Unsub with a heart of gold? #AlexOLoughlin talks Criminal Minds

Alex O’Loughlin has survived the unfortunate demise of his cult favorite CBS series Moonlight, and is moving on. One of the consistently good parts of that sometimes wobbly show, it was only a matter of time before O’Loughlin was snapped up for a million other things.

Currently awaiting the fate of his pilot Three Rivers, with Julia Ormond (about a team of organ transplant surgeons, based on real life Dr. Gonzalo Gonzales-Stawinski), borne out of a development deal with CBS, Alex is guesting on tonight’s Criminal Minds, starring as Vincent, the unsub who you can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for!

I had the chance to chat with Alex last week about tonight’s episode, what he hopes you get from his portrayal of a disturbed man, and what he hopes for his fans in the future!

– by Amrie, 

My Take On TV

29 April 2009,


Question: I had the chance to watch your episode of Criminal Minds and I have to tell you. That show does some creepy stuff, and I mean this as a compliment, your character is super creepy!

Alex: [laughs] Well thank you, I think! [laughs] He’s a little creepy!

Question: Where did this role come from?

Alex: Simon Mirren, the writer, and co-executive producer on the show is a friend of mine. He said, I’m writing a role with you in mind, I want you to read it, and do it. I said, Really? Okay. I read it, and I was like, this is great. I really want to do it, and talked to my agent. I was like, look, the role, blah, blah, blah. I’m talking to CBS, they said I can do it. How do you guys feel? They said, well how do you feel? I said, it’s perfect, let me do it.

I mean, it’s not like “let me do it”, I make the decisions, but it’s like, they’re my team, and I want them on board with the decisions I make. You know, it’s not often I get to play these character roles; it’s not often I get to read these character roles!

I hadn’t worked for like 10 months, so I thought it would be a great way to blow out the cobwebs and get ready for the pilot, and they were like, well, we’ve got your back! So I did it. I’m really glad I did it!

Question: The character itself, you do so much with an almost wordlessness. So much is conveyed physically. What kind of preparation goes into a role like this?

Alex: My main preparation was of course looking at the condition of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which I have little tiny elements of in my life anyway, but I’m certainly far from ruled by it. I think a lot of us have little things – some people don’t step on the cracks, a lot of us don’t even realize we’re doing it, we tie our shoes certain ways and we feel uncomfortable if we do it a different way, and there’s an anxiety within us.

It’s a very interesting condition. There’s an anxiety within us that gets quelled when we do that pattern, every time we do that behavior, it settles an anxiety within us. And a lot of it’s subconscious because it seems so minor because they’re day to day things that we have to do like tie our shoes or brush our teeth.

This was an exaggerated form, and it happens to certain people, it’s so unfortunate. The condition gets ramped up to a certain point where their entire life is taken over by these behaviors that they have to go through to stop the anxiety that they’re experiencing. Their whole life is catered to dealing with anxiety. So, I made some choices for the character, all my choices were based around this condition he suffers from.

Question: You got to interact with the fantastic Jake Cherry, who is one of the best younger actors that pops up all over the place. You didn’t get to really interact with the team, though. Had you known any of them coming in to film?

Alex: No, not really. Not too much.

Alex and Jake Cherry

Question: And you said you were friends with Simon, I’m sure you a fan of the show?

Alex: Oh yeah, love the show, love the actors on the show. I think it’s great. I think it’s one of the GOOD network TV shows, it’s one of my favorite network shows. I think Eddie Bernero’s amazing. Simon Mirren is a great friend of mine.

It was terrific. It was almost like being a fan of these guys and this show, and then finding myself on set going, hey! Coolest show! Like when I did The Shield, I couldn’t believe it, I was like, “Holy Shit, I’m on The Shield. Oh my god!”

Question: Why do you think people should tune in to this episode specifically and keep watching?

Alex: Tune in! I was really captured in what Simon wrote. I was really captured in Vincent, this character’s pursuit of salvation. Because he seems like such an unredeemable character, like the acts that he perpetrates are unforgivably, perhaps they are.

I think the spirit of the man himself is beyond salvation and that’s what I as the actor went for, you know?

Alex as Vincent in Criminal Minds

Question: Right, making an unsympathetic character very sympathetic because you kind of feel for this really sad man.

Alex: Right, and the thing is, inside of all of us, I don’t care who you are, at least at one stage in our lives, we’re lost. We’re trying to be found and we want to be found, and we need to be loved. It’s inside all of us. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the executive of a network TV show, or you’re a movie star, whether you’re, fucking, Gandhi. I’m sure at a point in all of our lives, I don’t know about Gandhi [laughing], but for the rest of us, there’s a point for all of us where we need help. We need someone to take our hand, and take us to the light, and point us in a direction.

This is just another example. The thing is, there’s that old saying, like we all matter. You matter, I matter, this character Vincent matters. It doesn’t condone his behavior. I’m not saying that the killing is okay if you’re fucked up. I’m not saying anything like that. What I’m saying is that we all matter, and it’s my job to be a humanist and look at it from that point of view, and find the inroad.

Maybe it’s because I know Simon so well, I understood exactly what he meant with the character, and I hope that I conveyed it through my performance, and if I haven’t, I apologize in advance, but I understood Vincent’s anguish, and I understood the desire for salvation, and I think before the end, he rests assured of himself. He’s not all bad.


Alex on the set of Criminal Minds (Feb 2009)

Question: Switching gears just a little bit – your fans are some of the most vocal that I’ve seen in recent years, still getting emails about Moonlight and where we can find Alex, and the rest of the team. Do you still get a lot of fan outreach now?

Alex: Yeah, yeah, they’re very consistent in their passion, which is lovely, I love them for it, so much. I hope they follow me into my career, and my next project. I mean, every character is not going to be Mick St. John. It’s just not.

I’m always going to play different characters and hopefully they will find …….. I think my fans, because they’re so, comprehensive, with their study of me, and their research [laughs] of me, I think that they’re probably starting to get to know me a bit now, as well, and if they’re still my fans, it means they still like me. If they still like me, hopefully they’re going to like what I like in the characters that I choose. You know what I mean?

Question: Oh yeah, they’re going to understand the thought processes in your choosing each character.

Alex: Right, so hopefully, they’re going to come to love the characters that I love, the way I love them for the same reasons, or similar reasons. I want to take them all with me, I want to take them on this journey and show them what I’m learning and what I’m loving, and they’re great people, too.

My fans are so caring, they send me so many well wishes, and lovely cards. Beautiful paintings. It’s amazing, I’ve never experienced it before. It can be a little overwhelming, I’m just like anyone else. Can you imagine, like opening the mail, and getting 1,000 letters? It can be really weird, really bizarre.

Question: I’m not sure I could handle it!


My thoughts:

  • Big Wheel was a unique opportunity for Alex to display some of his talent as an actor….
  • In the introduction, the writer of the article still mentions Julia Ormond as being part of the show Three Rivers. (She was one of the cast they replaced after the series got picked up ) Although the network most probably made a good decision in the end to cast Alfre Woodard as the head of the Transplant team, after the show got picked up, I surely would have liked to see Alex and Julia work together. She is just the right age to be someone who could still have had some form of sexual tension between her character and Alex’s, Dr Andy, despite being a bit older. (My cougar fantasy 😛 ) Alfre’s character however, was more of a mother-like figure for the team, because she was older and therefor maybe better suited.

Alex and Julia Ormond

  • These words from Alex says such a lot to me about the kindness of his soul: “I don’t care who you are, at least at one stage in our lives, we’re lost. We’re trying to be found and we want to be found, and we need to be loved. It’s inside all of us”


Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, Interviews

11 responses to “Unsub with a heart of gold? #AlexOLoughlin talks Criminal Minds

  1. NINA

    J’ai été vraiment effrayé en regardant cet épisode ça prouve à quel point Alex est est très bon acteur , il peut nous glacer le sang mais on garde quand même une certaine empathie à son égard , on a envie de l’aider ce pauvre mais cruel Vincent.Il parvient à nous faire peur avec son visage d’ange et ses tocs et la fin est terrible mais nécessaire pour lui.:(
    Ce qu’il dit dans l’itw est parfaitement cohérent avec le rôle et la sensation que l’on éprouve en regardant ce personnage.


  2. I loved Vincent 🙂
    i love criminal minds, i have seen all the series as soon as they came out in DVD, great show, i was thrilled to find out that Alex was on it.
    I discovered it when I still wasn’t his fan (yes, shame on me there was a time in my life when i wasn’t Alex-obsessed) and thought “Hey, that’s the guy from Five-0, they tried to make him less good looking but they didn’t really succeed”
    Apart from jokes he was amazing in that performance. i have never routed for an unsub before but in vincent’s case I couldn’t help but feeling simphatetic with him.


  3. karen

    He’s right about everyone having a “lost” period in their lives. I remember mine well. He is smart as well as beautiful.


  4. gracenotpark

    Oh I remember how excited we all were when he finally reappeared from that 10 months hiatus, during which he had been a ghost, and was on tv again! And what an amazing job he did. Vincent was totally different to Mick and I think Alex needed to be able to do that at that point in time. He needed to prove to the still-mourning ML fans that he was more than just Mick. What a perfect role for that feat! He so shoulda gotten an Emmy nod that part.


  5. lindae5o

    What a fabulous interview !! I’ve never seen this entire article. Alex is so special, and I thought he put his Vincent character across, perfectly. I wish Simon Mirren could write some scripts for Hawaii Five-0 !!


  6. canadagirl66

    “I don’t care who you are, at least at one stage in our lives, we’re lost. We’re trying to be found and we want to be found, and we need to to be loved. It’s inside all of us.”
    “… there’s a point for all of us where we need help. We need someone to take our hand and take us to the light, and point us in a direction.”
    These words…these amazingly, deeply profound words….touch my heart….and my soul. He is a special human being. I feel so lucky that I get to experience the brightness of this man. This planet could use more like him. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on alixia94's Blog and commented:
    Stunning Alex in Vincent ! Irresistible


  8. When i started my research of Alex’s work, after “finding” him on H50, the CM episode was the first other role that i watched. Vicent is my favorite villain. Simon really knew about his friend’s skills and Alex gave us a very complex character that for the first time i felt sorry for the killer and wanted him to be forgiven – “Because you helped me to see”; “forgive me”.

    I just wish there were more people to write awesome characters and stories with Alex in mind. He always proves that when the script is good, his performance is outstanding and unforgettable.

    TY Foyeur!


  9. karen1228

    I love CM and was ecstatic when Alex appeared as Vincent. I thought the tv was going to spontaneously combust from the hotness of both Alex and Shemar!

    How Alex portrayed Vincent, virtually wordlessly, was amazing. He was flawless in his portrayal. I’ve never loved a bad guy so much and cried when he died. Now if we could only get Simon to write for 5-0. He truly gets Alex!

    Thanks for this Foyeur – I’ve never read the entire interview!


  10. I never watch CM but here in michgan whenver the episode “The big wheel is in rerun, I watch it and I always bring tissue with me, becaue I cry everytime. That episode showed what we alex fans already knew his talent as a actor and how he can move us. Everytime he dies at the end I cry little a new born baby. His performance remind me of what another actor (chris Meloni) did on OZ when he had to play a Serial killer. They find a way to bring out the human in these other wise sick villians. Love alex in this role.


  11. I loved Alex’s portrayal of Vincent. His friend Simon wrote him exceedingly well and Alex pulled it off with his remarkable skill and talent. I’m a fan of CM and never have I rooted for an unsub before this episode. I did feel sorry for Vincent and felt for him. I cried at his demise. Alex was brilliant in this role and I dont think it would have been so successful without him as Vincent.

    Liked by 1 person

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