October 6th, 2010
02:00 PM ET
If you thought Masi Oka was resting on his laurels following the cancellation of "Heroes," think again.
Oka, who received an Emmy nomination for his role as Hiro on the NBC series, returns to television October 18 on the new "Hawaii Five-O." He'll play Dr. Max Bergman, a childhood piano prodigy who now serves as the Honolulu County Medical Examiner.
It turns out that the actor avoided watching episodes of the original series, as he "didn't want to re-enact what worked decades ago," Oka told reporters during a conference call.
As for playing a medical examiner, Oka admitted that he got out a few of his college organic chemistry textbooks to see what he could learn, but soon remembered that the class wasn't his favorite.
Oka described his character on "Five-O" as a socially awkward genius who would prefer to be in the morgue or playing the piano rather than be outside. He keeps a piano where he works, so don't be surprised if he needs to "tickle the ivories" to help himself get his point across.
Playing a medical examiner does make him a bit queasy, Oka admitted, but the hardest part is putting on the rubber gloves. "Acting schools need to teach the art of putting them on," he said. But other than that, the actor has had fun working with the cast; he's already filmed two episodes, and there may be plans to do more.
Oka believes the revival has been a hit with fans because it's a good example of what he called "TV comfort food" - it's smart, sexy and has clear storylines that viewers can connect with.
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