Daniel Dae Kim has lived the kind of unlikely success story that fuels the very engine of Hollywood dreams: toddler emigre from South Korea grows up to earn master's degree, snags plaudits on stage, which leads to eventual blockbuster-TV-success with 'Lost' and then 'Hawaii Five-0.' He's living the dream for sure, but what gets us most is that those last two major jobs, spanning nearly the past decade, have paid him to live in Oahu. (Is there no justice?) In a chat with us, the conversation included his days growing up listening to Ozzy: "Easton, [PA], was a steel town, so every band that came around tended to be heavy metal," Kim says of his hometown. "I saw Iron Maiden and Motley Crue. I saw Ozzy twice. It moved on eventually more recent pursuits like deep-sea fishing with Josh Holloway, to his desert island album picks (curveball: XTC's 'Skylarking'). Kim was also a veritable goodwill ambassador for the Aloha State, and gamely dished on his favorite restaurant, the most scenic spot to cruise, and beaches with sand like pink powder. Click on the gallery below for more. Launch Gallery >>
To the envy of every ensemble actor doing hard time in Burbank, the majority of Kim's television career has been performing on blockbuster shows like 'Lost' and 'Hawaii Five-0,' both of which are based in sunny Hawaii. This, not surprisingly, has set well with Kim, who has lived here for nearly a decade. "You would think in the middle of the Pacific all of the islands are the same, but each one actually does have its own character," he says. "Maui is great for water sports, has beautiful beaches, but there are still little towns you can go visit in case you get bored just hanging out on a beach all day. The Big Island is huge – you can fit all the other islands inside the Big Island, geographically. They all have pretty distinct characters." Still, when forced to pick a favorite, Kim chose Oahu over all the others. "I like visiting all of the other ones, but Oahu is my home."