In a teaser presentation of the new vampire detective show Moonlight, Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin) claims he can go vamp whenever he experiences one of the four Fs. Of course, the last F cannot be said on television, but we all know what he means.
By Fred Topel
19 August 2007
“There’s things that we just can’t say that we all know about,” said O’Loughlin. “Everyone knows. If he gets excited, for better or worse, he can vamp out a little bit. If you do have vampires about you in this modern day amongst you, amongst us all, they’re going through transformation publicly, they kind of have to keep it contained and that’s another layer of vulnerability for this guy. He can’t expose himself of course. Only thing I can say is that the private investigative element is that he, because of his special abilities, because he has superhuman powers, vampire kind of powers, he’s able to take on cases that perhaps other people wouldn’t. He’s able to pursue cases that may be unpursuable.”
Vampire mythology has long since been metaphorical. In this day and age, the idea of 90 to 400-year-old monsters remaining youthful and gorgeous speaks volumes to today’s plastic surgery culture. “I think there’s a lot of things in this genre and in this sort of era of storytelling that are analogous or metaphorical to stuff and certainly pertinent to what’s going on in today’s society with vanity. The thing is all this stuff, a lot of this stuff that we talk about, a lot of it is sort of drummed up and kept alive by the media and by us, by our demand for magazines and some of this, but it’s also a lot of it was born from the industry that we’re actually working in. So there’s a lot of interesting contradictions but as an actor, I look at the show and this is a story about this vampire, Mick St. John.”
Mick is not too happy to be immortal. “He fell in love with this beautiful woman back in the ’40 and ‘50s, he married this woman and she made him. She gave him this thing that she thought was a gift but to him was a curse. So the fact that he is 90 years old and he’s sort of ruggedly handsome, the fact that he’s still youthful and his skin is still youthful and his eyes are still bright is something that he struggles with. So it’s not actually something he ever really gets to enjoy. We’re going to present lots of stuff I think along those lines that I think you’re going to find interesting.”
The Aussie O’Loughlin is playing an American, and he is up to speed on American vampire stories. “I’ve been kind of obsessed with the genre since I first discovered it, since I could first get my head around it. I discovered Anne Rice when I was sort of late teens. I read the first five or six books of The Vampire Chronicles twice, actually which was a little obsessive. I loved her character development. I learned so much about the mythology of vampires through her storytelling and some of which she sort of took dramatic license with, but a lot is authentic. Also I grew up with, in Australia, I grew up with American TV and American cinema because we didn’t really have that much of our own. So I grew up with all of the films that you guys did. Lost Boys was a huge film for me when that was made and The Hunger was also something that I really loved. So yeah, I have always sort of wanted to play a vampire.”