Keeping up with castaways off the set
By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
So what does a handsome single actor do when his hit TV show turns him into an international sex symbol? Why, he gets married, of course.
But what makes no sense at all to legions of heartbroken teenage girls was all in the plan for "Lost" actor Josh Holloway and his new bride Yessica (née Kumula).
Holloway didn't want to get hitched until he had a reliable acting job, and he was seriously considering leaving the business when he landed the role of Sawyer.
"I felt I didn't have a lot to offer as far as stability and providing for ... (Yessica)," he said. "I had to land something. Then I landed this and promptly married the little (expletive)."
The couple lived mostly apart last season, but Yessica, then a retail director for Policy, made regular commutes to Honolulu.
"They flew her over, what, 37 times?" Holloway said.
The Holloways finally married during a break in filming, in a small, private ceremony on Kaua'i.
Yessica, unfazed by her husband's popularity with female viewers, said Holloway "loves" being a sex symbol. Holloway insists it's fun but ultimately beside the point.
"It's flattering and I'm honored, but for me, it's about the art, and I'm honored to get this kind of material to work with and I hope that that continues," he said.
JIN, STRAIGHT UP
"Lost" cast member Daniel Dae Kim is serving as guest host of tomorrow's evening presentation of "Raise Your Voice: A Broadway Revue" at the Ronald E. Bright Theatre at Castle High School.
The show, put on by Pocket Aces Productions, features a mix of Broadway performers and students from Castle High School. Kim will appear at tomorrow's 8 p.m. performance. The show also plays tonight at 8, tomorrow at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m.
Kim, who plays Jin on "Lost," is a longtime supporter of Asian-American theater.
And because nobody can get too much 'Lost' these days ...
The sharp-eyed public-relations agency representing the platinum industry reports that Naveen Andrews (Sayid) showed up at the Emmys sporting a pair of platinum and diamond cufflinks by Herco ($2,000), while longtime companion Barbara Hershey wore platinum and pink tourmaline earrings by Kwiat.
Not to be out-platinumed, Maggie Grace (Shannon on "Lost") wore platinum and 20-carat diamond hair combs (priced at $140,000) by Hearts on Fire.
The Man of Steel doesn't officially make it back to earth (and the big screen) until summer '06, but Academy for Creative Media chairman Chris Lee who served as executive director of the new film "Superman Returns" is back in Honolulu after an eventful several months of filming in Australia.
And, he emphasized, he's back at the academy to stay.
Academy benefactors Roy and Hilda Takeyama welcomed Lee back with a reception Tuesday night at Kapi'olani Community College, attended by Mayor Mufi Hannemann, UH interim president David McClain and others.
Lee gently corrected news reports, including one by The Advertiser, that he is leaving the digital arts school that he helped found two years ago.
In June, Lee confirmed he will be serving as president of newly formed Legendary Pictures, a movie production company created by venture capitalist Thomas Tull, Lee and other industry veterans. Legendary raised eyebrows when it entered into a blockbuster deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, which will invest up to $500 million in matching funds to co-finance 25 films over the next several years.
Lee said a provision in his contract allows him to continue his work at UH. He will likely split his time between California and Hawai'i.
With digital media programs expanding at the Manoa campus and throughout the community college system, McClain said, Lee's future role will be more "systemic" in focus.
McClain likened Lee to a rainmaker for the success he's had in building the school and producing immediate results. He said Lee's job description is simple: "Continue to make rain."
Lee said his prolonged absence from Hawai'i was a good opportunity to prove to people that the academy "is more than Chris Lee."
While Lee continued to keep on top of things from Australia, associate chairman Tom Brislin took care of day-to-day administration, helping continue the school's impressive, accelerated growth.
This semester, more than 120 students are taking advantage of the school's specialized offerings, some 22 courses in all. Several accomplished film professionals also have joined the faculty this year, including noted New Zealand filmmaker Merata Mita ("Mauri," "Spooked").
Also, the school recently gained approval to draw up plans for a bachelor's degree program.
From the start, the school has sought to provide students with real-world experiences. This summer, four students Ronson Akina, Chrystal Jameson, Matthew Ortiz and Nelson Quan joined Lee in Sydney to work as interns on the set of "Superman Returns," earning college credit while gaining a wide range of practical experiences.
Last year, a package of student films were featured at the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival. Students also collaborated with Scion Hawaii to produce local TV advertisements for the car company. The academy also is about to close a deal with Anheuser-Busch to produce a video on underage drinking; Wai'anae High School's Searider Productions program will be involved.
CLINT IS COOL
Local stuntman Darin Fujimori is back in town after stints in Los Angeles (for the feature film "Southland Tales" starring The Rock) and Iceland, where he worked on Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers."
"It was the best set I've ever been on," said Fujimori, a member of the Hawaiian Stunt Connection. "There was no yelling. Everybody was really professional. It was just a great environment."
The film tells the story of the six soldiers who raised the flag at the battle of Iwo Jima. Producers needed a black-sand beach and had scouted locations on the Big Island and Maui before settling on Iceland, reportedly at the off-hand suggestion of a gas station attendant familiar with Iceland's beaches.
There was some consternation in the local industry that Hawai'i had lost another big-money production, but Fujimori said it's unlikely that beaches on either island could have accommodated the large-scale battle scenes that were staged for the film.
Reach Michael Tsai at email@example.com.