Can a serial killer played by Alex O’Loughlin slake his thirst for murder? The star of TV’s too-short-lived Moonlight talked to TVGuide.com about his compelling guest spot on CBS’ Criminal Minds. Plus: Why Alex O’s fans should give his new medical drama a chance.
TVGuide.com: Where have ya been, man? We had a long stretch there, after Moonlight went bye-bye, where the fans were missing you terribly.
Alex: Yeah, I didn’t work for like 10 months. I went back to Australia for a minute, and then I went and sat in a forest for a couple months and got my thoughts together. I did a bunch of writing…. Essentially, I went into a bit of a tailspin and left the country, to Mexico, out of phone range. I was kind of upset.
TVGuide.com: Well, nearly a year later, not a week goes by that I don’t get a Moonlight fan asking not if, but when it is coming back.
Alex: [Laughs] You know, the other day I was in Pittsburgh shooting [the CBS pilot Three Rivers], when this girl comes running up to me. Before I could finish ascertaining what I thought was going to happen, she pounced through the air, like a tiger, and landed on my chest with her arms around my neck and her legs around my waist. After I got her off and thanked her for the hug, she demanded to know when Moonlight was coming back.
TVGuide.com: And you had to break her heart.
Alex: I had to taser her…. No, I had to tell her that I didn’t think it was [returning].
TVGuide.com: Exactly what measures were taken to possibly save Moonlight?
Alex: I don’t know exactly what happened after they cut it. I know they talked to CW, they talked to TNT … a bunch of people.
TVGuide.com: Is there anything you can share about what was going to happen next on the show?
Alex: What I do know is that there was going to be some really cool stuff going on with Eric Winters’ character, [the ADA] who was gathering the list of vampires.
TVGuide.com: Turning to the April 29 episode of Criminal Minds: [Series creator] Ed Bernero told me that your serial killer reaches out to the BAU for “help” — and he put “help” in quotation marks.
Alex: There are a few twists, and I can’t tell you what they are. But the thing that I love about this episode is that we find a very disturbed character — a guy whose life is run by obsession and by compulsion, and he can’t stop this pattern of killing. But he wants salvation. He finds a child, and the child represents perhaps the last bit of innocence within himself. This is what I drew from the character when I first read the script, and I hope that’s what we see when the show plays. The episode was written by a friend of mine, Simon Mirren, who is very, very talented.
TVGuide.com: Paget Brewster told me that you had the women on the set all atwitter.
Alex: Oh, boo. Come on. I must have missed that! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Have you shot the episode with Alex O’Loughlin (Moonlight) yet?
Brewster: Oh, Alex…. Alex sets all the girls into a twitter. Various departments were vying for Alex‘s attention. We just finished that this past Saturday morning, at 5:30 am.
TVGuide.com: Did Prentiss get a “moment” with Alex?
Brewster: No, No…. Prentiss had no moments with Alex! [Laughs] He’s a cutie-pie! There’s a little kid, Jake Cherry (Desperate Housewives), in that episode, and he’s amazing too. All our guest stars are extraordinary, which we need to remember. We’re there every day, and we have long-standing jokes with the crew, so we need to remember there is someone standing next to us, acting [as if] they’re about to die or their child has been murdered. They’re working up all this emotion, and we’re hiding fart machines from each other. We’re the most childish set, and we love it!
Back to Alex’ interview…….
TVGuide.com: You went from taking lives on Criminal Minds to saving lives on the CBS drama pilot Three Rivers. Sell me on the concept.
Alex: It’s set in Pittsburgh, where the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio rivers meet, and it’s told from three perspectives — the organ donor, the organ recipient, and the surgical team. That of course means that in every episode, someone dies and someone potentially lives, so it’s always very high-stakes. The show is really well-written and smart and sensitive. It’s a beautiful little hour of TV.
TVGuide.com: I just know that some of your Moonlight fans are concerned that the premise, on paper, doesn’t sound dynamic enough for their Alex O’Loughlin.
Alex: It’s absolutely dynamic enough. I plead with my Moonlight fans to give this show a chance if they let me give it a chance. I can’t do Moonlight again — it’s finished. The bottom line is that my true fans will follow me where I go.
TVGuide.com: I take it that your Three Rivers character, Dr. Andy Yablonski, is not Australian.
Alex: [Laughs] No, he’s not. They offered me the role, and I was like, “Can I at least audition as an Australian?” “G’day! Do you need a new heart?”
TVGuide.com: And they weren’t buying.
Alex: No, they weren’t.
TVGuide.com: Was Three Rivers the first project that CBS sent you as part of your talent deal with them?
Alex: No, no. They had a bunch of other things.
TVGuide.com: Did they try to add you to any existing series?
Alex: Mmmm…. There was talk about a couple bits and pieces that we didn’t take seriously.
TVGuide.com: When are you doing that Jennifer Lopez movie, The Back-Up Plan?
Alex: That films in like two weeks. She plays a 40-year-old girl who hasn’t found the one and wants to have a baby, so she gets artificially inseminated. Then she meets the guy of her dreams — and that’s me.