Filming in the Aloha State always brings back memories for Lee. “I went to elementary school there; I always feel like I’m at home when I’m there,” say Lee, who has a recurring role of confidential informant Sang Min on the long-running cop drama, which will call it a day after its current 10th season.
Working with Daniel Dae Kim (who played Chin Ho Kelly) was a bonus too. “Daniel and I have been friends for a long time,” Lee quips. “We were both up-and-coming actors [who were always bumping into each other] at auditions.”
Has Lee ever lost a role to his future Good Doctor colleague/boss? “I lost Divergent: [Allegiant] to him.”
Sang Min wasn’t written with Lee in mind. Recalls Will: “My buddy [Len Wiseman] who directed the pilot, called me, ‘[the character] was written for a 300-pound Hawaiian guy and we can’t find anybody to do this.’” I said yes but I knew it was a one-time guest role, can I go crazy with it? He said, ‘Alright’.
“I went and bought a wig and showed up on set. Between [showrunner] Peter Lenkoff and Len Wiseman, they were both going, ‘Who did we hire?’ It was quiet for a long time. I think they hurdled up in the producers’ tent not knowing what to make of my first scene. It was fun.
“I came up with that character’s look after a late night in a casino in LA. I saw this guy playing poker at our table and he literally wore this black turtleneck with gold necklace. He had a mullet, he’s Asian and he was the craziest character at the table and that’s who I modelled Sang Min on.”