There's a new detective on Oahu.
Quinn Liu may not have been a great fit as a military policeman. But she's enjoying her rebirth as a member of Steve McGarrett's Hawaii Five-0 task force.
So is Katrina Law, who plays Quinn on the long-running CBS procedural Hawaii Five-0, now airing at 8/9c Fridays.
Law is best known for her roles as Mira on Spartacus and as Nyssa al Ghul on Arrow, two other tough female characters.
Quinn replaced Jorge Garcia's Jerry Ortega, who left Five-0 to write a book on a favorite conspiracy theory on Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Episode 1.
During a recent break from filming, Law talked about her kick-ass character, her reception on the series, and motherhood.
How did the opportunity to join Hawaii Five-0 come about?
I did a pilot for CBS that didn't get picked up. I think in general, they enjoyed my performance, and they asked if I wouldn't mind putting myself down on tape for Hawaii Five-0 because there was a new role coming up. And I did. So that's how I ended up getting linked up with Hawaii Five-0.
How familiar were you with the series prior to that?
I'd definitely watched a handful of episodes from a scattering of any one of the previous nine seasons during my travels around the world and in the U.S. When I was shooting Arrow. I'm not gonna lie, I would sit there and watch the Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS marathons. So I feel like I've watched quite a few episodes of Hawaii Five-0.
Much like Quinn, you're joining a long-established team. How's your transition been?
It's been very smooth. From the cast and crew, everyone's been wonderful, and Alex has just been absolutely beautiful about making sure I felt welcome and comfortable with everybody. In general, it's been a lovely experience, and they are a lovely ohana to be a part of.
Even the fans have been super-gracious. You always get nervous joining anything because you're the new kid at school, and you get nervous about fitting in, whether people like you or not, all the normal things that go along with being new.
Everybody's been fantastic. The fans have been wonderful and super-supportive of the new character and have been reaching out to say how much they have been enjoying Quinn. And that really makes me feel good.
How would you describe Quinn?
Quinn is definitely a bad-ass chick who is out there in the world to hopefully make a difference and do some good. But at the same time, the thing I enjoy most about her is that there is a very vulnerable side to her.
Even though she's super bad-ass and is directly able to take down people and go toe to toe with a monster truck, you're just as likely to find her sitting at home with a glass of wine, doing a crossword puzzle.
Quinn is still largely a mystery to viewers after four episodes. When will we find out more about her back story?
I think it's going to be a slow burn. I think that's one of the wonderful things about being part of an ensemble cast is that there are so many stories to tell that you get to spread them out over episodes if not seasons. We'll start to learn about Quinn slowly.
I'm still learning about her. Every time she does something or says something, I'm a little surprised as an actress, going “Oh. So that's my girl.” I'm really liking how the writers are handling her and how serious she is. The thing I'm discovering more and more is how much of a sense of humor she actually has.
What do you see as Quinn's role on the team?
Quinn loves being part of the Five-0 team. She's truly honored, and it's where she wants to be. She is in the process of proving herself to the team.
She knows how great the team is and how much respect she has for them, and she wants them to know she is just as worthy and is capable of handling cases with them. It's not out of competition; it's out of respect to go “I belong here, and I want you guys to think I belong here as well.”
She's more of a straight shooter. She does wear her emotions on her sleeve, but she's very pragmatic as well. She's a quick thinker. She's more of the type of person to talk her way in or out of a situation rather than get into a fight. Not to say she wouldn't throw down, but I think she would rather use her brain than her brawn.
Quinn seems to have quickly become comfortable at Five-0, more so than she was in the military. Is that indeed the case?
Yes, yes. She's more of a renegade. As much as she loves the rules and thinks that society needs them and that they should be applied, there are times when a little too much red tape is annoying to her.
She definitely likes to get to the point if she sees something as the crow flies versus having to jump through 20 hoops and go off course, she'd rather fly straight.
You've played quite a few hard-edged, kick-ass characters. Do you ever yearn for a nice, light romantic comedy?
That's what the Hallmark Channel is for. And yes, I do.
Are there any other upcoming projects you'd like to mention?
Not at the moment. I am full-time engrossed in Five-0 life.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
That's a tricky question because, in my spare time, my all-consuming priority right now is my 10-month-old baby. I hang out with my baby, and I go to work. I completely love my work and my career, but I'm just as excited to go home and hang out with my baby. I kind of see that being my future for at least the next couple of years.
Eventually, I might want to go traveling again. I would love to be able to travel with my daughter. But right now she's still tiny and it's hard.
Hawaii Five-0 airs at 8/9c on CBS.
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Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.