The ridiculously buff Alex O’Loughlin is set to make female hearts swoon, writes Andrew Fenton
The Advertiser in Adelaide,
And The Daily Telegraph
20 May 2010
There’s a scene about midway through The Back-up Plan in which Alex O’Loughlin takes off his shirt to reveal a ludicrously muscular chest and a six-pack. He plays Stan, a cheese-seller. And from the looks of things, Stan is the fittest cheese-seller in history.
“Cheese-sellers are pretty big, though – so I went method on this one,”
laughs the Australian actor on the phone from Los Angeles, the day after the film’s premiere.
He explains he was offered a physical trainer by the filmmakers – but then got a bit carried away.
“When I saw it last night, I was like: ‘Dude! You’re too fit! You shouldn’t have got that fit for that movie!”
But on the scale of things, being overly fit to play an entirely credible cheese merchant in a romantic comedy opposite Jennifer Lopez is a fairly good problem to have.
Five years ago, when the AFI-nominated actor (The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant) moved to Los Angeles, he was greeted with characteristic indifference.
“I didn’t work for the first few years, times got a bit tough and I found myself on a mate’s couch,” he says. “But then things came good.”
Now 33, his luck changed when he was cast as Detective Kevin Hiatt for a seven-episode run in The Shield. He followed that up with the family feature film August Rush and began to develop a massive female following thanks to his starring role as vampire-cum-private investigator Mick St. John in Moonlight.
Some of these female fans appear very devoted.
“I dare say,” he says. “It’s kind of weird. I really appreciate the support, it’s very validating. But they only know a version of me; they know what my face looks like and there are only a few people who really know me.”
Unfortunately for O’Loughlin though, the show never really recovered from the halt in production caused by the Hollywood writers’ strike and it wasn’t picked up for a second season.
His next show, medical drama Three Rivers, suffered a similar fate, getting the chop after just eight of 13 episodes were screened.
Little wonder he’s developed something of a nihilistic coping strategy.
“There are moments when you grab for hope, but if you grab for hope, you’re dead,” he says. “You can’t hope, it’s the nature of the world, the nature of this industry and how it works. All you’ve got is you, and so you show up, you do your best and then go home and try to forget about it.”
That probably explains why O’Loughlin is trying not to get his hopes up about his latest role as Detective Steve McGarrett in the CBS remake of Hawaii Five-0.
While only a pilot has been filmed so far, the series looks very promising, coming from the writers who recently resurrected Star Trek.
He says he’s under strict instructions not to talk about it.
“What I can say is that we’ve finished the pilot, it’s gone in (to CBS) and we don’t know about a pick-up yet; but it’s something I’m very excited about,” he says. “I was a bit young to be a fan of the show, but I knew it and this is a very modern take on it – it’s a really good remake.”
The vast majority of O’Loughlin’s television work has been with CBS – so it’s no surprise to see the actor headlining The Back-up Plan, which comes from CBS Films.
“Bonds of trust exist, he explains.
The film is fairly high-concept – after waiting all her life to meet the right man and start a family, Zo (J.Lo) becomes pregnant through artificial insemination on the very same day she meets Mr Right (O’Loughlin). Hilarity ensues.
“You couldn’t have made this movie thirty years ago, it wouldn’t have fitted the zeitgeist; but today you can,” O’Loughlin says.
“It’s about women who have their lives together but don’t have a partner and want a family – and can do it now.”
In real life, of course, Lopez got pregnant the old-fashioned way (to singer Marc Anthony) and gave birth to twins in 2008.
After having been provisionally offered the role, O’Loughlin dropped by the Lopez family home on Long Island with director Alan Poul (Six Feet Under).
“I met her and Marc and the kids, and we hung out,” he says. “Then Jen and I had a ‘chemistry meeting’ with the director, Alan. Essentially what we do is find out if we get each other – are we going to have a laugh?
“It’s like when you go to the pub and you meet someone, you work that out pretty quickly: You’re like, ‘Yeah, nah, I don’t want to have another beer with you’, or, ‘Let’s hang out’. It was just like that.”
The Herald Sun
The Daily Telegraph