Alex O’Loughlin plays Jennifer Lopez’s love interest in The Back-up Plan, a guy who ends up with more than he bargained for when he starts to date her.Toronto StarLisa Barnard22 April 2010
Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin plays Jennifer Lopez’s love interest in The Back-up Plan, opening Friday. He’s Stan, a dairy farmer who ends up with more than he bargained for when he starts to date feisty Manhattan pet-shop owner Zoe (Lopez). She’s decided to start a family on her own through artificial insemination, and learns she’s pregnant with twins as soon as they get together, creating some tension in their fledgling relationship — not to mention laughs.
O’Loughlin started his career in Australian films (Oyster Farmer) has had ongoing roles in American TV series Moonlight and Three Rivers. The 33-year-old, who was up for the role that eventually went to Daniel Craig as James Bond, will be seen next as Det. Steve McGarrett in CBS Television’s reboot of the long-running action series, Hawaii Five-O.
Q: As a father, what were you able to bring to the role of Stan?
Alex: Something I did relate to was the shock for a young man hearing the woman he is involved with is pregnant and the moment when Stan really comes to terms with it, and especially when he’s there and reading to (the twins) and that young man becoming a young father.
Q: You get some good advice on parenting from a playground dad (Anthony Anderson). How was it filming those scenes?
Alex: Anthony is a wonderful actor. He’s a funny dude who brings a great energy. Those scenes were important for my character in that they helped him come to terms with what’s happening, where he makes the decision to man up and carry on. We hit on some funny parts (about fatherhood).
Q: Often in a rom-com, the guy plays a second-banana role. Were you pleased Stan is more of an equal presence?
Alex: Well, initially I wanted Jennifer’s role, but upon further reading of the script, I decided I was safe on my own.
Q: What was up with your shirtless scenes on the farm?
Alex: What is he, a cheese farmer? (laughs) Better get ripped! They offered me a trainer and I was, ‘What for? I’m a dairy farmer.’ But they got me this trainer who is one of the best in the business, Jeff Blair. He taught me so much about nutrition. I’ve always been into athletics and sports, so I got to do something else I really enjoy while making the film.
Q: You’ve done a lot of drama and action and were even up for James Bond. Do you prefer that to comedy?
Alex: Drama is something that I know more intimately than comedy. I love comedy, though I find it more challenging. A rom-com is a more challenging thing for me. It’s a different way of working and it’s all about timing. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun.
Q: Jennifer Lopez has done several rom-coms. How was it working with her?
Alex: Jennifer is so good at it. She throws herself into it and isn’t afraid of failing. She’s the first one to throw herself in the mud.
Q: You’re taking on a famous role as Steve McGarrett in Five-O. It made Jack Lord’s career. How is your version of McGarrett different?
Alex: McGarrett is a Navy SEAL and he comes back to the island because of something that happens and ends up running a task force. It’s a great concept and it looks like a film the way it’s shot.
Q: Do you say ‘Book ’em Danno’?
Alex: Of course.