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Hollywood star proud to be offstage at Teuila Festival

Among a crowd of proud fathers watching their daughters perform at the Teuila Festival on Friday night was a famous face.

Hollywood actor, Eric Scanlan, of Faleula, best known for his role in Hawaii-Five-0 was watching on as his nine-year-old daughter, Tava’esina Scanlan, participated in a Wednesday night variety show that left the audience captivated.

Tava’esina performed a Tahitian dance and, for the actor who is half Philippino half Samoan, watching his youngest take to performing has been a special experience. 

“It’s been beautiful watching the performances as I also benefit from it,” he said.

This year’s trip is the second time his family has visited Samoa.

Last summer in 2018 was his first holiday to Samoa’s shores. 

He fondly recalls a family trip that afforded them a chance to visit almost everywhere in Samoa that was good, with the exception of Manu’a due to some inclement weather.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Los Angeles, he travelled back and forth between L.A. and Hawaii. 

The 43-years-old is married to Jazmine and they have three children. 

His acting career began with his casting for a small independent film that came of Carson, California. 

“It is very easy, very natural and it showed through the final film and from that I was able to get a lot of attention, leading to other opportunities which eventually resulted in the audition for Hawaii-Five-O,” he said. 

Once he got on that, he booked it and it went on and well as they continued to develop the role of the dad character, Natano, whom he portrayed. 

Despite how challenging the experience is of being in the acting field, he shares of how it’s been great and rewarding as he’s been able to meet other actors and Samoans in the same profession too. 

He is grateful for the opportunity to showcase how beautiful Samoan characters can be. Even though the roles he sometimes must play are ruthless. 

He continues to say: “In order to tell a compelling story, sometimes you’d have to dip into [those uncomfortable] areas.”

But this trip is mainly to support his daughter’s performance and the benefits for charity. 

Their eldest and only boy Epati, is 20-years-old and is currently attending college at Long Beach State in California. 

And his two daughters who are in Samoa with him are nine-year-old Tava’esina and four-year-old, Atamai. 

At the end of the day, the trip has been mostly about service. 

“To give is more important than anything else. It also accomplishes multiple things at the same time,” he says. 

It wasn’t until his early 20s in the 2000’s that he had the chance to visit American Samoa, where his dad is originally from. 

Now he wants to show his two daughters, the true reality of what it means to be a Samoan. 

To let them see and get to experience for themselves, the ultimate core of whom they are as daughters of Samoa.

“We are all from the same family and we tend to encounter the same challenges. We all do what we can in the best way we can to preserve our beautiful culture of our Samoa,” he said. 


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