Grace Park talks surfing and mastering Hawaiian pidgin

Here’s a Grace Park article I just discovered from an Aussie news source (Adelaide Now), dating back to March. Because Hawaii Five-0 centers so much around Alex and Scott, it’s nice to see an article about Grace.  Her experience with getting “rolled over” in the waves can be traumatizing, if one is not experienced with the beach and big waves.  She also talks about her pidgin coach…if you need help with coaching, you know where to find me, Grace. 😉



Grace Park, who plays agent Kono Kalakaua, has not mastered the art of surfing that her character is supposed to be a professional at. Picture:Neil Jacobs/CBS Source: Supplied

SHE’S the stunning beach babe on Hawaii Five-0 but don’t go calling Grace Park a ”perfect 10”.

While most women would be flattered to be awarded the tag, the actress, who plays rookie agent Kono Kalakaua in the classic TV show revival, says being given a label which is unrealistic is unfair to women.

”I’m like, `Do not push me as that because, first of all I don’t have a perfect 10 body. I love what I have but don’t put thoughts in other people’s heads’,” she says.

”I think there’s a lot of pressure and also a lot of noise in the media about what makes you more worthy as a person and it’s not like `You’re beautiful in any way you come. Embrace it’.”

And even with a supposedly flawless figure, Park says she suffers from the same anxieties about the way she looks as any other woman, and it is for this reason she is so against being put on a pedestal.

Although the producers may take advantage of Park’s good looks, the 36-year-old actor says there’s far more to her character than just beauty.

”She’s a girl next door, she’s a bit of an ass kicker sometimes but, at the same time, she’s a rookie so she has a naivety and a freshness to her,” she says.

Kono is also supposed to be a pro surfer something Park is definitely not.

The Canadian, previously best known for her role in Battlestar Galactica, had never even paddled on a surfboard before starting the Hawaii-based series.

”When you only have two weeks and you’re supposed to be pro, you’re not going to get anywhere close, so all they had me doing was coming in and out of the water,” she laughs.

But, filming the basic action for the pilot episode ended up proving traumatic for the actor, with an intense shore break throwing her around like an ant in a washing machine.

Without knowing it, she developed almost a mild case of post-traumatic stress disorder from the incident, which she only realised when she returned to the water two months later to film another scene.

”I went in the water and did the paddling, came in and out of the water, then finished all my stuff, then I just started crying sobbing,” she says.

”I felt nauseous, I felt really crap and then I realised I was realising all the trauma from the pilot.”

Not quite as distressing but still tough was trying to master the local Hawaiian tongue.

Her character is supposed to be able to speak pidgin, which for Park meant an 80-hour language session.

”They got in a native speaker and said, `You have to copy her’. So I listened to her and did it and she said, `No’. So I’d do it again and she’d say, `No’ and then I was like, `What should I be doing? Is it the syllable I’m pronouncing? What’s wrong?’ and she was like, `I don’t know. It’s just wrong’,” Park laughs.

Eventually the star got the hang of things but only thanks to a friend and fellow actor who helped run lines with her.

With her character also a black belt in jujitsu and fluent in four languages, it’s a challenging role Park is embracing with both hands.

Hawaii Five-0, Sunday, 8.30pm, Ch 10


About officer808

Investigating Hawaii Five-0 from the inside.
This entry was posted in Cast, Grace Park, Interviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Grace Park talks surfing and mastering Hawaiian pidgin

  1. textbook says:

    What wonderful picture of her. She looks beautiful, but also mature, purposeful – not like the giggly image that they often attach to these articles.

  2. hawaiiobsessed says:

    nice article, thanks for sharing!

  3. McPhee says:

    This also came up on my TV Guide here where I live also in Australia.

    They do centre a lot of the articles here in Australia on both Alex & Scott here also and don’t mention Daniel & Grace as much as well.

    It was a great article one of my faves to read I was really surprised when I read that she had an incident when she was doing her surfing scenes in the pilot episode that I didn’t know about she was very brave to go back into the water after that

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