Hollywood Actor Talks to Oahu Inmates

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Darrin Yahiku
Darrin Yahiku

WAIPAHU (KHNL) - He's acted in numerous Hollywood films and appears in the NBC hit show, "Heroes." But on this day, actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa took the time to speak to 200 inmates at Waiawa Correctional Facility.

He talked to inmates who are part of a long-term, drug treatment program called Kashbox. Twenty of them are graduating from the program.

"When someone trip you or you trip yourself, that's not a sign of failure to me. The failure is to stand back up," said Tagawa.

The actor, who's been in 40 movies, says he's thrilled to have this opportunity.

"I'm always about encouragement, positive message and can relate a lot to people in trouble," he said.

The actor admits to using drugs in the past and having a difficult childhood growing up in the South.

"It inspires, it makes me feel good that other people went through the same things as me. It gives us hope to move forward, to be successful, maybe not rich like him, but just be successful in life," said Darrin Yahiku, inmate.

"There's so much negativity that usually gets people here and the final point, even leaving a program is how much self esteem they leave with," said Tagawa.

The inmates participate in the Kashbox program for anywhere between 6 and 15 months at Waiawa, which is a minimum-security facility.