Filipino actor returns to ‘Hawaii Five-0’ after almost 50 years

Alex O'Loughlin, Lito Capiña

Alex O’Loughlin, Lito Capiña (Facebook/Lito Capiña)

“Hawaii Five-0” Season 8 premiered on CBS on Sept. 29 and one of the extras featured on the new season was Lito Capiña. It was a sweet comeback for the Filipino actor after almost five decades.

Capiña appeared on one of the episodes of the original “Hawaii Five-0,” which aired from 1968 to 1980. Directed by Paul Stanley, the episode titled” The Burning Ice” aired on CBS on Nov. 9, 1971.

“I played the role of a houseboy with only one line,” Capiña recalled. “A detective asked me if he could use the phone and all I said was ‘It’s over there, Sir.’”

On Sept. 20, 2010, the remake of “Hawaii Five-0” premiered on CBS. On March 23, the series was renewed for an eighth season, which is the first season without Masi Oka, Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim in the cast.

On “Hawaii Five-0” Season 8, Capiña is back as an extra playing the role of a cemetery caretaker who discovered a dead serviceman. The scene he was in takes place in a cemetery and he was part of the crowd with several cops, forensic experts and photographers.

As the one who discovered the body, Capiña’s character was being questioned by a cop, and as background to the three main actors on the scene, the actor had no lines. Among the cast members he met on the set were Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan and Beulah Koale, who play Steve McGarrett, Danny Williams and Junior Reigns, respectively.

Lito Capiña, Beulah Koale

Lito Capiña, Beulah Koale (Facebook/Lito Capiña)

Originally from the Philippines, Capiña has travelled around the world and has lived in several countries and territories including Hawaii. He then went back to the Philippines where he became one of the protégés of 2009 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Mendoza.

While in the Philippines, Capiña appeared in several films and on different TV shows. Recently, he decided to go back to the 50th state of the United States for good and signed up at the Hawaii Studio as an extra so he can document and observe the changes and improvements inside the movie and TV goings-on.

In particular, Capiña wanted to make comparisons on the Philippine and American filming systems including the treatments and handling of talents or extras. He noted, “After three years of experiencing how movie or TV is done and the personal accounts that I have encountered over the years, it is interesting to note that the Philippines is still so behind when it comes to treatment of the actors and the professionalism that comes with it.”

Everyone is treated fair and square on the set of “Hawaii Five-0” Season 8, according to Capiña. He said, “(Along with) buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner as the case maybe, production provides wardrobe for the extras from head to toe, meaning from your hat to your socks. The talent needs only his underwear. Everything is provided for.”

“There are air-conditioned dressing rooms, portable toilets and makeup for everybody,” Capiña shared. “They pass around bottled water for extras and crew during break or while waiting for the next scene. Everyone is treated like a celebrity, extras or big stars.”

Meanwhile, here is a clip from “Hawaii Five-0” Season 8 episode 2 titled “Na La ‘Ilio” (Dog Days) featuring Koale’s character:

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