Ian Anthony Dale adds CEO and Director to his list of credits.
Ian Anthony Dale’s striking looks alone are enough to beguile viewers. But there’s a lot more to the handsome actor than meets the eye.
Beneath the surface, the Hawaii Five-0 star describes himself as logical, practical and mild-mannered—far from his on-screen character, Adam Noshimuri, who can be a bit of a hot head. But they share some similarities, too.
“Adam is an investigator, and I’m extremely inquisitive by nature,” explains Dale. “I like to learn. I like to understand how things work. I like to research. And I like to problem-solve and fix things.”
In reel news and in real life, Dale has a lot on his plate these days. He made his directorial debut early last December for an episode of Hawaii Five-0 expected to air this month. He also started a production and development company called 20K, with a focus on inclusivity and diversity.
At home, he and wife Nicole Garippo have a 2-year-old son, Roman, and as of this writing, was expecting a daughter in January.
“(Directing) was one of the most challenging yet gratifying experiences of my professional career,” shares Dale. “I’ve had almost 20 years to become comfortable in front of the camera, and this was my first time out (as a director). There were days on set where I had lightning storms happening inside my body, and fortunately I was able to keep it together because that’s part of the responsibility.
“It was some of the most intense stress that I ever felt, but when you line up that perfect shot or you get that perfect performance out of somebody or that perfect take and just everything aligns, it’s so gratifying.”
Born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Dale has three half-brothers and one sister. His dad, Jack Dale, was a professional hockey player who played on the 1968 U.S. Olympic hockey team, and mom Olga was head nurse of a pediatric emergency room.
“Sports was pretty important in my household, and my love was baseball,” recalls Dale. “I played it almost every day as a child and well into my late teens. But I hit a point where I wasn’t good enough to continue advancing to the next level, and I also suffered some injuries.
“Right around that exact same time, I discovered theater—and I discovered something else that I could become obsessively passionate about.”
Ironically, Dale says he was an insular, shy kid, deathly afraid of public speaking and very much an introvert.
“The first time I ever auditioned, it was sort of an out-of-the-body experience that I don’t quite remember because my heart was beating so hard,” he says. “That’s all I could hear. I couldn’t hear my own voice.”
Nevertheless, he went on to earn a BA in Communications with an emphasis on film at University of Wisconsin and moved to Los Angeles for a shot at Hollywood. With the help of a cousin who worked as a production designer, he got his foot in the door as a set dresser, builder and greensman. A couple of years later, he made his way to the front of the camera, and has since added more than four dozen film credits to his name, including television shows totaling over 200 episodes.
He starred as deputy secretary of defense Harris Edwards in Salvation, and Lieutenant Jim Koto in Murder in the First; was a series regular on Surface, and had recurring roles on Day Break, 24 and Criminal Minds. He also appeared on TV series American Horror Story, The Mentalist, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; played Scorpion in the popular web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy; and has worked on films Wakefield, XOXO, The Hangover, Tekken, The Bucket List, Mr. 3000 and more.
“I said if I don’t give this a try, I’ll always regret it, and I was very fortunate that the acting thing worked out,” says Dale, 41. “But it was always in the back of my mind that I would like to try directing. That would be the natural sort of evolution of my career.”
As an Asian American (he’s of Japanese, French and English descent), Dale admits his journey in the entertainment industry hasn’t been easy. He’s proud of where he is today, but says there’s still a lot he wants to accomplish as an actor. He wants to be No. 1 on a call sheet, and dreams of a big action role (think Marvel superhero, maybe Namor). He also is on a mission to help others like him through 20K.
“My partner Charlton Blackburne and I started the company because we felt a growing need to become more involved in the efforts to reshape the television landscape to be more reflective of the diverse world around us,” explains Dale.
“The name 20K represents the $20,000 restitution payments paid by the U.S. government to surviving members of the Japanese internment camps of World War II,” he notes. “In the same way, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 changed the way we as a society perceived and recognized each other as human beings worthy of compassion and consideration. We want to ensure that with every story we tell, we remain mindful of the fact that everybody—no matter where you come from or what your socioeconomic status—has a voice and a story, and deserves an opportunity to tell that story.”
While home is in Los Angeles, Dale has been coming to Hawai‘i on and off for the past 17 years, starting from when he was cast in a Fox pilot called The Break. He lived at Turtle Bay Resort for three weeks, surfed Banzai Pipeline with the highly respected group of waterman from Da Hui and built relationships that have continued on to Hawaii Five-0.
“What an introduction to the island,” he remembers. “I was this 24-year-old kid from Minnesota and had only spent a couple of years in LA at that point, and I fell in love with this place immediately and the people.
For the last three seasons of Hawaii Five-0, Dale has been renting a home near the Hawaii Five-0 set at Hawai‘i Film Studio in Diamond Head.
When he’s not busy working, you might find him at Kahala Theatres on a Saturday night or Senia, his favorite restaurant on the island. He’s also a regular at Japanese Restaurant Aki, and loves to hike (top spots include Ka‘au Crater or the simpler Makapu‘u Lighthouse with his family).
He also likes drive out to the North Shore (with stops at Ted’s Bakery and Hale‘iwa Joe’s) to jump in the water.
“Hawai‘i feels more like home than any other place in the world for me right now, and certainly to my son.
“We’ve got a big beautiful backyard. We’re one block away from beach access. It’s such a luxury to be able to come home from work, and there’s still a couple hours of sun in the day, and I can scoop up my son and jump in the water for a little bit—very precious moments.”
Dale also is a fan of architecture, particularly mid-century modern architecture, and builds furniture in the little spare time he has. He’s also a neat freak (move over, Marie Kondo) and likes to keep things as simple as possible, which can be a struggle when you have young children.
“Right now, Roman has got so many toys, and I’m just like, are all of these really sparking joy for you?” he laughs.
Oh, and he’s got Spam in his roots, with Hormel, the makers of Spam, based in Minnesota. In fact, he once dressed a kitchen set for Nickelodeon and ended up happily taking home 100 cans of Spam for himself afterwards.
“I think I was destined to end up here.”
About the Setting
After learning of Ian Anthony Dale’s affinity for mid-century modern architecture, HILuxury’s creative team knew exactly where his cover story should be shot: Honolulu’s iconic IBM Building. Designed by Vladimir Ossipoff, the building—known for its brise-soleil—now houses Howard Hughes Hawai‘i offices, a Ward Village Master Plan Information Center as well as showrooms for future Ward Village projects. The building underwent a restoration and renovation, preserving its bones and strengthening its interiors. Today, the parking lot is a community space that hosts Courtyard Brunch events, movie screenings and yoga classes. Passersby will also see the façade lit at night to highlight local and national causes. As Ossipoff told the Honolulu Advertiser in 1966: “Not only does the systematic and repetitious pattern of the concrete grille express the computer-world character of the IBM Corp, but it also gives the building a sense of belonging in the sun. The deep shadows of the grillwork become as significant a part of the architecture as any part of the structure itself.” wardvillage.com
photographer MARK ARBEIT
photographer’s assistant MARVEN CADAVONA
wardrobe stylist KIM SMITH
makeup + hair KECIA LITTMAN
shot on location at HOWARD HUGHES IBM BUILDING wardvillage.com