences.
According to a recent article in TV Guide, we will be learning a lot more about Chin Ho, the character played by Daniel Dae Kim in the tv seriesHawaii Five-O.
In episode in season 4 will take us back to his first meeting with his late wife and why he lost his badge, and his relationship with McGarrett’s father, John.
Kim will also be reunited with two of his former co-stars from Lost. Henry Ian Cusick who played Desmond, will play the bad guy Ernesto in the season premier and Jorge Garcia who played Hurley will have a potentially recurring role as a fifth member of the Five-O team.