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The Transformation Of Grace Park From Childhood To Hawaii Five-0

The CBS remake of "Hawaii Five-O" remake was an instant hit, much like its predecessor. The reboot, "Hawaii Five-0" (which utilized a zero instead of the letter O), debuted in 2010 and lasted for ten seasons before the last episode broke fans' collective hearts. Featuring huge stars like Alex O'Loughlin as Lieutenant Commander Steven J. "Steve" McGarrett, Scott Caan as Detective Sergeant Danny "Danno" Williams, and Daniel Dae Kim as Detective Lieutenant Chin Ho Kelly, the police procedural television show followed a special police task force in Hawaii who investigated everything from murder cases to human trafficking rings.

Another beloved star on "Hawaii Five-0" was Grace Park, who played the buttkicking surfer-turned-officer Kono Kalakaua (who also happened to be Lieutenant Kelly's cousin). Park's arrival on the show added an exciting element to the team, but she was already an established actress by the time she joined the Honolulu Police Department. Let's take a look at Park's transformation from childhood to "Hawaii Five-0."

Grace Park had short roles in several projects

Before Grace Park became a well-known talent, she appeared in a number of shows and movies. She was in an episode of "The Outer Limits" as a Virtual Avatar, two episodes of "Secret Agent Man" as Louann/Staffer 2, and she had a recurring role on the Canadian horror series "The Immortal" as Mikiko. In 2000, she was featured in a scene of the Aaliyah movie "Romeo Must Die" as a dancer in a club — a scene that is quite notorious for its NSFW content.

In an interview with Battlestar Fan Club, Park explained how she got into acting: "I did a bunch of commercials and thought being on set was the best thing in the world: you get fed, clothed, made over and then have a nap and goof off. I thought...I could get used to this and that's when the fun ended. After that, pretty standard, acting classes and auditions, and still going." Park's hard work paid off, and she was cast in her first big role in 2001.

She became known for her role in Edgemont

The teen drama "Edgemont" was Park's first notable role. She played Shannon Ng, a good student who was heavily involved in her school's clubs and organizations. "Edgemont" was known for how it addressed important issues, and Shannon's character helped bring awareness to LGBT issues. Park was part of the show throughout its entirety, and the success of the show helped bring attention to her acting chops.

Park talked to The SciFi World in 2006 about her acting career, and her transformation from student to actress: "Yeah, I got Edgemont right away [after college], and I was also in Hong Kong at the time, and I got a lead in a martial arts feature, even though I can't really do martial arts... they didn't care. I was offered that, and at the same time, Edgemont came along, and I had to choose, so I decided to come back to Canada." It looks like Park made the right choice, as her success in "Edgemont" helped pave the way for the rest of her career.

Park was in two TV dramas in 2008

Park has played several action-packed roles throughout her career, including two well-received TV drama series in 2008. She was in the A&E series "The Cleaner" as Akani Cuesta, a tough recovering addict who helps group leader William Banks (Benjamin Bratt) convince drug addicts to commit to sobriety. Park was also in the CBC drama "The Border" in 2008, playing the role of American Homeland Security agent Liz Carver. "The Border" followed a group of Immigration and Customs agents who worked to eradicate terrorism and smuggling across the Canadian border.

Both "The Cleaner" and "The Border" have above average reviews on IMDb, despite their relatively short-lived runs. Park revealed that she worked on both shows at the same time she worked on "Battlestar Galactica," another successful project. "But to be honest, I shot The Cleaner and Battlestar at the same time and then took a Red Eye out to go to the east coast and start that day on The Border," she told GALACTICA.TV. "So I can safely say that was the hardest I've ever worked in my life. And it's taken pretty much the last three months to recuperate." If you thought she just played tough onscreen characters, knowing that she successfully juggled three time-consuming projects is further proof that Park is super cool in real life, too.

She helped launch another successful reboot

In 2003, Park was in the miniseries "Battlestar Galactica" — the first installation of a reboot of the original 1978 TV series by the same name. It essentially served as a pilot for the 2004 TV series "Battlestar Galactica," which Park appeared in as well. She played Number Eight, who was a humanoid Cylon (a type of robot). She also portrayed Lieutenant Sharon "Boomer" Valerii and Lieutenant Sharon "Athena" Agathon, who were copies of Number Eight.

"Battlestar Galactica" catapulted Park into fame within the world of science fiction fanatics, and her long tenure in the franchise allowed her to showcase her wide range of skills. In an interview with IGN Entertainment, Park gushed about just how much fun she had being part of the iconic franchise: "Oh, it's beautiful. It's really nice to be in an environment where everyone's cherishing the same thing together. I think it's really more heartening to me, in a situation where everyone can look at a project or a piece and all feel like they are connected to it, whether they're a viewer or partly creating it. And I think that when something like this happens, everyone knows that this is something quite special."