On December 2nd, 2007, the Pole Position Raceway in Corona California decided, on very short notice, to host a Toys For Tots charity campaign, and invited luminaries such as “Moonlight” star Alex O’Loughlin, “Cold Case” star Kathryn Morris, and “Jericho” star Skeet Ulrich, amongst others, to participate. The members of Moonlightline .com rallied together and donated $1000 worth of toys to be given to needy kids.
The celebrities who attended this indoor event participated in several all-star go-kart races together, narrowing things down until there was a winner. In between these heats, there was the opportunity for the public to compete against their favorite celebrities, with proceeds going to charity. The stars were very approachable, posing for pictures and answering questions posed by the attendees. This reporter’s short-notice request to Alex for an interview was very quickly granted, and we suddenly found ourselves in a one-on-one interview in the office of the owner of the facility.
To some, actor Alex O’Loughlin, 31, appears to have come out of the blue, suddenly appearing on our television sets on CBS’s Friday night sleeper hit, “Moonlight”, as reluctant vampire, Mick St John. O’Loughlin has been in America, pursuing his craft for more than three years now. It appears that he’s had a long road to hoe, getting into the ‘big time’ here in the States.
– By Lisa Gerry
Alex: I’ve been coming out for a few years now. Actually moved out here three years ago, and I was coming out here for a number of years before that and auditioning, and getting representation and the rest. The reason being, because we don’t have a big industry at home. It’s a boutique industry and you take what you can get.
But here, everything gets made in L.A, and so, it’s the place to be if you want to be a career actor. So, I’ve done a few little bits and pieces here. It’s not just like you walk into a job like this, you’ve really got to get a few runs on the board and that takes auditioning five days a week for years and hearing the word ‘no’ a lot.
It’s a surprise to hear that this very talented actor heard that word as often as he suggests. His chameleon-like talent has become very apparent to those who have followed his career, from parts in movies such as “The Invisible,” “August Rush,” “The Oyster Farmer“ and television programs like “Moonlight.“ Actually, O’Loughlin did star on another popular show before “Moonlight,” albeit in a supporting role. Fans quickly noticed the good-looking star’s acting ability, on the FX show “The Shield”, where O’Loughlin played Strike Team member and intended Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) replacement Kevin Hiatt.
Alex: ‘The Shield’ was a really great springboard. ‘The Shield‘ was a great introduction to television in America for me. With Moonlight, you never expect what happens. I certainly didn’t expect it. I didn’t expect people to respond the way that they have, and I’m extremely appreciative of it all the same and no, you’re never ready … well, I certainly wasn’t ready for it.
I don’t wake up in the morning and see … I just see me, you know what I mean? I just see the person I see every day. I act because I enjoy telling stories and so that people want to come with me on that journey, you know, is real exciting to me, so I look forward to providing my fan base which is growing, as much exciting new stories in the future as I can.”
In response to the people who compare “Moonlight“ with other vampire shows, O’Loughlin responded.
Alex: I’ve heard the comparisons, the whole time. I’ve always known the differences would be dramatic and people on ‘Moonlight’, the producers, have described it as a more grown up show, Buffy for adults, Angel for adults. You know, ‘Buffy‘ and ‘Angel‘ were great shows, and for what they were, they were a different animal. Moonlight is a different animal. We cater to, I think, a slightly difference audience, though we do have a transition, there is a crossover of those fans of those other shows that have come on board with ‘Moonlight‘.
I feel because we’ve kept the integrity of the genre, noted, we’ve made a few mythological changes. We haven’t gone too far from the drawing board and we’ve done it with integrity and so I think that we haven’t pissed too many people off.
On being told that many fans refer to Coraline/Morgan as “Morgaline”, O’Loughlin responded, “Morgaline?” He draws the name out in a sepulchral voice, laughing. “Sounds like a Dark Lord from Lord of the Rings!”
The life of a Hollywood actor is not easy. O’Loughlin works long hours and days to bring this show to life. Real weekends and relaxation time are rare.
Alex: The funny thing is, I’m so busy that … this show consumes so much of my life … like I get a half an hour lunch break in an 18 hour day. 10 minutes of which I shovel food into my head and the other 20 minutes I’m usually being interviewed, like this, or reading the next script or in a photo shoot. And so it literally doesn’t stop. And on the weekends, it’s the same thing; I do stuff on the weekends.
This weekend has brought him to the Pole Position Raceway for what is billed as the first annual Pole Position Toys for Tots campaign. O’Loughlin smiles earnestly as he explains his presence.
Alex: I really enjoy doing charity, for a good cause, it’s like the least I can do, I really enjoy that stuff. I enjoy giving back.
The huge thing on fans’ minds (beyond the emotional rollercoaster of the MickBeth romance – another term he said he had not heard before) is the current writer’s strike by the Writers’ Guild of America.
There is a very real fear that the strike might lead to the cancellation of the show, which is the last thing these diehard fans want. In fact, fans that might not normally care about such things are now paying attention to ratings, looking at percentage points and the fractions thereof, and are calculating numbers as they become available each week, posting this information on fan sites.
Alex closed with this opinion of the current strike situation:
Alex: If they get this strike out of the way, sooner, rather than later, we’re a shoe-in. I’m not running the network. I know that they love us, I know that they know how important the show is to the people.
Alex O’Loughlin was indeed a very nice, genuine and open person with whom to speak, and I thank him for the chance for this interview. I know that fans will be pleased to know that I found him to be as genuine in real life as he appears to be in other interview situations.
The rest, of course, is history as they say ….. Moonlight was cancelled and Alex lost his beloved Mick, five months after this interview! Apparently there are a lot of Alex-fangirls who do not like Moonlight at all 😕
Others like Steve, but they do not think Hawaii Five-0 is a good vehicle for Alex’s talent and would much rather see him move on to something more challenging. What to you think, if Moonlight got the chance for another season, would we have been in Season 7 of it by now, with better viewer numbers than Hawaii Five-0 have? And was Moonlight a better display of what Alex can do as an actor?