In Conversation: Alex O’Loughlin (FILMINK – June 2010)

If anybody ever wondered why I adore this man so much – read this article………..

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There are overnight stars, and there are those whose careers take a little longer to percolate. Enter 34-year-old Australian actor ALEX O’LOUGHLIN, a Hollywood transplant of five years, and the survivor  of two high profile cancelled US TV series, Moonlight and Three Rivers. His role opposite Jennifer Lopez in the rom-com THE BACK-UP PLAN, however, might be the one to seal the deal for him in Hollywood. Raised in Sydney – the son of an astronomy teacher and a nurse – this high school dropout backpacked around the globe before following his dream to become an actor, winning his first lead role in the local hit Oyster Farmer six years ago.

– By Gill Pringle

 Question: Do you have to fight harder, as an Australian, for roles in Hollywood?

Alex: No. but you have to work harder to do the accent. I’ve been working on my US accent for quite some years now, so it’s pretty good.

Question: How was your first year in Hollywood? When you were struggling to find work?

Alex: I had nothing. I ended sleeping on my pal’s office floor while his house was getting sand-blasted and all the floors were being done. The office was sealed off in plastic, so I was literally living in a plastic bubble while the rest of the house was being worked on. I had really dark thoughts in that time. I was very depressed and I went through a lot of pain. I couldn’t see beyond each day. That might sound overly dramatic, but that’s what I experienced. I didn’t know what to do. I had a good friend who came by every morning and took me for coffee and worked out the plan for every day. I didn’t have the money to go home to Australia even if I’d wanted to. It was friendship that kept me strong. Eventually I just thought, “What the hell! Untill you hit your knees, it’s not worth it anyway.”

Question: Did you do crummy jobs to support yourself?

Alex: I’ve done them my entire life. I grew up digging holes and working in construction and demolition. I’ve worked in restaurants and bars. No pun intended but the shittiest job that I’ve done was working for a plumber when I was seventeen. That was shitty! But I don’t care about that. I’m not above that, but it’s good not to have to do it anymore. I’m very lucky to make a living from acting.

Alex SOTB 2011

Question: Who is your mentor in LA?

Alex: Jack Thompson for sure. I’ve had a few mentors over the years; some incredible actors have taken me under their wing and really helped me. But Jack? We’ve done a few pictures together (Oyster Farmer, Man-Thing, Feed), and he potty-trained me! That’s a Jack-ism – when we talk about an actor not behaving well, his response to that is, ‘Aaah mate, bad potty-training.’ He’s absolutely right. So if I behave badly at work, there’s no excuse for it, because I’ve had the best potty-training with Jack. The man has such talent, and such integrity. He and his family have become my family over here.

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Question: You’re starring opposite Jennifer Lopez in the rom-com The Back-Up Plan. One of the themes of the film is that you can never really plan your life, and that love shows up when you least expect it. Do you relate to that?

Alex: Yes, there is an expression: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”, and it’s true to a certain extent. Especially when you’re a parent [Alex has a twelve-year-old son named Saxon], your life moves into another area; you grow up and you move into that level of living. When other people come before you, there are certain considerations that you have to make. You can plan certain things and you can plan for the future, but when it comes to affairs of the heart, you never know who you’re going to meet or when.

Question: Was Jennifer Lopez very different from her public persona?

Alex: Believe it or not, I really didn’t have any preconceptions. I mean, she is smoking hot, and she is super famous, but I don’t read any of that gossip type of stuff. I don’t allow it in my house; I don’t give a shit about it. I never have. I mean, sure, there are certain things that you can’t get away from. For a long time, I’ve had people who are being gossiped about, in my life, since I was very young, so I know that it’s all bullshit. I’ve never plugged into it; I’ve never fed it. It’s a very dangerous part of the machine. That being said, Jennifer was a surprise to me. For someone as hugely famous and popular as she is, I never thought of her as a ‘celebrity.’ I just saw her as a grounded person. She’s a terrific women with a lot of spunk and fire. She’s my kind of person; there’s a lot of joy and a lot of humour in her. All my dearest friends from Australia have that quality – there’s a certain irreverence and that joie de vivre. I feel totally comfortable talking to her; I don’t have to worry about censoring myself. We laugh about the same things, which helped us even more when it came to working together.

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Question: What first attracted you to acting?

Alex: I did a play at school when I was about nine-years-old. I did this skit with two Fish Fingers up my nose, lying on my back, dead. It was a funny skit, and I keenly remember the audience roaring with laughter. I realise that if I did something, there was cause and effect. So the story telling seed was sawn within me, and I loved it. It made perfect sense. I went to drama school when I was 23. I wanted to get the best possible understanding of what I was involved in and where story comes from and all that stuff. I wanted to learn about the history of theatre, and I wanted to learn about my voice and my body. Before that, I started at the very bottom. I washed dishes in restaurants in Kings Cross to pay for night classes in acting. I worked as an extra, just to see how a film set works. I started at the very bottom and worked my way up, which is really a good way to go. I got bits and pieces of work here and there on the other side of the camera too.

Question: And you left school at seventeen. Did you truant a lot?

Alex: Umm, a bit! You know, I truanted a bit, and I’d smoke cigarettes at lunchtime. It wasn’t necessarily rebelling, it was more like, “Who gives a shit!” School was such a bullshit, flawed system anyway – that was how I felt at the time. I’d ask a teacher a question, and I wouldn’t get clear answers. They weren’t actually helping me get through the system. It was a combination of my attitude and the pockets of truth that I held about the system that I was in, and also that ridiculous age when everything’s so important. I had a bit of a wild streak, and I didn’t want to conform. I wasn’t interested in one specific thing. What I was interested in was the world, and traveling, and seeing things and hearing different languages.

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Question: How has fame changed you?

Alex: I’m very private, and I keep a low profile. I just do all my normal things. I live my life, but things are starting to change. We got chased by paparazzi the other night, who were trying to find out where we live. Just little things like that. But I’m not going to change the way I live. I still ride my motorcycles a lot. I have a Triumph Truxton and a friend just built a Harley for me, which was my first Harley. It’s the great American dream to own a Harley. It’s a custom chopper, built from the ground up. It’s very simple, and very cool, sort of like a Mad Max bike. I’ve been riding since I was five-years-old, so it’s like a part of me. I also like rock climbing. I’m very active; I love boxing and running too.

Side note: In February 2010 Alex took possession of the newly painted Evo Sporty, which he talked about here in this interview, from Cro Customs. He later sold the bike and in November 2012 he took possession of another newly built bike from Cro Customs, called Yang Yang.

Not sure if Alex is keeping, selling or maybe already sold Yang, but last week (8 May 2014) the sales person from Cycle City Ltd in Honolulu posted a picture of him and Alex, when Alex was there to buy his new Harley. (Third time Harley-lucky? 😀 )

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Question: What are your dreams for the future?

Alex: It would be crazy not to say it, but one of them is to continue to work. I want to continue working because, when I am working there’s stability in my life. As an actor you are either incredibly unstable or incredibly stable. We get paid well when we work, and everything is okay, but when we’re not working – and those periods can be for years – it can be very disconcerting. I’m living my dream and that’s really cliché, but I’m so happy right now. I’m so happy with my work. I’m healthy, I’m fit, I’ve got a great job and I’ve got friends. I go home and I’m just me! I am who I am. I am Alex – I’m a son, I’m a brother, I’m a father, I’m a lover…..I’m a whatever I am. But I am just me.

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 PS. So much have changed in Alex’s life since this interview. Saxon already turns 17 in less than two months time. Hawaii Five-0 can be seen as a great success for already moving into its 5th Season. And of course Alex experienced issues with his health, sought help and overcame it, added another son and a stepson to his family and tied the knot. But I think the core of what he said in this article and who he is, is still just as relevant as in 2010. It is very much HIM in a nutshell. One of my favorite interviews of him ever……

We plan to post more of Alex’s old interviews and articles during the next few months – most of it will be old news to you, but we hope you all will enjoy it with us! For me it is always a reminder of why I find it worth my while to spend time to get to know him better. The boy next door who followed his dream, worked hard and made not only his life but also so many of our lives better. 🙂

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21 Comments

Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, Interviews

21 responses to “In Conversation: Alex O’Loughlin (FILMINK – June 2010)

  1. buttercup4u

    This is very beautiful, thank you for this, i have never read this before! I’m happy that his endurance has finally paid out, and i hope he is happy now, at his place, with his family!

    Like

  2. karen1228

    Love the article! Please keep em coming! It’s so enjoyable reading about how far Alex’s come. As much as his life has changed, Alex remains the same selfless, thoughtful, humble man. Just makes you love and appreciate him even more.

    Like

  3. Great interview, it shows what a deep core value Alex has. Life changes, life is hard, but hard work pays off. H50 will not last forever but Alex is such a great person and actor that I hope he only has even bigger things in his future. Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to see the other interviews you find 🙂

    Like

  4. Audrey

    This was a fabulous interview. Alex is so eloquent in everything he says and does. How can you not love someone with such a zest for life.

    Like

  5. gracenotpark

    Jeezuz, he is just relentless on the heart, no?
    Great actor, great man.

    I love your plan to revisit old interviews. Y’all are pretty relentless too.

    Thanks for that. 😉

    Like

  6. Sonja

    Thanx for this great interview! I love love love reading Alex’s interviews … he’s such a great, down to earth guy … and I could “listen” to him forever and a day …

    Like

  7. Oh, thanks for this reminder!!! I remember this interview, and I was totally awe-struck the first time I read it and I still am! What’s not to love? He is humble, has a great knowledge of life and is thankful for all good things that have happened to him. He knows and appreciates when his glass is full, but doesn’t forget the times it was empty.
    Beautiful man, inside and out!

    Like

  8. vanduyn

    I have only read snippets of this interview in the past. Thanks so much for posting it. And I love the idea of posting more of his interviews. I think newer fans need to “meet” Alex the man not just a character he plays. Well done 😀

    Like

  9. This is why I like Alex. A hard working man who has known hard times,has kept going because he loves acting and is now successful. May this continue.

    Like

  10. Awesome interview and one I had never read before. Thank you! 🙂 It really gives an insight into what makes him tick and how much he values the ‘real’ things in life that are important. It’s great that he still remains virtually unchanged from those years ago. I would like to shake Jack Thompsons hand for potty training Alex so well because he is so obviously adored and respected on set. 🙂

    Like

  11. alexnymph

    Thanks, FOYeur, for posting this–I love reading his interviews, whether old or new and whether I’ve read them before, and I really look forward to those still to come. I’m always intrigued with his younger (“formative”) years and wish he’d delve into that time a bit more (I thought he was 14 when he quit school). But he’s come so far–and deservedly so–maybe he doesn’t want to look back so much!
    Happy Summer!

    Like

  12. karen

    We have always read that he was 14 when he quit school, and he slept on his friend’s sofa for a year when he came to LA. His integrity as a person always shines thru in these interviews, but I take some of the facts and years, etc. with a grain of salt. Thank you very much for making my day, every day, and giving me my Alex fix.

    Like

    • I have read and listen to so many of his interviews, but as far as I know he was in and out of school. From what I can remember he did leave very young, but also went back until 17. (As soon as I get the one talking about that, I will post it.)
      And also he did live with different friends at times – I know, he also lived with his friend the actor, Martin Henderson at his house. 🙂

      Like

  13. colleen

    Thanks for posting this. I hadn’t read this before but Alex saying he had a wild streak made me laugh. It is nice to read about. How he behaved when he was a kid and how he acts now. More reason to love him. 🙂

    Like

  14. Sylvie

    Thanks for posting this interview FOYeur, it’s always great to read his words. He’s so humble and so grateful of all as the life brings to him. Alex is such a beautiful person inside and outside.

    Like

  15. Another great article, and there was a lot I hadn’t read before, so thank you. Look forward to the next interview.

    Like

  16. Thanks FOYeur.This was wonderful and so good to read again after so long. I am really looking forward to wharever you find next!!!! And YES This interview really doesmake us love him more

    Like

  17. He is a passionate man and I love him for that! Thanks for posting the interview!

    Like

  18. Thank you for posting all the interview. It’s always good to remember why i respect and admire not only the actor, but essentially the man he is. He’s a very private person, but when the journalists make good questions, his honest, funny and sometimes deep answers, show us the awesome human being he is.

    Waiting for the next one.

    Like

  19. What a beautiful interview 🙂
    I agree, his life might have changed some since 2010 but the core of his values, vision of life and personality still remain the same.
    I just can’t help but loving him more every time.
    He deserves all the blessings he currently has in his life and i’m very proud to be here to support him

    Like

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