Not just another pretty face, Renee Marcou is a talented singer, songwriter and actress. From Wilmington, Massachusetts, she’s also the spokesperson for Baby Safe Haven, a baby advocacy group. I recently sat down with her at the Tropics Bar and Grill at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to get her experiences on the set of Hawaii Five-0 and learned how she got to be on the show.
Q: So what’s your singing background?
A: I trained at the Berkeley College of Music, studying classical voice, classical opera. Then I started singing R&B, my favorite! I sing pop and rock but what I love is R&B.
Q: Have you recorded anything we’ve heard on the radio?
A: Yeah! “Don’t Let Go” is my first single, and I co-produced and co-wrote it…I’m involved in every aspect… I’m going to release the album before Christmas. It will be my first full release album available on itunes, amazon and rhapsody.
Q: How do you release an album from Hawaii?
A: I have representation from Sony, but a lot of it depends on me to upload the music, lyrics, photos and video. It’s a lot of work! This time out in Hawaii is definitely not a vacation, it’s been work!
Q: By the way, how did you end up in Hawaii?
A: Well we got an award from the Governor and the Hawaii Legislature for helping the keiki [children], I’m the spokesperson for a foundation called Baby Safe Haven. We’ve been going from state to state to promote baby sanctuary laws. So last year I came with my mom [to receive the award] and LOVED it! The people here are so nice…back home everyone is on the go, so much more hectic. Its been so much better around laid back people who are living life, so I knew I had to come back.
Q: But you’re leaving the sun and surf to go back home for Christmas…what are your plans when you get back?
A: I want to do more filming…a lot more shows, put together a charity event for some charities that I work with, and hopefully sing at the Pro Bowl. I also want to go on tour to Australia, Japan and Europe…places I think my music will be successful and also places I wanted to travel to.
Q: Well between it all, singing, songwriting and acting what is your passion?
A: Music is always up in the air, it’s a sporadic lifestyle. I like the schedule of acting. So I’ll go where the fans want me to be. But as far as my passion in life, it’s music…when I can connect with people as myself, without having to play a part. I write from my heart, and I want people to relate to my music.
Q: How’d you get involved with Hawaii Five-0?
A: I contacted the casting director, and I got a call back within the hour and it worked out really well!
Q: So what part did you get?
A: I was called “The Lady of the Night” but it was in broad daylight [laughs]. It’s a “featured extra”… and it was interesting, we didn’t know what our part was, everyone was in bathing suits, with surfboards. The other ladies and I had to walk across the lot and flirt with McGarrett and Danno. It was fun…when I got on set, I was surprised at how nice every one was, it was really rewarding, especially meeting the director Chris Fisher… I told him I was into music and he said he would love to get my music involved so we’re trying to set up some business meetings.
Q: You’re making a lot of ladies jealous that you got to flirt with McGarrett and Danno!
A: Yeah… [laughs]
Q: Allright, pop quiz…you are stranded on a desert island, who would you rather be stuck with…Steve McGarrett or Danno?
A: [Long pause. Really long pause.] Hm…I don’t know who I’d choose. I’ll have to go with both!
Q: Do you think you’ll be back on the show?
A: Yes, I do, it’s not set in stone, and I don’t know what episode it will be, but I have full confidence that it’s gonna happen!
Q: So how much of the show have you watched?
A: I really started watching it online after I worked on the show and loved it, it’s exciting!
Q: Did you get a chance to meet any of the other cast?
A: I didn’t get a chance to meet Daniel Dae Kim or Grace Park. I would have loved to have met Daniel because I love “Lost”. I’m still on season 6, watching the DVDs.
Q: Season 6? Let me just save you the trouble and tell you what happens at the end. They’re all d-
A: No! [laughs]
Q: Allright, I won’t spoil it. How much of the island have you seen?
A: I’ve been hiking all over with Wayde, saw the Polynesian Cultural Center, Turtle Bay, I love the whole island!
Q: Wait…you come all the way down to Hawaii and you’re telling me California Pizza Kitchen is one of your favorite local hangouts?!?!
A: Yeah! [laughs]
Q: Is Spam out of the question?
A: Totally. I’m a vegetarian.
I knew it. Renee, good luck with a successful 2011!
Since my interview, she’s released her album “Thank You” on itunes! I got a chance to check it out…and I was very impressed. Electronic beats, R&B and even some jazzy funk all mixed in, all led by strong vocals. “Don’t Let Go”, “Secret”, and “We’ll Meet Again” are my favorite tracks. Go check her out on itunes!
Renee’s episode appears tomorrow on Hawaii Five-0, 12/13/2010.