Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin gets romantic with Hollywood superstar Jennifer Lopez in the new romantic comedy
‘The Back-Up Plan’
by Gill Pringle
Upon hearing Jennifer Lopez and her latest leading man whisper and laugh between takes on the set, you’d assume that this fellow was your typical A-lister confident of his place in at the top of the food chain. After all, J-Lo’s previous co-stars have included Ben Affleck, Ralph Fiennes and Richard Gere. Her new co-star, however, is 34-year-old Aussie actor Alex O’Loughlin, whose film career began just five years ago with home grown drama, Oyster Farmer. Promptly relocating to Hollywood, he appeared in the TV cop drama The Shield, before landing the lead role in the TV series Moonlight, where he played a vampire cop. Six Feet Under producer Alan Poul was quick to spot O’Loughlin’s smouldering potential, and invited him to test alongside Lopez for the romantic comedy The Back-Up Plan.
“Alex is a movie star,” says Poul emphatically. “Working with him has been amazing, given that he’s never done flat-out comedy before. He’s a classically trained actor from the Australian stage, so it was a learning process for him to find the comedy rhythms without sacrificing any emotional integrity. He’s an incredible talent. Alex and Jennifer also have such fantastic chemistry. They dig each other both as characters and as people.”
Lopez plays a career woman who has given up on meeting “the one”, only to meet him hours after becoming artificially inseminated. Today, on the CBS Studios lot, the couple are filming a scene where O’Loughlin’s Stan brings take-out to Lopez’ heavily pregnant Zoe. It’s a scene that Lopez could do with her eyes closed. “I’ve had children before movie,” muses the actress/singer, sipping at a Diet Coke. “But now I have a whole new perspective.”
Indeed, The Back-Up Plan marks Lopez’ post-motherhood return to the big screen, and she admits that there’s a lot of pressure. “It’s been a couple of years, after being pregnant and then being with the twins for over a year,” Lopez explains. “I was excited to get back to work, but at the same time I was like, ‘What if I just forgot how to do it right?’ My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to remember my lines, because you get forgetful after giving birth. Now that I’m back though, I feel like it would be stupid to ever have fear about anything as it pertains to my work. I’m just totally fearless – take all the risks that you can, and hopefully it will come out great.”
O’Loughlin agrees that there’s no holding her back, especially in those scenes where her pregnant character succumbs to hormonal craziness. “Did it surprise you when I got kooky and started screaming and throwing things around?!” Lopez teases him. “No not really, because I’ve known women in my life, so it’s not like, ‘Wow! A crazy one!’ I mean the level of craziness is all relative,” he replies tactfully. “Right now, you are in such dangerous territory,” Lopez says, her eyes narrowed in mock anger. “Slow down with the crazy women and how many levels of crazy there are.”
Considering that he is starring with one of the most gossiped about actresses in Hollywood, O’Loughlin says that he had no preconceptions. “I really didn’t have that many,” he says. “I mean, she’s smokin’ hot, she’s super famous ….. that’s really all I knew. I don’t read gossip stuff; I don’t give a shit about it. But have I been surprised by Jennifer? For somebody as iconic as she is … ‘” he says.
Lopez is quick to egg him on. “I want to hear this,” she laughs. “No, I’m not giving it now. You can’t make me,” he flirts right back.
In the meantime, actor-on-the-rise Alex O’Loughlin has no shortage of beautiful female company, next starring with Kate Beckinsale in the crime thriller Whiteout, and further amping up his potential sex symbol status …