After once again seeing Alex’s doggie Dusty doing her thing and enjoying herself and entertaining us and the people at the Blessing ceremony last week, I kept thinking about this interview back in the beginning of Season 2, when Dusty was still a puppy of a few months old. Then realised we haven’t posted and added this article to our media archive yet…..
Hope you enjoy it. 🙂
Alex O’Loughlin talks to TV Week’s Jenny Cooney Carillo about filming Hawaii Five-0 and life in paradise
Australian TV Week
8 October 2011
As Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-0, Alex O’Loughlin has run the gamut of being shot at and beaten up to jumping out of a moving car. But when TV Week caught up with the charming Aussie on the phone on the set of the hit action series, he was dealing with a more personal drama: rushing his dog, Dusty, to the vet after an accident on set.
“She just ran into the back door of my trailer and I think she broke her leg,” he says anxiously. “So bear with me while I get her in the car and talk to you on our way to the vet.”
The down-to-earth Alex – whose previous credits include The Shield, Moonlight and short-lived medical drama Three Rivers – is keen to talk about season two of Hawaii Five-0. Season one ended with Governor Jameson (Jean Smart) killed, McGarrett framed for the murder, Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) rejoining the Honolulu Police Department and Kono (Grace Park) arrested for corruption.
“He puts the team back together, but it’s severely fractured,” Alex, 35, previews, as he rides in the back of the car with his dog on his lap. “There’s a whole new level of problems for McGarrett this season, with a new reality about the governor, Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) and his father, plus the connection between the three. So there’s a lot of focus on what he’s going to do about that and how he’ll find out what went on.”
Hawaii Five-0 premiered in Australia earlier this year with much hype, thanks to the success of the original series starring Jack Lord, which ran from 1968 to 1980. And now that the rebooted show has come into its own, Alex hints we’ll see McGarrett in a different light this season.
“What’s great is now I get to play with a character who’s off-centre and out of his element with this new information about his dad,” he says. “Because he’s such a know-it-all and he’s good at everything and figures everything out, it gets really interesting when a character like that all of a sudden doesn’t know which way to turn.”
Although the show killed off Jean Smart’s character, two new faces will arrive this season: Lost star Terry O’Quinn as McGarrett’s mentor, Joe White, and Lauren German as the team’s new profiler, Officer Lori Weston.
“The family we spend all this time with is developing and has doubled in size, yet feels stronger than ever,” Alex says. He describes former Heroes star Masi Oka, who plays the musical coroner we’ve come to love, as “a p*sser who brings a real comic relief that the rest of us don’t have the capacity to pull off”, and reveals he was thrilled when Terry joined his former Lost co-star Daniel on the show.
“They get along great and many of our crew worked on Lost, so it adds another level of comfort to the set,” Alex says. “His character is also a big deal in McGarrett’s life, as Joe White represents the father Steve lost.”
Alex also reveals that an NCIS: Los Angeles crossover episode has been shot, featuring Daniela Ruah, who plays Special Agent Kensi Blye in that hit procedural. “Joe White flies her out because she’s an expert lip-reader and she helps us pull some information from footage we find of my [character’s] father, Jameson and Wo Fat,” he explains.
“I thought it was a really interesting cross-pollination because we’re not NCIS and NCIS is not Hawaii Five-0 – but it worked. It’s great that we can push characters over and back, as long as we make sure that the shows stay true to what they are.”
It’s clear during our phone chat that Dusty’s wellbeing is first and foremost on Alex’s mind, so I let him take care of matters. He calls back later in the day, after waiting for an X-ray that confirms Dusty has indeed broken her leg. With Dusty now treated, Alex is in the car on his way back to the set. As for how often he needs medical attention on the action-oriented show, Alex says, “I’m always hurt! I stopped on my way home the other night and picked up 15 bags of ice so I could jump into an ice bath as soon as I got home.”
Notoriously private, the former NIDA graduate won’t discuss his personal life (including ex-girlfriends and Aussie actresses Amber Clayton and Holly Valance) or his son, Saxon, 14, from a previous relationship – but there’s no doubt he’s enjoying life in Hawaii.
“I’ve bought a house in Diamond Head (Honolulu), so I’m a full-time resident now, and I love it,” he grins. “It’s just me and my dog, Dusty, and life is good!”