Interview with the Vampire: ‘Moonlight’s’ Alex O’Loughlin (December 2007)

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 O'Loughlin as Kevin Hiatt in The Shield

Alex O’Loughlin as Kevin Hiatt in The Shield

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.

alex-sophia

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.

toy4tots

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.

Alex O'Loughlin -Toys-for-Tots - 2007

My thoughts:

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?

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23 Comments

Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, Interviews

23 responses to “Interview with the Vampire: ‘Moonlight’s’ Alex O’Loughlin (December 2007)

  1. evowoman88

    I didn’t watch Moonlight when came out, basically because I was a fan of Buffy. I’ve seen repeats of it and don’t see the appeal of it at all.

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  2. dina

    I discovered Moonlight long time after Hawai 50 started and really appreciated it. It’s a totally different role and a different look, more romantic. I understand female audience fall in love with Alex then.

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  3. Yeah, like Dina, I discovered Moonlight after H50… the truth is, I always hated vampires, so I didn’t want to see Moonlight at all, but when first season of H50 was taken off the program in my country, I missed Alex so much so I found Moonlight on Internet and watched it… the rest is history: that became one of my favorite characters played by Alex, besides Steve (of course) and Kevin Hiatt… and, more important, at that same time I had my first epilepsy seizure, and watching Moonlight helped me get back to health better than any pills

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  4. In all honesty, I might have been tired of Moonlight by season 6, surely it would have become repetitive too. So many shows are really good for several seasons, but then you just get tired of them. But definitely just seen 16 episodes of Mick, left so many of us craving for at least a 2nd season.
    I do find the stories in ML interesting, I loved the way it was done, but Alex was just so brilliant as Mick, he played a major part of the show being so successfull.

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  5. imfriggingud

    Yeh like Dina & Andrea i saw Five-0 first as Moonlight & the Shield never got shown over here in the Uk, have since obtained the dvd boxset of it but I have to say I am a very big fan of 5-0, equally loved him in the Back up plan & August Rush but all other films :
    /shows etc he did before them I am just seeing now thanks to the power of the internet.
    But Alex is very talented, his strength comes from the fact he never gave up and boarded a plane back home to Australia, as I think he’d soon would have given up on his dream to be an actor. (Of course then he wouldn’t have married the stunning Malia he’d probably still be single much to our delight eh!)

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    • Debbie Chambers

      Moonlight was aired here in the UK, it was shown in February 2008 (19th I think – I remember it was shown Tuesdays at 9pm) on Sky Living. Don’t know about ‘The Shield’ – I watched this online a few years ago. ‘Three Rivers’ definitely wasn’t shown here.

      When I first heard about a new vampire show I wasn’t impressed…that was until I heard Alex’s voice and looked up to see his beautiful green eyes and that sexy smile; and that was just the preview, lol. Knew I had to watch from that moment on.

      I loved this show, it will probably go down as my favourite show of all time. I’ve actually lost count of how many times I’ve watched it over the years; I usually can’t stop at just one episode, oh no, once I start that’s it; I’m sat there glued to the screen for at least 4 or 5. No other TV show has that effect on me.

      I don’t think the show would have gone beyond 3 seasons though, for the reason Alex once said; his aging.

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  6. It seems a trend here but I also saw Moonlight only after discovering Alex in Five-0.
    I truly love both shows, they are so different and both show different sides of Alex’s acting abilities.
    Personally I don’t think ML would have gone on for more than 3-4 seasons. I agree with Alex when he says that he would have aged faster than Mick but then again surely make up would have fixed that.
    I would have loved to see a season 2 because I thought the show was getting really good by the end of S1.
    But I disagree with fans that say that Steve McGarrett doesn’t allow Alex to express his potential. How many different emotions and sides of this character have they explored so far? And how great was Alex in portraying them? What about the just recent 4.21? And i’m sure there is more to come in the future.
    But hey, I have a special affection for McG because without him I wouldn’t have been introduced to the wonder that is Alex O’Loughlin.
    Would I want to see Alex playing different roles in movies? Of course! But there will be plenty of time for that in the future.
    For now i would like at least another 2-3 seasons of Five-0 🙂

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  7. I guess variety is what showcases the actor’s skills best, and it’s great that Alex has played so different roles, from a vampire to a doctor and a SEAL 🙂 Wonder what his next project will be…

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  8. vanduyn

    I know I’m biased but how can you watch ML and not like it? I fell in love with Mick straight away. I did watch ML when it originally aired. But really got into it after getting it on video. I do not however think we’d be in season 7 of ML right now. As Alex himself said, three to four years would have been it. He’ll age but Mick doesn’t. And honestly as much as I love Mick, I don’t wish for one more season or a ML movie. I want to remember Mick just as he was. Excellent post 🙂

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    • I agree that now it would be too late to have Alex as Mick, too much time has passed already. As much as I love Mick, the 16 episodes of ML will have to be enough.
      But I think Steve could dress up as Mick next Halloween epi in H50 😀

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      • Paula I am with you it would be nice to see alex dress up as mick just for a wink, and even with the aging(to me he is againg well) ) I still think he could pull off a quick mick flash back. If I was the producer on H50 I would say to alex “ok we did the zombie thing now alex you know what’s next…. “

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  9. I also saw Moonlight only 3 months after I first saw Alex in The Back-Up plan and Hawaii Five-0. I actually watched all 16 episodes of Moonlight twice within 5 days after receiving my DVD’s of it.
    My first reactions when I saw what Alex did with Mick, was that he was robbed of something good and that it is terrible that he was now stuck with playing Steve. (By then I only saw the first 10 episodes of H5-0 – and I must admit there has been some better stuff for Alex to do with Steve since then)
    Steve and Stan got me interested in Alex, but Mick brought on the mild obsession I have had since then 😀

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  10. alexnymph

    Yeah, I agree with Alex–three to four years would have been enough for ML How much more could they really get into? More on Coraline and her past–out of all the guys she’d had why did she fall for Mick (well, obviously WE did, but he was so “gentle” compared to her)? And of course Beth’s struggle to-be-turned-or-not-to-be-turned (that couldn’t go on too long), though a season of her as a vampire could have worked. Series Finale, they get “the cure” and Mick & Beth live happily ever after (maybe even with a brood of fanglets).

    I do think Mick showcased Alex’s talents much more than Steve does. Not only was Mick BAMF (even more so because he fought using his body rather than with guns), he was also very emotional–from pain to anger to fun. A few more years with human Beth and he would have been an emotionally well-rounded BAMFpire.

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  11. gracenotpark

    Heh! Mild obsession. 😉

    I remember reading this interview years ago. How cool to see it again! You girls are true investigators. It must have been extremely fun being there at this event. And he looks so adorable and excited and young here. Sounds like he truly believed there’d be a second season. I adore his optimism.

    I watched the last half of ML back when it first aired and enjoyed it, but mostly I enjoyed Alex and have been a fan ever since. A second season woulda been great; I wonder how his career might be different had that happened.

    I was sad to hear ML was cancelled but distraught to consider that Alex might not get another role on American tv. So many years later, he’s kicking ass and taking names. Whew! Cos my obsession is NOT mild, girlfriends! :mrgreen:

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  12. cjwills

    There is no comparison between Mick St. John and Alex’s Hawaii Five-O character. Alex was magnificent as Mick. He was so perfect for the role and there was such a sweet love story between Mick and Beth. Loved the vampire part of Mick as well, so much better than the Twilight or Vampire Diaries characters and Moonlight offered a much more interesting premise, in my opinion.

    I really loved Alex’s early films, Oyster Farmer, The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant and The Invisible as well as his portrayal of Kevin Hiatt on The Shield. However, I cringe at his cheesy performance in the Back-up Plan, not Alex’s fault, of course, it was just such a contrived film, role and so ridiculous. He is good as Steve McGarrett, but I really loved his earlier performances and characters. However, that being said, I am happy for him to have a big commercial hit and a happy life in Hawaii.

    I just miss the twinkle in his eyes and smile and that deep inhaling he did on Moonlight. Swoon forever. Glad I have it on my iPad and the DVDs.

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  13. Alex is a big fan of vampire genre, but i’m definitely not. I have no interest in the subject or mithology. I discovered Alex on H50 and the way that he portrays Steve made me be curious about his work. I only watched Moonlight because i wanted to see all his work. I watched with reluctantly and only focus on his performance. He did an awesome job on this character and i started to understand why so many fans are obsessed by Mick and the series. When Foyeur and Paula did last summer studies/posts about ML, i watched again and enjoyed more the second time, but still despite his performance, ML as series is not “my cup of tea”.

    PS – But i love to read the Mick or-gasm meter with the two amazing Mick-pervs, Foyeur and Lurxgirl. TY girls for all the fun!

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  14. I watched Moonlight years ago when it aired in New Zealand, long before H5O and absolutely loved it. They played it at Midnight and such was my dedication I stayed up to watch it as it was long before the days when I owned recording devices. Alex was wonderful in it and he is wonderful in Five-O. I like him in everything he’s been in which is why I’ve bought all those DVDs. I love the episodes where he is given a much ‘meatier’ plot as he always blows me away with just how good an actor he is, it’s easy to forget that sometimes with some of the episodes. It would be great seeing him with a more challenging role.

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  15. karen1228

    Personally I don’t think Moonlight would have lasted 7 seasons even though Alex was fantastic at portraying Mick.. It was a very different show – very different than Angel or Buffy (I didn’t like either show but loved Moonlight) – and I don’t think there was a large enough fan base to carry the show for an extended period. It probably would have gone 3 at most.

    I love Alex as Steve. He is the epitome of McGarrett, tall, dark, very handsome and intense. Playing Steve has honed Alex’s talents – his acting/emotional range is outstanding. Sadly, I have a feeling he’s starting to outgrow McGarrett – there’s only so much pain, hurt and angst one person can have in their life. Much as I would miss seeing his gorgeous face every week he needs to spread his wings and show the world what he can do. We, as his fans, know what he’s capable of. He needs a more challenging role to show the world what we already know.

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  16. lindae5o

    Moonlight was my first experience of seeing Alex. I was intrigued by the promos before the show started, then absolutely hooked when I saw the first episode. Alex was just riveting on screen.
    I would have loved Moonlight to have lasted another season or two, ending with Mick getting a permanent ‘cure’, because that’s what he wanted. In the episode where Coraline gave him the compound, she said there was a little of it left, hidden away. So many things could have been resolved with a second season. That’s what made the cancellation so frustrating.
    Overall, I think Moonlight was more challenging actingwise for Alex, though he does get the occasional chance to shine on HF-0. Not enough though. He has too many co- stars who need attention, too.
    I’m just glad that we have Alex, though I would prefer that he have a career in movies. The possibilities are endless.

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  17. Sandy

    I love Alex in Moonlight, Three Rivers, and Hawaii 50 and all his movies that I have seen. He is absolutely awesome in all of them.

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  18. karen

    I am an original Moonlight fanatic. Alex became Mick St. John. He was wonderful. I have lost count of how many times I have watched some of the episodes. I was devastated by the cancellation, but I would have been happy with 2 full seasons. All of the storylines could have been resolved in 44 epis. My next favorite Alex role is Jack. His acting in OF is exemplary.

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  19. MOONLIGHT was the first show that introduce me to Alex and as that was the night the love was born. I watch it from the start right to the end. I thik MOONLIGHT should not be look back at lightlty. I like Mick and I like the idea of a Vampire Private Eye, which is what he was, and I liked the conecpet. Everybody kept saying it was like Angle or BUffy , (which were shows I enjoyed) but I got what this one was. If you ever look back at a old Philp Marlow movie, or detective movie, you would have got moonlight. I think American was stuck on that stupid Twilight teen vampire crap. and TRUE BLOOD was a monster of a sucess on HBO(a show I liked but they had no Mick) so it just got lost.

    I think MOONLIGHT WOULD have lasted only 2 to 3 sesason no more than that. I don’t buy the “he would have gotten told old. True Blood lasted 7 seasons and those actors are still there, so that would not be the problem , I think there just would not have been any more stories to tell.

    I think MOONLIGHT maybe would have 2 more season if it were on cable, becaue I think the drama writing is better on cable and can work with alex hot sexy appeal, Let’s face it you can’;t do a vampire show without sex appeal. I adore Mick he is my top vampire and always will be. I thought Alex was the sexyiest vampire on tv, but I loves how Alex had a love and passion for vampires, and wanted to always play one. It’s rare you here a actor say that they have always wanted to play the role. I read he even read and was a fan of the vampire mythology. I myself love vampires book, movies and tv shows, and Mick to me is everything I would want in a vampire. Tall, dark , sexy, those fangs, and of course his sweet heart.

    Now I do love Alex as steve and I think he does a great job on H50 and have enjoyd him for the past 4 season and excited about 5. he does not have to prove himself to me as a actor I already know he is, good actor and this sesason he has proved himself well, plus he was team with Scott Cann and to me they are the best Bromance team on tv, but I have to be honest I do wish that if they do another Halloween episode that alex could give us a little nod to mick , that would be sweet

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  20. I was hooked on Moonlight and Alex from the minute i saw the first episode. I loved how he narrated every episode. I loved the closeups and his facial expression, I love vampires and the whole story line, i watched and re watched every episode numerous times .with good writers it could have gone longer, I was crushed when it ended , i do like h50 i do think alex portrays Steve excellently. Moonlight was more like a movie, Moonlight really allowed alex to show his incredible acting skills,Sorry to say I never fell in love with Steve the way i did Mick St John. I cant wait to see what Alex does next I know it will be outstanding.

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