#AlexOLoughlin: Aussie heart attack – Herald Sun, October 2009

Alex O’Loughlin experiences a healthy career move

by Colin Vickery
Herald Sun
14 October 2009

Daniel Henny, Alex  O'Loughlin & Katherine Moennig

AUSSIE actor Alex O’Loughlin’s Hollywood career has cost him his relationship with Holly Valance, but it has brought him the starring role in new US medical drama Three Rivers.

O’Loughlin and Valance split last February after four years together.

The writing was on the wall when O’Loughlin was starring in cult vampire series Moonlight. He had spent years trying to ignite his US acting career and wasn’t going to let the chance slip.

Alex & Holly - 5 June 2006

“I’m usually feeling wiped out and I’ve not seen Holly all week. It’s a pretty full-on life, but what do you do? I love my work and there are sacrifices,” O’Loughlin told the Guide in 2007.

He poured everything into Moonlight, only to suffer the disappointment of seeing the show axed after one season.

The consolation for O’Loughlin’s relationship break-up is playing leading transplant surgeon Dr Andy Yablonksi on Three Rivers. O’Loughlin’s character is based on real-life heart-transplant surgeon Dr Gonzo Gonzalez-Stawinski.

“When I was first handed the script I knew it would work, but I wasn’t sure I was the right man for the job,” O’Loughlin says.

It’s one thing to play dress-ups and have a great time and shoot guns (on shows such as The Shield and Criminal Minds), but with this script I was playing a real character and it involved real stories.

This seemed so immense I didn’t think I could pull it off.” O’Loughlin is known for his modesty. He once told the Guide

“I don’t think I’m a great talent. I think I’m a medium talent, but it’s about perseverance.”

Alex as Dr Andy in Three Rivers

He had the confidence to tackle Yablonski on Three Rivers only after he spoke to Gonzalez-Stawinski.

“We spoke on the phone for hours and then he asked me to come and stay at his house,” O’Loughlin says.

“I saw nine open-heart procedures with him. We got on straight away and now he’s a friend for life.”

O’Loughlin’s mother is a nurse and he can remember following her on her hospital rounds, but he readily admits he knew nothing about medicine before Three Rivers.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with Gonzalaz-Stawinski was a life changing experience for the actor.

“After I spent my first 10 hours in an operating room watching a man being brought back to life, I sat in my hotel room for three hours and felt this deep sense of regret that I was watching my calling (medicine) before me and that I’d taken the wrong direction (acting) in my career.”

“I got to know people who were sick through no fault of their own and now they are dead and all they wanted was a bit more of life – simple stuff like the chance to water the garden.

I also realised that physicians have the capacity to love the unlovable. The most awful person you can imagine could be lying on the hospital bed and the physician will say to them ‘everything will be OK’.”

“Learning to get in touch with that part of me as a young alpha Aussie male has been a struggle and one of the greatest experiences so far in my career.”

Whiteout Premiere Sept 2009

A long way up

Alex O’Loughlin’s Hollywood success is an inspiring example of the power of persistence in the face of rejection and doubt.

“It’s been a long journey but I’ve maintained a positive outlook and it has paid off,O’Loughlin says.

“There was a point four years ago when I was living on my mate Sam Gould’s couch for more than a year – so long that my back went out.

I had my swag with me and I had to move on to the floor. At that point I’d run out of money.

A Ducati motorcycle, the only thing I owned, had been stolen and the insurance money had run out and I couldn’t get arrested in this town (Los Angeles).”

Three Rivers promo

My Thoughts

  • Of course Alex and Holly were not together for 4 years as the article says, but it was closer to 2 years 8 months (June 2006 – Feb 2009) And they did no break up because Alex was too busy. They broke up while he was not on any show.
  • I’ve always wondered about him saying here that he did hospital rounds with his mother, because where I come from it would be highly irregular for a child to hang around his mother who is a nurse in a hospital. In an interview last year in September, Alex actually explained that his mom was a community nurse, and that he did house call rounds with her. It made a lot more sense.
  • Once again it is quite clear how seriously Alex took his role as Dr Andy Yablonski. To him it was more than just a character to play.

Herald Sun - 14 Oct 2009



Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, Dr Andy, Interviews

5 responses to “#AlexOLoughlin: Aussie heart attack – Herald Sun, October 2009

  1. gracenotpark

    I miss Dr. Andyyyyyyy! 😥


  2. Awww Alex. That piece about him missing his medical calling made me a bit sad, that he felt so down about it but he still helps people, just in a different way now, more a spiritual healer rather than a physical one. What an awesome man he is. ♥


  3. alexnymph

    FOYeur, I had the same exact questions as you, especially about doing rounds with his mom and was glad to hear his explanation in that interview. Thanks for being such an excellent investigator!


  4. Christina

    Is there any new films coming out for 2015 /2016


    • Oh, there are hunderds of films coming out every year ….
      But I guess you are talking about films with Alex in them 😉
      No, Alex is currently working only on Hawaii Five-0 and his hiatus time is to short to allow him to do other projects. And also because he works so hard during the 9 months of filming H5-0, he uses is time off to spend with his family.
      A easy way to see if any actor does have upcoming films in the pipeline, is to look on their profile on IMDb – Alex’s page is here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1533927/?ref_=tt_cl_t1
      You can also read our weekly updates and follow our twitter or FB page to see any new things happening in his life. But for the next year and most probably up untill Hawaii Five-0 ends somewhere in the future some day – Alex will most probably not do anything else. :smile


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