“Anything that helps–just keep it on the air,” the Aussie actor joked about the buzz generated by talk of his many shirtless scenes. “I’ll get the whole kit off if you do that.”
O’Loughlin is refreshingly irreverent about his new status as a heartthrob as well. Despite those ubiquitous billboards, he is convinced he is safely hidden behind Mick St John. “It doesn’t look like me!” he laughs. “It doesn’t even look like Mick! Between the wind machine blowing my hair around and the retouching, it looks nothing like me.”
Premiering last week the new CBS vampire drama “Moonlight” took a cue from Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt’s “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” spin-off series “Angel”, about a vampire detective with a soul fighting the good fight in Los Angeles. The series, originally called “Twilight” from producer Joel Silver never actually had a full pilot filmed initially, and instead presented the network with selected scenes to get a green light.
Alex O’Loughlin plays our new leading vamp named Mick St. John, a Los Angeles detective who has sympathy for human kind. He gets his blood from a fellow vamp at the local morgue and generally tries to do something positive with his immortal gifts. His greatest temptation is the love of his afterlife, Beth, played by British actress Sophia Myles. O’Loughlin took a few minutes out of fighting the good fight to fill ‘iF Magazine’ in on the series that never was, and what we can expect from a new breed of undead hero.
iFMagazine.com, October 2007
iF: You’ve said you are a big Anne Rice fan. Will that blend of blood, sex, lust, love and everything in be incorporated into the vampires on MOONLIGHT?
Alex: Yeah, I’m a big Anne Rice fan. We’re on CBS network TV and there’s only so much we can show and only so much we can do in front of the cameras. We can incorporate anything emotionally behind the characters and how they work. I don’t think the world of MOONLIGHT is quite as erotic as the world of Anne Rice, but the levels of mysticism and the depth of character and the romanticism in her books is definitely there. All of those things are especially present in my character.
iF: How much changed from the original pilot to the current way the series is?
Alex: There are some fundamental differences. There is a lighter touch. The original pilot wasn’t really a pilot, it was a pilot presentation. It was like a pilot with all of the extraneous exposition taken out and it was just fiery scenes back to back. It was two hundred hours we shot in twelve days of really intense highly emotional scenes and we tied all these big storylines together in one thirty minute episode. So, what we’ve done now is brought those big storylines and spread them across the first three episodes; it’s diluted six to one essentially. The magic of the story hasn’t been diluted and the cast hasn’t been diluted. We’ve just spread out these pinnacles of storytelling that we’re going to go into.
iF: So did your character change then?
Alex: No not really. Not too much. Actually, you know what, no. Essentially what has happened for me is I am now able to be lighter which is great. It’s what I really wanted. He’s a pretty dark dude, but he was a dark and brooding dude before when I did the pilot. Essentially, it was just the way he came together and how it was cut together; like a lot of the smiles were cut from the original presentation. It was really dark before and that’s not the most interesting way to spend a Friday night, if you know what I mean. We want people to let this guy into their living rooms every week.
iF: So the vampire can be dark but he also has to be charming and appealing?
Alex: Yeah, absolutely. As an actor I approach this character, as a guy who just happens to be a vampire. He just happens to have this curse that he didn’t want and didn’t ask for and now it just so happens he has to live off of human blood. Other than that; he’s just a normal guy.
Here are some of the differences between the original pilot and Moonlight, which we highlighted in a story last year.
“So You Think You Can Dance”…….I love it so much, I love it so much, I can’t , I dream about it. Listen I don’t care if the world knows, this is the thing. I DVR it, if I don’t get to watch it within 72 hours of the DVR’ing, I get extremely grumpy, I get short with the kids, I get short with people at work. I have to watch it and I get very emotional when it’s on, when my people gets cut I sometimes get a little,….. I get a little upset. I have been known to get a bit misty.
I vote for more solo numbers. They are the winners! Keep on dancing Alex, you´ve got the moves :D
This interview was recorded in November 2013, at the press day in LA
Franck: Since the beginning of the season Kono and Adam are hiding. How does it affect the relation between the whole team?
Alex: I think the team, it’s interesting, it’s just sort of been the boys, you know. It’s been Chin and Steve and Danny, and Kono we’ve been checking in with constantly. She’s actually about to come back. But I don’t know, it’s sort of, it’s been weird not having Kono arround, but it’s felt like she’s there anyway. It sort of just works anyway. The structure of the team works. We have been checking in with her on video calls and stuff. I don’t know. I guess a little bit, maybe it’s a bit of a boys club at the moment but it hasn’t felt that fractured
Franck: So Steve’s mom keep tricking him. How much compassion should and will he have with her?
Alex: This is an interesting question because. I don’t know what they have planned. I haven’t seen any scripts that reflect it, but when they do write something, I am gonna have a part to do with it, because this is an extremely painful topic for this man, or for anyone. You can’t write something that dramatic, like a woman who faked her own death for 20 years and then coming back and then leave again. You can’t write it haphazardly. You have to be very careful when you write that because….. I know it is like a cop show and stuff, but if we are talking about things that would affect a human on an emotional level, it could potentially kind of destroy someones trust with women forever. So it’s a tough one. It is something that is just pushed down for now.
Franck: You just shot a Pearl Harbor episode?
Alex: Yeah, it is a beautiful episode.
Franck: How important was it to pay homage to Hawaii? Because that is where you guys are shooting.
Alex: It is incredibly important. When you see the episode, it’s not just about Hawaii, in fact more so about the Japanese population of Hawaii. And it’s about the Japanese people and the families who were in Hawaii in the 40’s. What happened to them after the segregation that went up with the camps and what happened. All the stuff that I didn’t know about. I didn’t know there was interment camps in Hawaii. I didn’t know so ignorant about the way it went down. It is an important episode. It airs on December the 6th, on the eve of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. And there is a really nice twist with the McGarrett family and the case that actually goes down. And then we had some incredible actors. I might actually watch that one.
Franck: You do not watch them all?
Alex: No I don’t watch them all. It’s not beneficial for me to watch myself.
Franck: So talking about actors, there is a lot of quest stars this year, Melanie Griffith is part of them?
Alex: Melanie Griffith
Franck: Jorge Garcia, is that how you pronounce it?
Alex: Yeah, and Carol Burnett
Franck: And Carol Burnett as your aunt, that is something?!
Alex: And Nick Jonas. Yeah Carol Burnett, that was, oh man I mean. It was kind of like a dream for me. She’s a generation ahead I didn’t grow up with her show, but of course I seen it. I’ve seen so much of her work over the years. Working with an icon like that is….It really makes you sort of feel so humble. It brings you back to your own size. I had to do one scene with her, that was an emotional scene for McGarrett, and it’s funny. She’s like, when you have to do a scene that is emotional and heavy, a lot of it’s about the actor you are working with, whether or not you can trust them. I was 100% save and 100% of the time with her. So I think that scene is going to be good. But she is incredible, man.
Franck: Talking about actors. How well do you get along with you fellow actors from Australia, Simon Baker Hugh Jackman? You guys have some relation together? Are you like a bond
Alex: For sure, it is a small community, so a lot of us know each other. I actually don’t know Hugh . I’d love to get to know Hugh. I know Simon, I know a lot of the other guys. A lot of us worked together back in Australia too. There is not that much happening over there. It is not like here. It’s great and the community from when I first came out here in ’97, the community is so much broader. So many more Australians here now. It’s nice, a lot of expats
Franck: You have a son. How is it to raise him in Hawaii? He was born just a year ago?
Alex: Yeah, my youngest son, he’s the best. He was a year old last week. He’s great. He loves it, he’s got no worries. He is just up and around walking and doing what one year old’s do. Trying to touch all the dangerous stuff. Trying to break things. Trying to ride the dog. He’s having a good time.
Franck: Last question. How do you wish to see, not right now, but when the show end – What you wish is for Steve, for the last episode for Steve, to go, to be, to do?
Alex: Wow, I never thought. I hope that that’s a long time away, but …….oh man.
Franck: Like something peaceful or something dramatic? Knowing the character?
Alex: No, I think that it would have to be that he find some sort of peace, with everything – his dad, his mom, with everything the way it’s all gone down. He’s had a lot of loss that guy. He’s lost a lot of family, so I think it have to be him coming to a place of resolution and peace, a place where he can live forever, calm.
You can watch the video here