Alex O’Loughlin – He’s been a vampire (Moonlight), a doctor (Three Rivers) and Jennifer Lopez’s dairy farmer boyfriend (The Back-Up Plan). Now in the reboot of Hawaii Five-0 on CBS, Alex O’Loughlin updates one of the 1970’s most popular TV heroes. His Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett takes on high-profile lowlifes against the backdrop of the sunny beaches and bikini-clad babes of Honolulu.
– By Brantley Bardin
Alex: As an Aussie playing this hugely iconic American character, I feel truly honoured. Thanks for trusting me.
Question: Steve McGarrett is a forever-unsmiling badass. Is it tough to be so stoic all the time?
Alex: He’s the hardest character I’ve ever played because he is so serious. Scott Caan’s Danno [McGarrett’s wise cracking sidekick] is much closer to who I am; Danno is always joking and breaking balls. But our two characters definitely have a banter – especially our ‘carguments‘
Question: We love the carguments. Does that bromance carry over into real life?
Alex: Scott is sharp, quick, keeps me on my toes, and lives right around the corner from me in Hawaii. And he’s been a big part of getting me into surfing. But when you spend 15 hours a day together shooting, you’re not wiping your make-up off, going, “I’ll meet you at your house, mate!”
Question: So who does meet you at your house? McGarrett is famous for skimping on dinner dates in favor of “Barry White time” in the bedroom. Are you, um, similar?
Alex: I used to be. Don’t get me wrong. “Barry White time” is extremely important. But now I’m interested in a woman’s brain. Women are so much more intrinsically sophisticated than men. I look for a woman who is smart, funny and doesn’t necessarily think I am funny but understands my sense of humor enough to roll her eyes and deal with it.
Question: Many ladies first fell in love with you as Moonlight’s vampire detective, Mick St John. Your series débuted before Twilight madness struck. How does that make you feel?
Alex: I’m proud of that show. I worked really hard on it, like, 20-hour days. I didn’t have any gray hair before Moonlight.
It is funny: The pilot was originally called Twilight, but they reshot it and said, “We have to call it something else because there’s this other thing coming out using the title.”
Question: Despite a ferocious fan campaign, Moonlight was canceled after just one season. Was that a stake through your heart?
Alex: I was sad because I have always been a big fan of the vampire genre. I love Anne Rice’s portrayal of the vampire Lestat and the books she wrote 25 years ago. I’ve had a fascination with the mythology. And a fascination therefore, with New Orleans, which is why I was just there on vacation.
Question: New Orleans is a stylish town. Did you feel like your personal fashion measured up?
Alex: I live in Hawaii now and nobody wears clothes there, but I’ve always been fashion-conscious. If you go to my house in LA, you’d say “Oh my god, look at all this stuff!” I’ve spent a lot of money on clothes over the years because I think there’s nothing worse than a cheap suit. It’s much better to have one Prada or Thom Browne or Paul Smith in your closet, as opposed to three crappy suits.
Question: So, what, you always have a suit on?
Alex: No I like to mix things. I’ve got a pair of Berluti shoes – which are the greatest shoes – and I wear those with beat-up jeans and a favorite T-shirt.
Question: Do Hawaiians recognize you when you’re not in McGarrett’s trademark Superdry cargos?
Alex: There are 900 000 people on Oahu, and it feels like 895 000 of them watch the show. Everywhere I go it’s, “You play Steve McGarrett!” The original Hawaii Five-0 was so important for the state. Today the theme song is played on Hawaiian Airlines and is an anthem at football games. It’s important that we honestly represent this culture and the Hawaiian people, who have welcomed us. Most of my fans seems to be 65 years old, though, so I’m wondering where all the young good-looking girls are?
O’Loughlin comments on his famed torso and proves to be his own worst critic.
Alex: This is what we call Moonlight meat. There’s not that much there as far as abs, because I was eating whatever I wanted. And the hair is very – ’80s bouffant.
Alex: I am not as fit here in Hawaii Five-0 as I was in The Back-Up Plan . But it ain’t Moonlight meat either. If you exercise and watch your diet, you can get pretty lean.
What women had to say:
- Taryn Manning (guest star Hawaii Five-0) :
It’s pretty magnificent how well Alex does the American accent – and never breaks it. And he’s truly a hoot to be around.
- Katherine Moening (co-star, Three Rivers):
He’s a great storyteller because he can mimic almost anything. And I give credit to a man who happily embraces his gray hair.
- Alfre Woodard (co-star, Three Rivers):
I see Alex as a kind of body-conscious, rowdy academe. He always looks like he’s been brawlin a bit or wouldn’t hesitate to get low with you.
So, what does the fangirls say……… ? 😛