HONOLULU (AP) - At 6 feet tall and 280 pounds — with a distinctive shaved head — Conrad Kalauoka’aea could picture himself appearing as an extra in an episode of “Hawaii Five-0” as an undercover cop, or maybe a bodyguard.
“Why not?” Kalauoka’aea asked after getting his picture taken Saturday and submitting an application to appear as a “Five-0” extra for the show’s sixth season.
Like many of the 1,500 wannabe television extras who baked in the sun Saturday for the chance to appear on TV, Kalauoka’aea showed up at the Hawaii Film Studio with no acting experience but plenty of curiosity.
For his day job, Kalauoka’aea, 50, of Waianae, runs his own concrete masonry company and was supposed to ride motorcycles on Saturday with his buddy, Keoni Herbert.
Instead, they waited in a line that stretched down 18th Avenue for their shot at showbiz.
There were no auditions or interviews, just an application to fill out and a picture to be taken for the chance to earn $65 per day and up — or $157 per day for members of SAG-AFTRA, the actors union.
But the wages paid to a background actor with no lines to speak were hardly the impetus that drove so many people to the Hawaii Film Studio.
“Who knows where it could lead?” asked Jerry Wilkinson, 63, a retired nurse from Kailua. “You just show up and somehow you could end up in the film industry.”
With blue eyes and a shock of white hair, Wilkinson could see himself getting cast as a businessman, doctor or even a detective.
After Saturday’s casting call, “Hawaii Five-0” producers will have a huge range of ages, ethnicities, sizes and body shapes to sort through for whatever background roles they’ll need for the CBS crime drama that’s expected to begin shooting July 8.
A huge line had already formed long before the scheduled 10 a.m. start, so the casting call organizers threw open the doors an hour early, said Johanna Bautista, who handles the show’s casting for extras.
Many of those who turned out were families that offered an array of possibilities.
Jeff White, a 67-year-old financial adviser from Niu Valley, brought along his 17-year-old daughter, Asia, an aspiring model who will be a senior at the Honolulu Waldorf School in the fall.
Asia, who is half Filipino and half Irish, performs hula and Tahitian dances and swims and plays tennis and could fill a variety of roles, her dad said.
“I can’t imagine them casting me for a part,” he said, after going through the process anyway. “I’m already in shape: I’m round. And I’m bald as well. I guess I could play a tourist guy, because I’m white.”
Catherine Cox of Waialae Iki was supposed to host a play date on Saturday for her 9-year-old daughter, Olivia, and Olivia’s friends. Instead, Cox brought them all to the casting call and everyone — including Catherine and her 15-year-old son, Kai — had their pictures taken.
The Coxes love watching movies and TV shows being shot across Oahu and Kai especially is fascinated by the process.
So Kai’s interest only grew when some of the casting crew mentioned that producers might need an extra to play a young Steve McGarrett next season.
Cox’s blond hair is a little lighter than McGarrett actor Alex O’Loughlin’s, but his mom can still see potential.
While Kai could fill in for the star of the show, she sees a much less glamorous role for herself.
“I like sports and athletics, so I could be running or playing tennis in the background,” she said. “We’re all blond, so we definitely could also fall into the role of a tourist.”
Bien Covita, an Air Force tech sergeant who lives on base at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, thought it would be a great experience to bring his wife, son Andrue, 7, and daughter Keara, 9, to the studio.
“That’s the main thing, the time together as a family,” Covita said.
But he also allowed himself to imagine getting some camera time of his own on “Hawaii Five-0.”
Covita, who’s Filipino and has a shaved head and medium build, could play “either a bad guy or a good guy,” he said.
“The bald head gives me that criminal effect,” Covita said. “Or who knows? I could be the hero.”
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com
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