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Noah Mills On The Surprising Behind-The-Scenes Connection Between NCIS: Hawaii And Hawaii Five-O - Exclusive

"NCIS: Hawaii" isn't the first TV series to film in the tropical state. There have been plenty of others, including "Gilligan's Island" and "Lost." But probably the most synonymous show to shoot on the islands of Oahu and beyond is "Hawaii Five-O" — both the original and the 2010s reboot.

It's a distinction "NCIS: Hawaii" happily shares with the classic series, as the police procedural, which airs Monday nights on CBS, has been filming in the same location since its Season 1 premiere in 2021. The "NCIS" spin-off stars Vanessa Lachey as Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant, Noah Mills as Senior Field Agent Jesse Boone, and Alex Tarrant as rookie agent Kai Holman. Together, along with a team of Naval Criminal Investigation Service agents who work out of the Pearl Harbor office, they solve crimes related to the military and national security on the Hawaiian island.

But beyond "NCIS: Hawaii" and "Hawaii Five-O" filming on the far-flung tropical U.S. state, the two shows share a bigger connection, one that Mills recently revealed during an exclusive interview with Looper.

'NCIS: Hawaii' uses the same historic sound stage as 'Hawaii Five-O'

The original "Hawaii Five-O" first premiered in 1968, airing for 12 seasons before ending in 1980. The show revolved around a fictional state police force led by a former U.S. naval officer (Jack Lord) that cracked cases involving local criminals, international secret agents, and organized crime rings. In 2010, the series was rebooted starring Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan, putting a modern spin on the classic tale. After 10 seasons, the reboot ended its run in 2020, likely at least partially due to O'Loughlin's prior injuries on set preventing him from continuing to perform on the show.

Enter "NCIS: Hawaii," which premiered in the fall of 2021 on CBS, which is, coincidentally, the same network that both versions of "Hawaii Five-O" aired on. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that they not only share the same location but also some of the same set.

"'Hawaii Five-O' filmed on the same sound stage that we're filming on, which is really amazing and historical," said Noah Mills in a recent interview with Looper. "The original 'Hawaii Five-O' was actually filmed there. It's right near Diamond Head, and they have some old placards of the original 'Hawaii Five-O.' It's a very small, historic, dated sound stage, but it's really cool."

It's a special connection that isn't lost on Mills, who was born in Canada, raised in Maryland, and now splits his time between Hawaii and California.

"I feel super lucky to be filming there because a lot of times, sound stages are in an industrial area because they need the space," he said. "We have this really special, historic, cute sound stage, right near where a lot of us live... I feel very privileged to be there... It's isolated, but there's a certain privilege. The natural beauty of the place really knocks any silliness out of you if you're feeling homesick... You're driving home and the sun's setting, there's a rainbow, and the surf's perfect, and you're like, 'Whoa, I get to work here.'"

"NCIS: Hawaii" airs Mondays at 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS.