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Stephen Hill Reveals What T.C. Really Thinks of Magnum P.I.'s Main Romance
Stephen Hill also admitted in an interview with NBC Insider why learning to fly a helicopter like T.C. was such a terrifying experience.
Magnum P.I. fans have long awaited an official romance between private investigators Thomas Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Juliet Higgins (Perdita Weeks). They ultimately found themselves satisfied in the Season 4 finale — and they weren’t alone.
Actor Stephen Hill, who portrays former U.S. Marine and trusted Magnum ally Theodore “T,C.” Calvin, opened up about the new relationship between Magnum and Higgins in Season 5 while speaking with NBC Insider’s Stephanie Gomulka.
It turns out Hill agreed it was a long time coming.
“Our characters are POWs; we’re rescued or escaped, and I think when you’re faced with a life-and-death situation like that, and somebody has a shot of love, you’re rooting for that,” said Hill. “You’re like, ‘Brother, go ahead, man. What are you waiting for? You obviously have undeniable chemistry with his woman. Please get with Higgins.’”
Hill’s statements echoed those of Magnum P.I. showrunner Eric Guggenheim, who previously said Magnum and Higgins’ individual personalities made for “fantastic chemistry.”
Hill said other characters in the show, including Teuila “Kumu” Tuileta (Amy Hill) and Orville “Rick” Wright (Zachary Knighton), have been “secretly” rooting for a romance between Magnum and Higgins alongside the audience.
“I don’t know if it’s gonna work,” said Amy Hill (no, she's not related to Stephen Hill!). “I’m sort of the naysayer in the bunch. I’m happy for them, but it’s not necessarily fully like, ‘Wow, finally!’ I don’t think Kumu feels that way.”
T.C. may finally be getting the love he deserves this season as he begins to date firefighter Mahina, portrayed by Emily Alabi, and Hill is here for it.
Hill described Mahina as “kind of a badass" and said the long wait to get a glimpse into T.C.’s love life is finally paying off.
“It took me five seasons,” he said. “We really got to earn those moments and I’m happy to have them now with an excellent actress by the way.”
Hill also noted onscreen moments such as the kiss shared between Magnum and Higgins were well worth the wait.
“Look how long it took for Magnum and Higgins to kiss,” he said. “I think on a show like this, those moments are really earned … We really got to earn those moments, and I’m happy to have them now.”
When not getting in touch with his more emotional side, T.C., a former Marine chopper pilot, can be found operating helicopter tours for Island Hoppers. However, learning to fly IRL didn’t come so easy for Hill, who relied on the guidance of the late Roger E. Mosley, who played T.C. Calvin in the original Magnum, P.I. series in the 1980s, Hill told NBC Insider.
“So, what happened is Roger Mosley told me, ‘You better use this opportunity to learn how to fly a helicopter,’” said Hill.
But Hill explained that plans to take flying lessons were thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic, when “everybody was kind of huddled in their house and scared to come outside.” But he continued taking “mini lessons” — part of an “insider secret.”
“I get tiny lessons,” Hill told NBC Insider. “Whenever I’m up in the air, they just explain the controls, and I’m looking forward to that tomorrow because I’ll be up in the air tomorrow.”
Hill said that, unlike T.C., he was a bit apprehensive when learning to fly due to his fear of heights.
“I was afraid to tell them that when I booked this job,” he admitted. “I was like, ‘I can’t tell them, they’re not gonna hire me, they’re gonna fire me if they find out.’ But I’m not afraid of heights in the helicopter. Weird.”
Hill explained that he has yet to earn his helicopter pilot’s license.
“But I do know the ins and outs,” Hill continued. “Hopefully, if I had to go rescue someone, I might kind of know what I’m doing. Hopefully.”
Series fans visiting Hawaii can also take their own Magnum P.I.-inspired helicopter tour in Oahu, which you can learn about here.