Nick Jonas is back - and Chi McBride is pissed!
To be fair, the singer will return on Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 Episode 22, as Ian Wright, the villainous computer hacker we met in Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 Episode 8. And McBride’s Grover is the one who is not happy at all with Wright’s return primarily because he’s kidnapped Grover’s daughter.
While Grover’s by-the-book-style of law enforcement clashes often with the more rogue efforts of Steve McGarrett and the 5-0 team, we’re going to see a different side of Grover on tonight's finale.
In fact, Chi McBride told TV Fanatic last week that while many think Grover and McGarrett don’t like each other, he’s been playing it completely different.
Also, he stands up to anyone who questions Jonas’s acting or commitment to the job. Finally, does the straight-talking actor have a wish list for Grover next season on the hit crime drama? Let’s find out…
TV Fanatic: So Nick Jonas is back and I hear it really affects Grover so what can you say about the season finale?
Chi McBride: Mr. Jonas returns and he decides that he’s going to have the bright idea of kidnapping Grover’s daughter, which I wouldn’t advise, but you know, that is one way to go, if you’re trying to get the man’s attention.
It ends up being a very intense episode and you see a Grover that you haven’t seen before, because you know, somebody snatched your kids, man, you become a different guy. I’ll just tease it to say that everybody thinks that Grover didn’t like McGarrett because McGarrett’s not by the book and Grover is, and everybody thinks that, and everybody in the world thought that except me.
I told Peter Lenkov that the way I’ve been playing this whole thing the whole season - he was shocked when I told him - I said, “Grover doesn’t disagree with McGarrett. Why they don’t get along is professional jealousy. Grover goes home every night and tells his wife, ‘do you know how many bad guys I can put away if I could do all that same stuff that he does?’ I’ve been playing that the whole season. Nobody’s ever really even thought of that angle, you know, a lot of times when people don’t get along it’s because they’re a lot alike, and once you put one in a position where he can’t be himself and pit him against a guy who’s completely free to be himself and these two people are alike, then you’re going to have a problem.
TVF: So is it safe to say that Grover gets to do a little more McGarrett-esque things in this episode to get the bad guy?
CM: What would you do if somebody had your child?
CM: Exactly. So you’re going to see a side of Grover that’s always been there, and nobody’s known that but him.
TVF: Is he thinking clearly, or is he not even thinking clearly….
CM: He’s thinking completely clearly. The objective is to get my child. There is no, ‘oh boy I wonder which rule this is going to violate,’ you know what I mean? You don’t want to be standing over your child’s grave in the cemetery saying ‘you know, honey, I would have saved you, but my boss, he’d have been really pissed.’ You’re not going to do that.
TVF: Some of my favorite scenes in this season are when Grover’s with his daughter, so you just see that softer side of him….
CM: Yeah. You really see it in this one. His daughter is everything to him.
TVF: What’s everybody else doing? I’m assuming you and McGarrett are kind of driving everything?
CM: Actually, to a point, it’s really just me trying to just deal with what I have to deal with in order to satisfy the wishes of her captor and it requires me to basically put myself into the criminal path.
TVF: When you look at Nick Jonas, he doesn’t look like a bad guy but I thought he pulled it off when he was on earlier in the season.
CM: It’s funny, you know, what Stanley Tucci once said to me. I was talking to him on the set of [the Tom Hanks film], The Terminal. I said, ‘Man you really play bad guys really good man. How do you do that shit?’ and he’s like, ‘Because I don’t think I’m a bad guy. That’s what makes a bad guy, a bad guy. It isn’t the fact that you do bad things, it’s that you don’t have any compunction about doing it and you wonder what the hell is wrong with everybody else.’
And the thing about Nick, I was talking to somebody this morning, I was doing an interview, he was asking me about Nick playing this character and I could hear the derision in his voice, so I called him on it. He’s like, yeah, yeah. I said, ‘Look man, Nick does a really good job, and the kid has some chops, and you believe him…the fan reaction to him after the show was huge, and it wasn’t just 14-year old girls popping gum, calling CBS telling them ‘hi, yeah, this Kisha, when you going to bring back Nick Jonas? He’s so fine!’
That’s not what was happening. It was people who really liked him and really liked what he did with the character…the kid’s got some chops, he can act, he ain’t scared to work and plus, on top of everything else, he’s a good kid. And he likes cigars, so obviously he was raised right.
TVF: Is there any room in the finale for a lighter story, because they have the lighter stuff to sometimes balance out the heavy stuff.
CM: You know, usually when your child gets kidnapped you never wait to miss an opportunity to throw in some jokes. What’s the matter with you? No. [laughs]
TVF: Going into next season, if you had a wish list, what would you like to see happen for Grover?
CM: That Grover remains on the show…you know what I told [showrunner] Peter Lenkov? I told Peter from the beginning, ‘Hey man, this ain’t my show, this is your show, so whatever you’re going to do is fine, because remember if it’s wacked, they’re not going to blame me,’ but on top of everything else though that’s the respect that a show runner deserves…so I’m not the guy that’s always up in the show runner’s office trying to ask him if Grover can wear a new hairstyle or something, you know?
Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 airs Fridays at 9/8c on CBS.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.