This article contains almost exactly the same information as an interview of MyTakeOnTV from 23 November 2007, which we posted a while back. The main difference with the previously posted article, is the introduction to the interview – but there is also some other stuff in the interview that are new as well – definitely worth a read.. (AND lots of pretty Mick to enjoy! 😀 )
This original article on UPBEAT seems to be missing, but I found this copy on AOLR.
By Bridget Petrella with additional writing by John Mundazio
– UPBEAT Entertainment News
Moonlight star Alex O’Loughlin has “it”… the certain “something” that actors who captivate us have… actors who bring us to moments of sheer passion … passion beyond the written word. And he has “it” in spades. There is a “yearning” in Mick St. John, a yearning O’Loughlin can convey with a mere glance or a rather encompassing stare. The man simply exudes a raw, somewhat primal state of sensuality. He does this in the same way another actor might blink or breath … it’s natural.
This is the primary reason the show continues to linger and entice more and more fans. Even when the entire supporting cast was literally replaced numerous times … O’Loughlin was a shoo-in. But it wasn’t always that way for this multifaceted Aussie.
Just three short years ago Alex O’Loughlin, now 31, moved to LA to find work. He says he had to leave Australia for work.
“Quite frankly, I couldn’t survive as an actor, I was sick of waiting tables and pouring beers and digging holes on building sites,” he says.
It was a gamble that paid off. Mick St. John is a charming— and immortal— private investigator from Los Angeles who defies the traditional blood-sucking norms of his vampire tendencies by using his wit and powerful supernatural abilities to help the living. In a life-altering twist of fate, Mick was “bitten” 60 years ago by his new bride, the seductive Coraline.
Forever 30 years of age, Mick’s as handsome and charismatic as the day he was “turned,” and he eschews others of his kind who view humans only as a source of nourishment. With only a handful of like-minded confidantes for company, including the eternally young, wealthy and mischievous Josef, a hedge fund trader who relishes his uniqueness, Mick fills his infinite days protecting the living.
But one night years ago, a single act of kindness changed Mick when he saved a young girl’s life, making him want to be a better vampire. Now their paths cross again and Mick develops a distinctive bond with Beth Turner who has grown into a beautiful, ambitious Internet investigative reporter.
Reconnecting with her unleashes feelings Mick knows he can’t pursue without exposing the part of him that would make him a monster in Beth’s eyes. As Mick lives between two realities, fighting his adversaries among the undead and falling in love, he discovers the mysteries and pleasures that a valuable life has to offer.
It’s inevitable that Mick St. John will be compared to Angel [David Boreanaz] but they have little in common aside from the dark broodiness one expects in the undead and the fact that neither consumes live human victims’ blood [St. John injects himself with human blood he obtains from a friend at the morgue]. The shows’ mythological differences are distinctively underscored in Moonlight’s early moments, which let viewers know immediately that it operates within the parameters of a new mythology.
In the premiere episode’s opening scene, Mick is imagining himself being interviewed about life as a vampire but live among us during the day. They don’t sleep in coffins [he sleeps in a freezer], crosses have no effect on them, garlic is good on pizzas but not for warding off evil, and a wooden stake through the heart won’t kill a vampire, even if it does hurt. Most important, there are only two ways to kill a vampire: burning or decapitation.
Although Mick is a relative newbie as a vampire, having only been “turned” 60 years ago, he is an old hand at detective work. The series’ first case ties in with one he worked 20 years earlier. The original case involved his vampire wife Coraline’s [Shannyn Sossamon] attempts to lure Mick back to her by kidnapping a child for the couple to raise together. After rescuing the girl and killing Coraline, Mick has kept tabs on the girl from afar.
O’Loughlin took a few minutes out of fighting the good fight to fill a handful of journalists, including UPBEAT Entertainment News in on where the series is heading, and why he’s so pleased to be a vampire on prime time TV.
UPBEAT: What was it about the character of Mick that really spoke to you and made you want to take on this obviously complex character?
Alex: I really liked his humor, was the first thing that came off the page. First of all, I mean you read, as an actor, you read scripts every day and you read people’s interpretation of the characters everyday and some are more thought out than others and some are more one dimensional, and also some characters speak to you more than others you know.
And this guy, I just really “got” him, I understood his motivation and I understood his passion, and I understood why he is conflicted, and I understood why he thought what he thought was funny was funny. Yeah, I just got him right away.
I guess it all stems down to empathy. I had empathy and understanding for him, so therefore I felt that I could justifiably play him.
UPBEAT: David Greenwalt came to the show briefly and then left for health reasons. What did he contribute to the show specifically to your character?
Alex: It’s a little difficult to answer that question because the crossover before David, introducing David, and letting David go, it all happened pretty suddenly. David wasn’t on board with us for that long, but he was on board for long enough to make a difference.
Those exact differences, it’s not that he actually made any fundamental changes to my character, nobody does that but me, but he helped us, you know, in the time that we were in the transition phase from the original pilot presentation to the recasting into Moonlight, he helped us find what the new show was going to be.
It’s not that different from the original concept. It’s just that he was there when we all came together and said ok what are the boundaries, what are the lines, what are the rules.
It was a relief that he was on the same page as we were and in the sense that this show is not about mythical books and goblins and trolls and monsters, that it’s about modern day vampires coming from a long lineage of first generation blood over the last 1500 years. And that’s it, it’s about vampires.
UPBEAT: You’re from Australia— how difficult it is to tackle the American accent and keep it consistent every episode?
Alex: I don’t find it difficult. I’m actually surprised by how little I have to ADR [Automated Dialog Replacement] for accent. Sometimes I’ll slur my words, or the mic won’t pick up the sound or whatever, but it’s not usually because I have to fix the accent. I’ve studied for a long time as well, like I’ve been studying acting for quite a while now. I’ve studied accents specifically… like since I was a little child.
When I was a little boy I was fascinated with people who made different sounds. I always used to guffaw at Scottish accents. When I’d hear anyone from Edinburgh or Glasgow, I’d just roar with laughter because I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard.
I guess to me, it’s always been like a music, which is the way I’ve approached it. Bearing that in mind, in combo with the fact that I’ve grown up with American television, you have to realize in Australia my generation was reared on your TV, all the hit shows over here were over there.
And my stepfather is Canadian. I’ve always been surrounded by the sound, so yeah, I don’t find it difficult, I really enjoy it actually. But I stay in it when I’m working, when I’m on the set.
UPBEAT: What’s your favorite thing about playing Mick or about Mick in general?
Alex: What’s my favorite thing about Mick? He’s an awesome character to play, I have to tell you, I’m standing here as I speak to you, covered in blood and mud. I’ve been awake since 4:30 this morning and I’ve had my hands inside another man’s stomach, tying off his thoracic aorta in the middle of nowhere.
So I mean the situations this guy gets himself into [laughs]. I read the scripts and I go ‘Oh Mick for God’s sake will you just go on Holidays. Can’t you just sit in a hut somewhere for a week?’ [laughs]
My favorite thing about him I think is his ability to overcome extreme drama and duress and not lose sight of the lighter side of life, which essentially stems back to the humanity that he desperately clings to, which is fundamentally extended in his heart.
So I think without sounding sanctimonious or sentimental, my favorite thing about this character is his heart.
UPBEAT: Without giving away too much inside information, obviously, you have Coraline, who is your sire. You have Jason Dohring’s vampire, who is an ancient vampire, but primarily a number of the vampires we’ve seen pop up have only recently been turned. Are we eventually going to be seeing more of the old vampire mythology and lore?
Alex: You are. You definitely are. Before the end of this round of 12 shows, you’re going to meet some extremely old, some extremely powerful vampires. You’re going to meet some of the lineage from the blood line that Coraline and Mick are from. You’re going to learn as well about where we come from and where Coraline and Mick roots are.
We start exploring blood lines and you’re going to learn about where our vampires have inevitably been. We have a procedural element in this show, we always will have a procedural element in this show, and that’s been established, and now the mythology and the true fan stuff, I mean the fans are going to go nuts.
Like I’m a vampire fan and there is some really juicy stuff coming up in the next episodes that air.
UPBEAT: What actors or actresses do you draw your inspiration from… who are your favorites?
Alex: God, there are so many wonderful actors. Sean Penn got up at the Academy Awards when he won and said ‘Everyone knows there is no best in acting.’ And he’s right, there is no best, there are many performances which have inspired me over the years.
Sean Penn is certainly one of them. Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Daniel Day Lewis is an absolute phenomenon. He’s like an enigma, I’ve watched his performances and I can’t for the life of me work out how he transforms as he does. Marlon Brando. I love Marlon Brando, for all of his arrogance and the ability to back it up.
I love actors that don’t make half decisions. Mel Gibson. Growing up as a kid in Australia and seeing him do the films he did, the ‘Mad Max’ films, and then move over to America and cross the bridge to producing and directing as well, and put together films like ‘Braveheart.’
It’s tough for any young man who’s in the industry, I would imagine, not to find inspiration in that. But then there are other actors the world doesn’t know about that I’ve grown up with, and watched on stage; actors who have breathed such life into performances… that have changed my life. They’re some of my best friends, so that’s as influential to me as the big name stars that we all see in film.
UPBEAT: What is your perspective on why the audience should pay attention to Moonlight? Why should they tune in?
Alex: I think it’s a really satisfying show. We own the demographic, and we own the demographic for a reason and that is that people of all ages are enjoying the show. Everyone from teenagers to middle aged people… [smiles] are sitting down watching Moonlight because it’s got so many elements that we turn to.
It’s a love story. It’s a story about unrequited love. It’s got incredible action and great fight sequences. It’s got a tormented conflicted protagonist who always goes towards good, well for now, and whose rules are ambiguous and his motives, at times, are ambiguous, and it’s based in a genre that’s really exciting, that’s mysterious, that’s really sexy.
CBS hasn’t pulled punches on the show, they’ve allowed us to take it to levels of truth, they’ve allowed us to take it to levels of humanity where network TV can sometimes skimp on because they want it to look better or not be as real or be less sort of confrontational.
I just think it’s an all around good show. I think it’s also a show that questions the norm, that questions the beliefs, you know, society’s belief on certain topics. I hope that’s a sort of roundabout answer to your question [laughs].
- Of course, Mick only injected himself with blood in the very first episode of Moonlight and we never see it again.
- Although many of the article from events which a number of journalists attended together are basically the same, there is always something new and interesting to be found in every one of them.