‘Hawaii Five-0′: Alex O’Loughlin Gets Candid About His Decision to Leave the Show

On a previous occasion in November we already posted part of this article when it was first released. I thought it might be good to do the full article again just to keep our media archive up to date and just add some thoughts with it.
Of course in his latest Watch! interview Alex already confirmed that his treatment, for the injuries mentioned in this article, is working and that it would make him reconsider leaving the show soon and going on beyond Season 8 if the show continues.
All the speculations and wannabe journalists posting articles about their own speculations of him leaving are really getting tiresome. And also everybody sharing those posts and getting spooked every time and going into a frantic panic every time, are a bit pathetic.Time will tell.
Really people, it is a Television show and not the end of the world. If it continues after Season 8, and continues with Alex, so be it, if not that is also fine …… why jump the gun and get into a panic over nothing? For now we still have a season to look forward to.

Let’s continue with the article from November …..

On the 150th episode of the CBS series Hawaii Five-0, entitled “Ka makuahine a me ke keikikane” (which is Hawaiian for “Mother and Son”), Five-0 must team up to free Steve McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) mother, Doris (Christine Lahti), when Catherine (Michelle Borth) informs them that she’s been captured. But even though she’s about to be executed after attempting to free Wo Fat’s imprisoned father, that doesn’t stop Doris from wanting to complete her very dangerous mission.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, Aussie actor Alex O’Loughlin talked about why he thinks Hawaii Five-0 has had such tremendous success, when Hawaii really started to feel like home for him, the return of the two most important women in Steve McGarrett’s life, whether he gets any closure for either relationship, why the dynamic between Steve and Danno (Scott Caan) is so important to the show, why he’s made the decision to leave the show after eight seasons (if they get that far), and how he’s hoping to direct an episode in Season 8. Be aware that there are some spoilers discussed.

  

for   Collider

4 November 2016

Collider: Congrats on 150 episodes!

Alex: Thank you! 

Collider: That’s a big milestone that very few TV series ever get to anymore.

Alex: It’s quite extraordinary, in this climate of television, I have to say.

Collider: As an actor in a profession where you never know what the next job will be, is it cool to know that people still want to tune in and that they keep coming back?

Alex: : Yeah, it is cool. It’s also reassuring, in a number of different ways. I’ve seen how hard everyone works, that I work with on this show. It makes me really happy for everyone, and for all the hard work we all put in.

Collider: Very few reboots, remakes and reimaginings have actually done well. Most of them don’t make it, but this show has beaten all the odds. What do you think the secret to the success of Hawaii Five-0 has been?

Alex: Well, I think it’s a number of different things. Let me preface by saying I don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s my disclaimer. What do I know? But, I think one of the reasons that reboots don’t work is that they try to emulate what’s been done before. What we’ve done with this is quite different to what came before. My McGarrett is so different from Jack Lord’s McGarrett, and Scott’s Danno is very different from the old Danno.

But I also think that with every successful show, there’s an element of alchemy somewhere. The alchemy, in this instance, has something to do with the chemistry between the cast, what Peter Lenkov brings with his plot-driven writing, and the beautiful scenery that plays the character of Hawaii. It all just works.

Collider: You’ve been doing this show for a few years now and it seems like you’re pretty embedded in Hawaii and the Hawaiian way of life. When did Hawaii really start to feel like home for you?

Alex: I can settle pretty well and pretty quickly, pretty much anywhere. I’m an actor and, as an actor, you’re kind of like a traveling salesman. It’s pretty easy to hang your hat and get comfortable [in Hawaii]. I got very comfortable here very quickly, but after I’d been here about a year and a half or two years, I knew that this place was in my heart, forever.

Collider: It can’t hurt to work in paradise, on a regular basis.

Alex: People come here for a week at a time, but there are aspects of living on an island in the middle of the ocean that are difficult, too. Any place has its pros and cons. I do need to leave, once a year. I take my family and we go away to other places. Otherwise, you start to take it for granted and it can lose its charm. I don’t ever want that to happen, so we travel.

Collider: This is a very big episode, being the 150th, with the return of Catherine and having to rescue McGarrett’s mom. What can you say to tease the return of what are arguably the two most important women in his life, both of whom seem to keep eluding him?

Alex: I think it’s a really important episode for Steve, in the sense that these women have meant the most to him in his life, but have also caused the most grief and pain. They’re both a pain in the ass, but they also both mean more to him than anyone else. There’s closure with one, and then kind of closure with the other. The closure he gets with Catherine is really important. It answers a couple of questions for him. Whenever anyone is left in the situation that he was in, it forces that person to look at themselves and question whether or not they were the problem, and I think that’s finally done for him.

And then, with his mom, it’s tricky. I don’t think he’ll ever get to a place where he’s just at peace with it, but I think he’s getting closer and he’s becoming less emotionally volatile. She has less power over him, emotionally. It’s been a long road for him, with her.

Collider: It’s nice to get to see a bit of what life was like for McGarrett growing up, and what his relationship was like with his mother when he was a kid. How do you think the relationship they have know reflects the one that they had then?

Alex: I don’t think it does. You’re talking about the vulnerability and trust of a child and its mother. When the parent loves the child the way she did him and his sister, and then proceeds to do the things that she did, that trust no longer exists and the relationship changes. Since we’ve known McGarrett, he’s been searching for what that relationship is now and how that relationship is now, and I think that’s becoming more clear for him.

Collider: Knowing that Steve was going to propose to Catherine before she left, do you think he’ll ever consider marriage again, or has that opportunity passed?

Alex: (SPOILERS) I don’t know. I don’t write the show, and I don’t know what’s around the corner. But from the character’s standpoint, I don’t think he would consider marriage with Catherine, at all. What’s become clear is that Catherine is not the correct candidate, regardless of how they feel about each other.

The life choices that she’s clearly committed to are not going to work. Even though he hasn’t been married before, he’s smart enough to understand what the institution of marriage requires and what it would mean. She took that off the table when she made the decisions that she made. He respects and admires the decisions that she’s made, but she’s removed herself as a candidate for any kind of long term.

Through Catherine doing what she needs to do for herself, following the path that she needs to take, he has been able to empathize with Doris on a level that he couldn’t before. In a way, she has humanized his mother for him. That’s what she has facilitated for him, more than anything else. That’s the greatest gift anyone could have given this guy.

Collider: One of the best parts of this show is watching the dynamic between Steve and Danno because it’s so fun and so funny, and they’ve been through a lot together, since it all started. What do you still enjoy about playing that dynamic and working with Scott Caan?

Alex: First of all, he’s a mate of mine. We’ve become mates, over the years, and it’s nice to work with your mate. When you’re friends with the people that you’re working with – and that goes for all of my other cast members – it’s fun. Work becomes less painful. It’s all about the long, long, long hours, and what the show requires of us.

So, to do all of that, day after day, and to produce this show the way that we do, with friends, makes it worth doing. If we weren’t friends, I wouldn’t have signed on for a couple more years. Specifically, I think that our dynamic together is really important. It’s part of what makes this show appealing and it’s part of what makes this show enjoyable to watch. I love seeing what our dynamic brings out because sometimes it’s a surprise to us, as well.

Collider: Seven seasons into this show, you’re closer to the end than you are to the beginning, at this point. Have you made a definite decision that eight seasons is it for you?

Alex: I’ve decided. Beyond anything else, I don’t want to do any more because I don’t want to kill it. It’s still got some magic left in it. It’s hard to keep it alive and fresh. It’s hard to keep it fun and new, each day. I’m worried that I won’t even be able to do that until the end of Season 8, but I’m going to keep swinging until I’m in the box.

The other thing is that physically, I’ve had a lot of injuries. I’ve been hurt really badly on this show. I’ve now got some serious back issues, which I’m going back and forth to California to deal with. I don’t want to fuck my body up anymore.

I’m getting stem cell treatments in my spine, so that I can pick my kids up. At a certain point, it’s television. Film and TV is not as important as my life. I don’t think I can physically do any more than eight years. We might not even do an eighth year. That’s a little presumptuous of us to even be speaking like this. But, if they want us to do an eighth year, that will be it for me.

Collider: Have you thought about where you’d like to see Steve McGarrett end up and have you had any discussions with the writers about that?

Alex: I don’t really speak to the writers because it’s frustrating for me when we see things differently. I just try to do my best with what they give me. They have their own ideas, and I have my own ideas.

Frankly, I think that if my ideas were written down, we probably wouldn’t still be on the air. I don’t know how to make a successful TV show. So, I’m open to it. As long as it’s smart, thought-out, creative and interesting, I’m down with it.

Collider: A lot of actors who are thinking about trying their hand at directing seem to do so with an episode of their own TV series. Over the course of seven seasons, have you ever thought about taking on an episode of the show, as a director?

Alex: I will be directing an episode in Season 8, if we make it that far. I’m here, every day, and I think all of us have a say in the way that it’s going to go, on that day. We all know how the show is shot and how to tell the story. It won’t be that foreign for me to sit in that chair.

After this is all over, I hope directing is a part of my career. I don’t think I’m that good at the acting part. I think I’m fine at it, but I think I’m probably a little better at directing. But then again, maybe I’m horrible at it. If they don’t put my episode on the air, than we’ll know that that won’t be a part of my future.

 

 

My thoughts

  • It is clear that Alex wants the show to go out on a high, while the character is still “alive”. –It’s still got some magic left in it”
  • At the time Alex talked a lot about the abuse and injuries to his body, but it is clear that by the end of the season  his health improved and his body clearly functioned at a high level again. Probably with good therapy and looking after it properly, it got a lot better.
  • It looks like at the time of this article that he made a decision to make Season 8 his last. But I guess we will have to wait and see how firm that decision was. Things change with time. Some changes to the demands of the show and workload, could make him change his mind. Nothing is done until it is done. Speculation won’t change it.
  • And can people also stop saying that Scott Caan said that he would leave Hawaii Five-0 if Alex leaves. There is NO such interview or article of him saying that. It is fans speculating and making up stories and then people start selling the stupidity as gospel. Scott and Alex are not tied at the hip. Although they are work colleagues and friends, they both have their own lives, families, partners, kids, careers and lots of much older and closer friends.
  • Alex said he will be directing in Season 8. The way it is written, it sounds like a firm commitment for it was already made. BUT it does not say that he will be producing of writing any episode. I see a lot of comments where people just add their own conclusions to what is being said.
  • I am definitely in two minds about the directing thing. Of course I would love for him to succeed at it, but then I also selfishly do not want him to exchange that for acting.
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8 Comments

Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, articles, Interviews

8 responses to “‘Hawaii Five-0′: Alex O’Loughlin Gets Candid About His Decision to Leave the Show

  1. So he doesn’t think he’s good at the acting part. Who is the stupid jerk who put that idea into his head? Alex, wake up! You’re EXCELLENT!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mamayorkie

    “Alex: (SPOILERS) I don’t know. I don’t write the show, and I don’t know what’s around the corner. But from the character’s standpoint, I don’t think he would consider marriage with Catherine, at all. What’s become clear is that Catherine is not the correct candidate, regardless of how they feel about each other.”

    True- Alex does not write the show and his feelings reflect only that which his character was aware of at the time he made the comment.
    NB: he was referring to his character, not his personal feelings, which seems to have confused many in the fandom. Alex never said he hatred McRoll as some have erroneously posted.

    PL made it clear that Alex only knew what was in a few scripts beyond 707 and that the relationship with Catherine is not over and that the character will be a part of the series to the end. Of course, now Alex knows how that stands since this initial interview was met with a quick counter piece by PL regarding his possible exit after S8 and perhaps continuing the show without him. Since Alex seems to be doing much better health wise, what he said in Watch! gave hope to many fans that he would stay for S9. I hope so. I can’t see watching if he goes.

    It did occur to me that because the actress who plays Lynn was an old friend of his and had been written out of her series, and since he is very loyal to his friends, that he might have wanted to see her role expanded to “girl friend”. That didn’t happen Perhaps that is why many of us saw so little chemistry on the screen. It’s hard to act like a lover when what you really want to do is goof around and talk about old times with a pal. The writers made her a “lady friend”, a term which means a casual relationship which is not serious. That was their signal. Also, Lynn is not in his future as per PL, so he cleared the air about that, too.

    No one else is ever going to call the shots on his show. Was he right to give his own rebuttal interview after reading the one by Alex? I think he was forced to do that. Some people think that PL threw Alex under the bus with that interview. I have said before that I believe Alex stepped in front of the bus himself and that PL just didn’t bother to swerve.

    And by the way, Alex and Michelle get along just fine and both have said they enjoy working together. They are professionals and will bring their best work to the show as we have come to expect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mamayorkie

    Lest anyone think that I am absolving PL of anything that occurred in the battle of the interviews, i am not. I just believe that the decision to leave a show, references to the writers, etc. should have been made privately to PL and the Network. Much of what we read could have been the result of physical pain, exhaustion and concern for his family. It may very well be that the Network was not pleased to read about it in print. That may have sparked PL’s decision to give his own interview, too. I wonder if all parties regret the incident. I suspect they may.

    We will never know all the facts.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. vanduyn

    I think we just have to wait and see how things go. No reason to get ahead of ourselves. I have actually speculated when Alex leaves Scott will, but that is my opinion only. I have come to that conclusion because he does less episodes now.

    Like

  5. Lulu

    I think Alex was exhausted and in pain when he said S8 was the last one for him. I liked that the Watch article gave me some hope that if the show goes to S9, Alex will stay on. But, on the other hand, I would like to see him do something different as he is so talented and becomes each character he has ever played. How humble (and wrong) for him to say that he’s not good at the acting part. He’s a fantastic actor!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kathysr

    I’m going to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. I think Scott will leave before Alex does. And I hope I’m totally wrong on that. We have to see how the first few episodes of Season 8 play out.

    Like

  7. FRAN COLE

    ALEX YOU’RE AN AWESOME ACTOR & I THINK YOU DO GREAT @ ACTING. I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE GOING THROUGH WITH THE BACK PROBLEMS, I’VE BROKEN MY BACK 3 TIMES IN MY LIFE & IT HAS BEEN HELL. YOU GOT TO DO WHAT’S BEST,YOU GOT A LITTLE ONE WHO’S GOING TO WANT DAD TO TEACH HIM HOW TO PLAY SPORTS & THINGS……..YOU’RE RIGHT ON FAMILY IS MORE IMPORTANT……….GOODLUCK ON WHATEVER CHOICE YOU MAKE……LOVE YOU ALEX / STEVE

    Like

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