TV Line interview, Alex previews 150th episode and more

Hawaii Five-0‘s Alex O’Loughlin Previews Episode 150’s Awkward Reunions, Hints at His Exit Plan

by Matt Mitovich

– November 1, 2016

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This Friday at 9/8c, CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 celebrates 150 episodes with an hour that finds team leader Steve McGarrett (played by Alex O’Loughlin) unexpectedly reunited with both his mother Doris (Christine Lahti) as well as his almost-fiancee Catherine (Michelle Borth).

The set-up: Having skipped out on Steve for top-secretive reasons at the start of Season 6, Catherine resurfaces from out of the blue with news of Doris’ capture and imprisonment at a CIA black site. Alas, Catherine drops this bombshell right in the midst of her ex’s very cozy evening of “romance and fine dining” with current girlfriend Lynn (Sarah Carter) — who goes on to share perhaps a bit too much with her predecessor. (Blame the wine?) Regardless, a thrilling rescue mission ensues!
Elsewhere in the milestone episode, Chin Ho awaits word on his latest effort to stall niece Sara’s adoption, while Grover enlists his son for an “intelligence gathering” op, while Danny is out of town tending to his hospitalized father.
Here, the extremely candid Alex O’Loughlin shares with TVLine a preview of No. 150, reflects on the 149 episodes leading up to it and teases his current timetable for turning in McGarrett’s badge and gun.

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TVLINE: Without Hawaii Five-0 revealing too much, the cold open to this episode is so deliciously awkward.
ALEX: With Lynn and Catherine? Yeah…. Yeah, it’s funny.
TVLINE | I almost felt like Steve wanted to run away upstairs and just let them sort things out.
ALEX: Most definitely. And he kind of does! For most of the rest of the show, he kind of does.

TVLINE | How are things going to be when Steve lays eyes on dear old mom?
ALEX: Oh, she’s a pain in the ass, man. [Laughs] You know, it’s an interesting thing because if this actually happened to you — if you were Steve McGarrett and you had this experience with your mother where she disappeared for 20 years and faked her own death and lied to you continually and then came back and made you promises and didn’t keep them and left again —at what point do you sort of give up?

And if you don’t give up, what does that look like? These are all questions I have to think about while I’m playing these scenes. So, what’s it going to be like? It’s going to be filled with different emotions, but it’s also funny. They’ve gotten to a dynamic where they just frustrate each other!

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TVLINE | We also get Hawaii Five-0 flashbacks where you see how things were very warm between them for however many years she was in his life as a kid. That sticks with a person, regardless.
ALEX: Right. Look, I’ve got little kids, and it’s so critically important the way we raise our kids and that we don’t f–k them up. There are so many damaged people in the world and a lot of that is because their parents didn’t do a good job.

It’s really easy not to do a good job, and sometimes you can not do a good job and not even realize it, so you’ve got to be careful what data you sort of download onto their clean little hard drives. It’s a delicate balance. Doris is a basket case, and as a result of that, Steve carries a lot of baggage about that woman.

TVLINE | Looking back over these first 150 episodes, what’s been the most difficult scene for you to do physically?
ALEX: I don’t know how to answer that question; I’m all f—ked up, man. I mean I’ve blown both shoulders, one knee. I’ve had my elbow tendon reattached. I’ve got bulging discs in my neck and my back. I don’t know where to start. I’m a mess, and a lot of it’s been really, really hard. I think back to when I was doing most of my own stunts in the first few years — that was not a great idea. But the physical exhaustion of working with injury and working huge hours day after day, year after year…. The whole show has been extremely physically daunting. That’s one of the things I’m trying to figure out at the moment now; I don’t know how much longer I can do it.
TVLINE | You recently hinted at your intention to exit Hawaii Five-0 after any potential Season 8. (Season 7 is currently up in the ratings vs. last year.) Is that still your plan?
ALEX: Absolutely. I’m just trying to make it through the end of [Season] 7! [Five-0] is really, really wonderful, but it is an action show, I’m the main guy, and I defy anybody to do what I’ve done for as long I’ve done it and hold out the way I have. Dude, I was a fit, strong, healthy guy when I started the show, and I still am, but you sustain what you sustain. It’s part of the gig.

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TVLINE | And what has been the most difficult scene for you to do emotionally?
ALEX: That’s a really good question. Once I finish an episode, I put it out of my mind so that I can move on and retain new information, but the 100th episode [where McGarrett got waterboarded] was really hard. We had a medic standing by, and I set it up so I actually let them waterboard me and I thought it would be interesting, but I got really sick with pneumonia after that. I had to kind of “go there” with some of the emotional stuff about my dad, so I tried to sink my teeth into that one. Yeah, I really felt depleted after that one.
TVLINE | Scott Caan sadly wasn’t available for Episode 150, but [showrunner] Peter Lenkov has told me that you two absolutely love doing the bickering “McDanno” scenes.
ALEX: I mean, it comes pretty naturally. We’re both argumentative and opinionated, so it’s easy to yell at each other. But it’s also one of the first aspects that came out of our characters in the pilot, in the first read-through of the pilot script. We don’t back down from one another, so when we get that stuff, we know it’s fun and we know how to play it.

There are certain things that they write that work really well with us — like when we have to go to therapy — and we actually have fun when we do it because not all this stuff is fun. Like, standing around a Surface table and spouting exposition for days and days is not a fun aspect of the job. It’s just sort of information, you know. But that [McDanno] stuff is fun.

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TVLINE | Five-0 is obviously more commercial fare than Moonlight, but for an actor, does getting to do 150 episodes of something soothe the sting of the occasional one-and-done, 17-episode series?
ALEX: For sure. Look, don’t get me wrong, 150 episodes of the show is an extraordinary feat, it’s a testament to every single person that works on the show. It’s a miracle that a show gets picked up at all, but to go this long is fantastic and I consider myself one of the luckiest guys in the world, I really mean that.

It doesn’t make it any easier to do the show — the show’s a f–king beast— but it’s incredible that we’ve been able to give jobs to hundreds of local people for seven years. We’ve been able to entertain millions of people for seven years. We’ve been able to keep telling these great stories. So yeah, it goes far above and beyond soothing the sting of the show that doesn’t get a Season 2. I’m glad it all happened the way it did.

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I sure hope 7.07 will live up to the hype 🙂

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12 Comments

Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, articles

12 responses to “TV Line interview, Alex previews 150th episode and more

  1. Dee Ann korth

    First of all this is a great interview! I have loved Alex and Hawaii five since it started in 2010. I would love a season eight but not at the cost of alex’ s health. The rating have been up for season seven so far! Also love the bromance between him and Scott caan! I hope Steve gets the anwsers from Doris that he needs. Like the name of the episode is mother and son this is about them ! Alex thank you for seven wonderful season and one more !

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  2. gracenotpark

    Alex us a perpetual cutie. Also he needs to put his foot down and stop doing stunts. The writers must write calmer moves for him. 😕

    Like

  3. I’ve been an Alex fan since the first night that Moonlight premiered on US television, Sept. 28, 2007. This is the most open interview I’ve ever seen from him about his personal life. The revelation about his health issues have me feeling very emotional; but these were his choices. I still don’t like that he’s so beaten up, but his complete dedication to this role shows how driven he is. Alex has always had stunt doubles, he’s the one who has insisted on doing so many of his own stunts. You can’t blame the writers, producers or CBS for this. There’s an interview with James Marsters (Victor Hesse) that was done soon after filming the pilot. In it Marsters says how Alex’s stunt team had so little to do because Alex insisted on doing most of his own stunts. That being said, Alex seems to have a very level head, I’m sure he’ll make the choice that’s right for him and his family.

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    • Maybe part of his “mistakes” doing stunts is that he can not to say no? And obviously he gets carried away with the action sometimes too, it is in his nature. With age comes wisdom, and he might finally have learned to be more careful.

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  4. kathysr

    I read this article several times just to fully absorb it. Alex really is severely injured. He must work in constant pain, which is physically and emotionally exhausting. My heart goes out to him. Sometimes I can see the pain and fatigue etched on his face.

    The romantic dinner starts out wonderfully. Steve looks drop dead gorgeous all dressed up. He takes my breath away. And he’s being good. Lynn drinks wine, but he doesn’t, following doctor’s orders for once. Lynn looks a little weird to me. I don’t like the outfit or the hairstyle, both look phony and contrived. She’s much prettier and more authentically herself as the casual, outdoor, athletic woman we met on their first date last year and then on Valentine’s Day. I don’t care for this tricked out Kewpie doll look.

    Then the door opens to Catherine, of all people. And off we go to rescue Doris again! lol, Alex (as Steve) and I feel exactly the same way about Doris: She’s a pain in the ass!! Christine and Alex are magic as Doris and Steve struggle to understand, accept and tolerate each other. Doris has no right to expect anything from Steve. She lost all emotional claim to him when she “died,” disappearing the first time for twenty years. She shows up again, totally emotionally blows him away, hangs around for a while and then mysteriously disappears again, staying unfindable, just when he MIGHT be growing to love and forgive her. Let’s rip his heart out again, OK? If I were Steve, I could never trust a single thing Doris ever told me. What a way to feel towards your own mother. But Steve seems to be emotionally resilient, and seems to have moved past this trauma. Some of us just have really weird parents!

    It will be interesting to see how this episode plays out.

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  5. kathysr

    Another fabulous TV Guide interview about the 150th episode. What Alex says about true, deep love takes my breath away.

    http://www.tvguide.com/news/hawaii-five-0-150th-episode-mcgarrett-catherine-alex-oloughlin/?ftag=TVG_Twitter

    Like

  6. Julia

    First of all thank you so much for your site! You are doing such an AMAZING job with it! This was a great interview, and now I want to hug him and wrap him in cotton wool! The man puts himself out there for us – and he’s so good! I hope his health improves and he stays on, but if he has to leave – well he gave us some amazing acting.

    Like

  7. cwtshjan

    H50 and more especially Alex have been a great part of my life for the last 6 years or so. Alex somehow got to a place deep in my heart, something no other celeb had done before or since. I would miss him and the show terribly if it stopped, but sense tells us tv shows finish so it’s bound to happen. All I hope is that Alex finds something to do after H50 that will fulfil his great potential and make him happy with himself. His body has certainly suffered for the show but it also gave him a wife and child and an inner satisfaction and love for the island he now calls home. All in all H50 has been good to many people including Alex and his fans. He’s a special person so I’m sure we’d see him again in another show or film. Can’t imagine life without him now.

    Like

  8. lindae5o

    I love all these great photos. The first one is a stunner!! Thank you. Agree about these two interviews – Alex really bares his soul to us !! I hate that he’s suffering!! I hope he will survive this season and the next one, by really pacing himself, so as not to aggravate his present state.
    I’m really looking forward to the many great things Alex is destined for. He deserves to have recognition for his amazing talent.

    Like

  9. Reblogged this on alex the manDeniseolo's Blog and commented:
    Cat is better for steve

    Like

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