Five-0's Chi McBride: Grover Makes Waves With an Unpopular Hunch

Hawaii Five-0 Spoilers

Though the weather is a marked upgrade from, say, where Human Target was filmed (“It only rains twice a year in Vancouver: once for five months, one for four,” he quips), Hawaii Five-0‘s idyllic setting is almost inconsequential to Chi McBride‘s enjoyment of his latest TV role.

“I’m always having a good time doing a show. Well, I take that back — there was one time I didn’t,” the veteran actor reports with a chuckle (and without naming names). “But I like to have fun, man. Because at the end of the day, we’re not pulling a grapefruit-sized tumor out of some kid’s head. If you can’t have fun making a TV show, what’s the point?”

McBride’s extensive TV resume includes runs on UPN’s short-lived The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer (headlining as President Lincoln’s butler), The Nine, Pushing Daisies, House and CBS’ one-and-done Golden Boy. He made his debut on CBS’ Five-0 — as Chicago-born SWAT team boss Lou Grover — in September 2013, and was upgraded to series regular not long after.

In the show’s most recent finale, after Grover was forced into retiring from SWAT, he was promptly met by Steve McGarrett’s offer of a job with the Five-0 team. As such, he now gets to run-and-gun regularly alongside Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park.'Ike Hanau (Instinct)

In this Friday’s episode (CBS, 9/8c), McBride’s character steps to the fore when the wife of a visiting, longtime friend (played by Justified’s Mykelti Williamson) suffers a fatal fall while out hiking. It’s a tragic accident that, to hear one man tell it, perhaps wasn’t.

“It may not be what it appears to be,” McBride says of Grover’s surprising and unpopular POV. “There may be more to it, so I start pursuing it as a crime, yet nobody thinks it’s going anywhere. And it evolves into something that Grover never expected.”

The mystery’s unexpected path paves the way for some compelling, emotional monologues from McBride, capped by a closing scene featuring Grover as you have never seen him before. Yet even after the screen fades to black, the actor teases, the intense storyline “is not over. There’s much more to it.”

McBride shrugs off the import of Grover-centric storylines, noting, “I’ve been doing this for 25 years, so I’ve had a lot of opportunities to do some cool stuff, with some really good writers — and [Hawaii Five-0 showrunner] Peter Lenkov is no exception to that. Hawaii Five-0 is an action-adventure series and we don’t make these kind of departures often, but this is one of those times.”

Besides, he repeatedly states, “The work is the work,” elevated largely by those you do it with — another aspect in which Five-0 excels, he says.

“I’m not one of those ‘What’s my motivation? Where’s my truth?’ actors,” McBride confesses. “It’s all pretend, so I try to have a good time wherever I go. But it really is a gas to be working on this show. Interacting with the people, with the cast and crew, and what goes on between set-ups… That’s the fun I’m talking about. I try to choose my jobs based on the potential of the material, and the rest of it is working with good people.”

Want more scoop on H50, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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21 Comments
  1. Grace says:

    Thank you for the H50 interview, Matt! Excited to see Grover take the spotlight in this episode. Really curious about what he says about the ending of the episode. Also, this is the one where Danno and Shaw get stuck in the elevator with a dead body, so from the preview scene it looks like they’ll have some good stuff to work with, too.

  2. jasie says:

    Loved him in Boston Public. Great series that i wish would get a DVD treatment.

  3. Mr. Tran K says:

    Chi McBride is doing a fine job since joining the cast of H50 during the beginning of the season but I’m still hoping that the series should get renewed for a sixth season soon (fingers crossed).

  4. Sarah says:

    very excited for this episode! Both storylines sound great and I can’t wait to learn more about Grover! Thanks for the article!
    Can someone please just tell me if we have any Steve and Danny scenes this episode too?

  5. Rinnie says:

    Love him in the show!! Really hope the show sticks around for a 6th season ’cause I LOVE the current 5-0 team

  6. sladewilson says:

    I love 5-0 and Chi McBride is one of the best actors out there today. I’m so happy he’s getting an episode to shine. Now if they can actually keep the cast together for at least one more season, that would be great!!!!

  7. justsomeguy says:

    You just had to mention Human Target. I really enjoyed that show.

  8. Steve F. says:

    Loved him in Pushing Daisies and Human Target! (Wonder if the show in question he didn’t enjoy working on was The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer…)

  9. Love that Chi seems like such a down-to-earth guy and actor! And yeah, this episode is great and really emotional.

  10. Joey Padron says:

    great interview. happy Hawaii Five-0 is finally back! can’t wait to watch new episode!

  11. A fan of TV says:

    I’m from Vancouver, and that’s the funniest Raincouver joke I’ve yet to hear (and they’re not exactly in short supply, since its true what McBride says!)

  12. gloria says:

    I must have missed something! When did Grover get married?

  13. that was an awesome episode & while i was watching it i kept thinking about this interview & it being a “different kind of ep” & as grover was looking thorugh the guys house i said to myself it really doesn’t feel that different.

    also as much as i love the cast hiring Chi McBride is the best decision the show has ever had

    thirdly i’m kinda rooting for danny & Dr. Shaw & also is it me does Amanda Setton(Dr. Shaw) kinds resemble Teilor Grubbs (grace)?

  14. Jessie Swann says:

    When did lou grover get his wife did I miss something

  15. cw says:

    When was Grovers wife introduced on Hawaii 5 O?

    • S McMary says:

      I believe the actress first appeared in the episode when Grover’s daughter got kidnapped but they didn’t refer to her as his wife at the time. I thought she was his girlfriend because I remember in the Thanksgiving episode when Steve was explaining to Danny why, despite their initial hostility, he was inviting Lou to dinner because all his family was in Chicago. I guess offscreen the writers had them join up with him. The last time he mentioned her was the episode when he was trying to help his daughter through her PTSD. He said they would get through it as a family; him, her mother, her brother, and her. This last episode was probably the most they featured her. I hope when/if they do another Lou centric episode she comes back because I like the actress and she and Chi McBride make a believable and refreshingly supportive married couple.

  16. Karen says:

    Excellent episode and McBride’s performance was OUTSTANDING!

  17. demi says:

    PLEASE keep the cast together for another season or so. I love h50 and Chi McBride, he is yummy!