Sioux City Journal.com
article by Bruce R Miller
10 December 2010
LOS ANGELES — The lantern jaw. The steely eyes. The no-nonsense approach. Jack Lord played those attributes in the original “Hawaii Five-O.” Now, says Alex O’Loughlin, the update’s new Steve McGarrett, it’d be wrong to copy them. “My Steve McGarrett is stoic in a lot of ways. He’s a military guy. It took a lot of dedication and perseverance to get to something like the Navy Seals…but he’s an interesting character study.”
The new version supplies plenty of back story — something the old one didn’t. “I found a lot of layers to this guy,” O’Loughlin says. “I had a lot to work with — stuff about his father, about his family, about the level of training that he’s done.”
That made him more than a facilitator and a real reason for O’Loughlin to predict success for the series. Indeed, “Hawaii Five-O” is one of the few new dramas to find a solid audience. It’s also O’Loughlin’s first hit — after tries with “Moonlight” and last year’s “Three Rivers.”
“If this one doesn’t work, I’m going to go away and look at films or go back to community theater,” the Australian says with a laugh. CBS executives, however, were determined to find O’Loughlin a property that worked. “Five-O” draws on his physicality; its past suggested some kind of tune-in.
Still, O’Loughlin says, “you never know what’s going to work. I look at some stuff on TV and it’s terrible. But lots and lots of people watch it. Then there are shows that are fantastic and no one watches them. There seems to be no rhyme or reason. But this has so much to offer…so many different people are fans of the old show. And it was a cool show.”
O’Loughlin counts himself among the faithful. “I love Jack Lord’s McGarrett. I love Jack Lord’s hair. I think he started ‘Blue Steel’ — that look he does.”
The original “Five-O” didn’t need a staff of scientists to solve crimes. Today, that’s almost a given on some shows. Thankfully, O’Loughlin says, “we don’t feel like we need to do anything to stand apart from that show. It’s 50 years later. We still pay homage to the old charm, but we come at it with the grace, integrity and respect so that we can go off in another direction.”
The result? A series that features more stunts than anyone could think possible. A physical guy, O’Loughlin says he loves the show’s level of action. “When I was doing the pilot I was cooped up in a hotel. Now, I’m adapting nicely. I’ve got a house there now and I can get out as much as I like. I don’t have any time to work out when we’re shooting but it’s part of my character, so that’s nice.”
The new series’ writing, he says, makes it fresh and interesting. “It’s a great pool of talents of like-minded people who have come together. There’s a great crime element, a great comedy element and a great character element.”
The wild card? That’s Hawaii.
“Hawaii is the fifth character on the show,” says Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman. “In order to make that personality come across, it wasn’t about finding stock footage from something else that existed. It was about keeping the quality level the same and making sure that we found moments that would be very specific to the identity of Hawaii.”
Now, Loughlin is as much a fan as Jack Lord was. “It’s really special,” he says of the state. “And Oahu’s not that large. It’s a very special part of the world and I’m adapting nicely.”
- Five years down the line and just starting Season 6 – I would say that is a great success. And he clearly more that just adapted nicely. My only hope is that Hawaii will not be the endgame for him in his career, because he has got so much more than just McGarrett in him as an actor …… May this just be his stepping stone for greater stuff to come – soon!