Monthly Archives: March 2018

#H50 8.18 – Steve´s moves

I should have perhaps paid more attention to the episode since Alex directed it, but I was distracted by other stuff. Oops.

Have to say that of all the stories in this episode, I found Junior and Tani the most enjoyable. Also was nice to see a glimpse of Rachel.

But of course it is only Alex I care about. Here´s my catch of Steve 😀



Filed under Alex O´Loughlin

#AlexOLoughlin Takes Us Behind The Scenes Of His Directorial Debut

At long last it is Friday the 30th of March and time for Episode 8:18 of Hawaii Five-0 with Alex as Director ……


A powerful storyline motivates his approach to Hawaii Five-0’s “E ho’okō kuleana (To Do One’s Duty).”

Fans of Hawaii Five-0 know Steve McGarrett as an action hero and strong leader for the team. Alex O’Loughlin has always looked like a natural commander when he plays the role on screen. Now he’s taking command in a whole new way—by directing the episode “E ho’okō kuleana (To Do One’s Duty),” which airs on Friday, Mar. 30 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.


29 March 2018

Alex was humble about his first experience as a television director, but he didn’t shy away from the responsibility. The episode’s storyline about domestic violence motivated his careful approach. In an interview with, Alex shared what it was like behind the scenes as he directed his fellow Hawaii Five-0 stars, the ways a good crew can make TV magic, and just how he turned tropical Honolulu into chilly Newark. Enjoy his perspective from the director’s chair along with some exclusive behind-the-scenes photos.

CBS: Congratulations on your directorial debut! Is there any way you tried to leave your personal “stamp” on this episode?

Alex: It’s weird to talk about being a director. I’ve done one episode of my own show, that I’m very comfortable on and fully supported by every single crew member. Part of my head is saying to me, “you’re not a director yet.” I just needed to qualify that!

I didn’t come in to this trying to reinvent the wheel. I didn’t want to try to make a different show. I wanted to make Hawaii Five-0. I just wanted to tell the story truthfully.

Stylistically, there’s a yes and a no. There was a lot of material to get into a 42-minute bracket. My director’s cut was different to the final cut in the sense that I actually cut a few scenes loose to let other scenes breathe. In television, the cuts are so quick: bang-bang-bang-bang-bang! I want to shoot two people and sit there for eight minutes and watch them. I’ve got a lot to learn about television and about the best ways to tell stories directorially in that medium.

CBS: What do you want audiences to take away from this episode?

Alex: The heartbeat of this story is a domestic violence against women story.

Joanna [Christie] wasn’t an actor who was sent to me from the company. I searched her out because I’d seen her on Narcos and I thought she’d be fantastic for it. She agreed to do it and I was beyond thrilled. I was really humbled and moved that she would trust me to be her director—as a first time director. I got her on the phone right away, and she was such a collaborator. I feel she told the story beautifully. She’s really talented. She’s got such an open heart. We were both on the same page right away: that we’ve got a really important story to tell.

There are millions of women all around the world who are being perpetrated against. There are millions of women all around the world who are in dangerous, terrifying situations. It’s up to us as storytellers to give people hope, to let people know that there is a way out. It felt like I was handed a great responsibility, and I took it very seriously. I hope that I was able to tell that story with the truth and integrity that those women around the world, who we are representing, deserve.

CBS: What was it like working with actors you may already know well, but now from the other side of the camera?

Alex: That was the most exciting aspect!

I loved being the master and commander of every moving part. I love painting the picture. I got to detail the scenes. I got to build the set and choose the paint colors, and say “Hey, can we get one of these? And do this? And can it do this? And can it make a little sound?” That was a lot of fun being the architect of everything visceral in the story, all the tangible stuff. But working with the people was the greatest part.

I love actors, man! I didn’t know I love actors as much as I do. These people are willing to open up their heart and their soul and tell these incredible, emotional stories on behalf of other people from such a truthful place. It sort of stunned me a little bit, because I’ve never been behind the camera and been the guy calling the shots.

CBS: There’s a scene where you and Ian Anthony Dale have some really intense dialogue. How do you approach directing somebody you’re in a scene with, and how do you direct yourself?

Alex: Ian is amazing. First of all, he looks like a movie star. He’s so handsome. He’s so talented. He’s such a collaborator. He’s a charming guy and such a pleasure to work with. I really hope we have him around for a long time.

When I got to my scenes, of which there were way more than I thought there would be, I was like “What?” I mean, I kind of knew my lines, but I felt like working with Alex O’Loughlin was the one part of the experience I didn’t need to replicate. I was like, “Can we cut this guy out?” Everyone else was a dream!

CBS: Did you have to run back-and-forth to check the cameras, too?

Alex: I have playback [via on-set monitors] on the entire show. Which is good, because I move fast as a director. I think it’s from so many years in television that I observe everybody’s time and the timeline of the show. I know how busy everyone is and how tired everyone is. You’re real exhausted at that stage. It’s episode 18, so you’re deep in the season, deep in the show itself. I try to move really fast and those scenes forced me to move even faster. It felt a little manic inside of my head during those moments. No one else seemed manic, but you have seven irons in the fire instead of four or five when you’re in the scene as well.

CBS: Is there a difference with how you approach each actor?

Alex: All the guest stars were extraordinary. Joanna [Christie] and Daniel [Kaemon] were fantastic. They were so responsive and they’re both really great actors. I got the performances out of them that I wanted. I really didn’t have to do much. They brought so much to the table, I just made a couple of adjustments and steered in certain direction, but they did all the work.

My fellow Five-0 cast were all wonderful, too. I think you need to know the people. Directing Scott [Caan] is way different to directing Beulah [Koale], is way different to directing Meaghan [Rath], is way different to directing Chi [McBride].

You make adjustments the actor you’re working with requires, and then it’s show time. You realize as a director you’ve got to be fluid. You’ve got to listen and really pay attention to what the actor is telling you. I may go to an actor and say “Hey, listen, how do you feel about this, and trying it this way? Is there a world where your character would do that?” And they may start asking questions, like, “Why would I do that? That doesn’t make sense.” And then it’s up to me to question my motivation, to actually answer the question.

There were times when I stopped and thought fast on my feet and I was like, “You know what? You’re right. I don’t know why your character would do that. This doesn’t have to do with your character’s motivation. This has to do with me trying to make it pretty. This is shot design.” Other times they say, “Yeah, it’s a really good note, thank you.”

I think the lessons were: Don’t be precious; be really clear; tell your story; know the story that you’re telling; and if you can’t tell it the way you thought you were going to tell it, find another way to tell it. I think I’m a fluid person and I think it served me well.

CBS: Anything else you learned as a director?

Alex: There were a thousand lessons that I learned! It was the best experience. [One was] how different every single actor is, whether you work with them every day or whether they’re a guest star.

[Another lesson was] what people’s interpretations of your words are. You can say “blue” and some people hear you say “pink.” You learn on the fly who hears what when you say what you say, and making adjustments so they hear what you want them to hear, so you can tell the story you want to tell the story. It sounds manipulative, but it’s not. It’s more about communication.

CBS: Was it tricky portraying a city like Newark in such a distinctive place like Hawaii?

Alex: Yeah, it’s really, really tricky. First of all, to find anything in Honolulu that looks like a Newark skyline is virtually impossible. To find a property, to find a residential structure that doesn’t have a shingled roof, that resembles anything on the eastern seaboard is extremely difficult. To find a property that doesn’t have a palm tree in the front? There are no palm trees in Newark! We had to hedge our bets. There is no perfect situation here. I had to paint a couple trees out, I had to paint a couple skylines in. We scouted heavy for it, too.

The night stuff, I had them wet everything down so it made it feel seasonal in the sense that there’s still a lot of moisture on the ground. Trying to put the people in jackets and stuff where I could in the night scenes, and in slightly warmer looking layers in the day scenes, and trying to create an environment with other scenes. Also, we changed camera filters, the way we light things, sometimes the way people move

When Scott’s waiting for Ray in the car, and they get in a violent altercation (the beginning of how Ray was incarcerated), that scene felt really cold to me. That did feel like it could have been on the East Coast. I had Daniel come out and feel the air, he sort of rubbed his hands together a bit, he had big boots on.

Of course, I have to say Kurt Jones, my DP who just got nominated for a gigantic award, is so talented. He’s such a great guy. He’s so fast. He’s extraordinary. I think he’s going to be a hall of famer.

CBS: What was it like directing a car (and foot!) action scene, and how does it compare to directing other scenes?

Alex: It’s a different thing. Action is action. You either know how to do it or you don’t know how to do it.

I had extraordinary help around me. [Stunt coordinator] Eric Norris is so awesome. And Paul Lacovara, my double, who is also coordinating now, is so awesome. I can really hand it over to them and go,“‘Boys, do your thing.”

I think as an action director, it comes kind of naturally to me to a certain extent, because I’ve done so much action, myself—as my MRIs would suggest!

It’s almost like a genre within a genre. I did find myself going, “I put my action hat on now.” I start thinking in different terms. Then, when I’m working with people, that felt more like “directing” to me. I don’t want to suggest all the giant action directors in the world aren’t directors at all. I wonder what they would say, what the Michael Bays and Peter Bergs would say. It feels like they’re different elements, like you step into a different set of shoes.

I guess the baseline is that action is the external elements, and directing actors in scenes is internal. One goes out, one goes in.

Watch “E ho’okō kuleana (To Do One’s Duty),” Alex’s directorial debut for Hawaii Five-0, on Friday, Mar. 30 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.


Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, Hawaii Five-0, Interviews

#AlexOLoughlin is adding another title to his all-encompassing #H50 resume.

Another great interview with Alex – March 2018.

We think that he gives a lot of good answers to some of the questions and assumptions that have been hanging around the fandom this week. And there are not really any biased assumptions and statements by the interviewer – only clear answers by Alex. Although I guess many would find some sort of way to twist it again to suit their gripes …..

Alex O’Loughlin Reveals Why He’s Changing His Tune About Leaving ‘Hawaii Five-0’ (Exclusive)

The 41-year-old star, who has valiantly led the Five-0 team as Steve McGarrett, makes his directorial debut with Friday’s season eight episode of the CBS action drama, stepping behind the camera for the first time in his career.


For: ET

In the installment, titled “E Ho’Oko Kuleana (To One’s Duty),” the ex-wife of the man who shot Danny (Scott Caan) in an early season eight episode finds her way to Oahu, kicking off a slew of flashbacks to a time when the actions of a younger Danny, living in New Jersey at the time, helped save her life. While Danny’s past comes back to roost, Tani (Meaghan Rath) and Junior (Beulah Koale) patrol the island, providing levity to an action-packed hour, and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) is framed for the murder of the crime boss he’s been hot on the heels of.

Ahead of the episode’s premiere, ET jumped on the phone with O’Loughlin for a candid conversation about his directorial debut, why he’s backtracking on comments he made about his desire to step away from Hawaii Five-0 after the current season and the “trickiest” part about directing himself.

ET: Friday’s episode of Hawaii Five-0 marks the first time you’ll be credited as a director in your career. How would you describe the experience stepping behind the camera versus being in front of it?

Alex: It was super exciting. It was very different in the sense that when I’m in front of [the cameras], I try to make all the cameras disappear and all the strange people holding things around me just go away. That suspension of disbelief that’s required as an actor to live truthfully in imaginary circumstances is different to what needs to happen as a director, in the sense that you are the master of all the moving parts. You create the world in every detail. But it was thrilling. It was fantastic. It’s something I really hope I can do more of in my life because I enjoyed it very much.

ET: You’ve been working in the industry for a while. Why did now feel like the right time for you to take the directing plunge?

Alex: I think my career is still a work in progress. There are many things I want to do, so many people I want to work with, so many different opportunities out there as an actor. It’s a really good question. Fundamentally, on this show, it took me years and years and years to get my workload down to a point where I could even conceptualize doing something like directing, because it takes a lot of time and a lot of energy.

I know myself — I don’t do anything half-a**ed — so I think I did a hundred prep hours on this thing, almost like a bit of a psycho; I was a little OCD with it. It was by chance that [the opportunity] came this late on this show. When I started, I don’t think I was ever a good actor — I’m not saying I’m a good actor now, but this show has been a master class in acting. I think I’ve grown as an actor on this show, [and] I wanted to do that first.

ET: What was the most challenging part about directing?

Alex: The trickiest thing for me was dealing with myself, to be totally honest. I didn’t do as much acting preparation as I would’ve liked to or as I always do, so I was a little frustrated as an actor and also as a director. I was sort of racing back and forth from when I’d act a scene and then I’d call “cut” and then I’d race back to the monitor to watch the playback of my work, which I didn’t really care about. I just wanted to get me out of the way so I could focus on all of these great actors I was working with. I was annoyed at and with myself. [Laughs] But everything else was great.

ET: This may be a difficult question for you to answer, but how is Alex the director different from Alex the actor?

Alex: That’s an interesting question. There are some big differences. When I’m working as an actor, I want to be left alone and I have to go inward to get to the work that I’ve done, if that makes sense. But as a director, I’m much more gregarious and running around [on set] — “Hey, I’m so glad we’re doing this!” — fiddling with all the cameras and lights. It’s not that I feel more like a collaborator when I’m directing, but I feel like the collaboration when you work as an actor is more unsaid, it’s more unsuspecting. You are a cog in the machine and you just focus on your part. As a director, you’re focusing on all the cogs and on all the sums of the [whole] part.

ET: You had the opportunity to direct major emotional beats in the episode, as well as a big action sequence and flashbacks with Scott. What was the most difficult for you to execute?

Alex: The action’s second nature to me. I know how to do action and make it action-y. [Laughs] The thing that was most exciting to me was working with actors. Working with [guest stars] Joanna [Christie] and Daniel [Kaemon] was great. To have the permission to climb down into the foxhole with these actors where they live and do all their hard, dirty, emotional work and sit with them quietly and go, “Hey, listen, how do you feel about this? Do you trust me to take this [scene] this way?”

That sort of stuff was really beautiful because I’ve had that relationship from the other side with a handful of wonderful directors over the years who care about the human condition. I care about story, man. I care about the human journey. To have these amazing actors give me the encouragement to be a part of what they’re doing, to help them make choices, that was really, really amazing and very fulfilling.

ET: We also see McGarrett playing the guitar early on in the episode, which is a nice nod for fans of the show, and you get to share the scene with Jimmy Buffett. Talk me through filming that moment.

Alex: Oh yeah, that was rad! [Laughs] It’s funny, that Portuguese guitar — I’ve played guitar my whole life, but that was impossible to play. So someone had to come in and string it like a normal guitar because none of us [had experience playing it]. I cheated a little bit and had them restring it so I could play it like a human. That was fun. It was a bizarre, funny little moment to have Jimmy Buffett with his bare feet up in McGarrett’s office. It was nice. For the most part, it’s a pretty dense, serious episode, so those little parts are deeply important relief moments.

ET: In the April 13 episode, McGarrett’s ex, Catherine, comes back into the fray. What can you tease about Michelle Borth’s return?

Alex: It was great to see Michelle and it was cool to pick up where we left off. It’s a great action, travel-y episode with McGarrett and Catherine. It’s also nice to see these two sharing the same space for a minute and to explore how they feel about each other, how everything is cool [between them].

It was weird for a minute, the way she left — somebody who’s about to get proposed to and they choose an allegiance to the government and national security. It was a big blow for McGarrett. I think this episode served as a gentle closure and reinstated the friendship between the two of them, which was really important.

ET: Last time we spoke, you were adamant about Hawaii Five-0 season eight being your last. We’re now approaching the end of the season. Do you still feel the same way about your future on the show?

Alex: I’m opening the door a little bit. A big part of this is that my back injury is doing a lot better after my stem cell treatments. It’s a big deal when you hurt your spine; it’s one thing to get your teeth knocked out or have torn ligaments and tendons, but that injury really scared me.

A couple of years ago, part of my reality was if this stays this way, I can’t [do this anymore]. What are going to do, Ironside? Put me in a wheelchair? That sort of shifted a little bit. It’s the end of a very long season and we’re almost at 200 episodes. It’s tough for me to think about coming back to work right now, but I’m open to negotiations. I haven’t heard much but yeah, I’m open to it.

ET: Could there be a situation where former stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park returned at some point for a final farewell? Has there been any internal talk about that?

Alex: I haven’t listened to any talk about any of that stuff. All I know is they left and we got two new fantastic young actors who want to be here. It’s sort of made a massive difference on the show. We had a long relationship with those other guys and they decided they didn’t want to be here anymore and now we’ve got two people who want to be here. I don’t know what it’s like on the outside and I don’t read all the news either, but from the inside, it’s been a charming adjustment. That’s probably part of why I’m more open to coming back as well.

The boys relaxing onset and watching a YouTube video

ET: So you’d be interested in discussions for a potential ninth season? (Note: CBS has yet to renew Hawaii Five-0.)

Alex: I’m way more open than I used to be but again, I don’t know if we’re even close to making a deal so it still might not happen. So we’ll see.


Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, Hawaii Five-0, Interviews

#H50 : #AlexOLoughlin Talks Directing Debut – March 2018

Before we continue with this story – just some slightly belated congratulations to Alex’s wife Malia on her 41st birthday, yesterday (27 March)

  • Now back to today’s story …..

This is another great new interview with Alex from this week – this time of his directorial debut. Of course with some added thoughts from our side at the end.

Please be advised that some of the content might be regarded as spoilers, not only for this Friday’s upcoming episode (18), but for the second last episode (24) as well.

Five-0‘s Alex O’Loughlin Talks Directing Debut, Creating a ‘Young’ Scott Caan and Turning Hawaii Into Newark

Just when you thought you’d seen Alex O’Loughlin do it all as Hawaii Five-0‘s brave and bold Steve McGarrett, the series lead has a new trick up his sleeve — making his directorial debut with this week’s episode.

By Matt Webb Mitovich

TV Line

27 March 2018

In “To Do One’s Duty” (airing Friday at 9/8c, CBS), the ex-wife of the man who shot Danny (back in the Dec. 15 episode) comes to Oahu, teeing up flashbacks that detail how Danny’s actions back when he was in New Jersey helped save her life. Elsewhere, Tani and Junior walk the beat as uniformed officers for a day, while Adam is framed for the murder of the crime boss he has been tracking.

There’s a lot going on, to be sure, but O’Loughlin was ready to rise to the occasion.

TVLINE: By my math, the last cast member to direct was Daniel Dae Kim back in Season 5. What made you decide that the time was right?

Alex: I’ve wanted to direct for a while, but there were a couple of things that made it possible. My schedule as an actor on this show has progressively gotten a little better over time; [previously] I’ve sort of been in everything all the time and not had any days off to even think, let alone prep an episode and direct. Even this season it was cutting it kind of fine; most people get a week to prep-and-scout and do all this stuff, while I had two days. But it’s definitely something I’ve wanted to do the whole time and I’m really glad I did.

TVLINE: What’s nice is they didn’t just give you three storylines to juggle within the episode, but they’re each tonally different. Tani/Junior are played a bit for comedy, the investigation into Adam’s framing for murder gets intense, and Danny’s backstory is pretty emotional.

Alex: Right. Right. I was a little overwhelmed, actually, at first. I was like, “S—t, three stories and they’re so different and require so much focus,” but it was good. And to be handed an A-story that is as important as the one that I was given, about a subject matter that is as serious and important as domestic violence against women, was a big responsibility and I didn’t take it lightly.

I did everything in my power as a storyteller and as a director to honor that story. It was a challenge and it was met with appreciation.

TVLINE: Seeing as that story takes place largely in flashback, what special challenges did it present to you as director?

Alex: What was challenging is you have to understand, first of all, the world that you’re living in, in the sense that I’m not doing a $100 million movie. I’m not doing a $1 million movie. I’m doing 42 minutes of network television, and that’s very specific. I have very, very little time, and the resources I have are limited to where we are, which is Hawaii — and mate, there’s a palm tree every 10 feet here.

TVLINE: I was thinking about that as I watched the Newark scenes.

Alex: Yeah, yeah. There are no steam vents [on the streets]. There’s no subway. There’s nothing here that resembles the East Coast. I mean, I did my best. Especially for the night stuff, I tried to wet everything down to make it feel colder. I tried to put people in jackets and boots, but there’s only so much you can do without putting steam coming out of their mouths when they breathe.

[Making] Scotty [look 20 years younger] was easy. I’m not going to digitize his face, but what I can do — and he was really cool and really open about all this — is darken his hair to make it less blond, and have him wet shave with a razor…. Just a couple of little details that aren’t so obvious that we focus on them, but that sort of help us work in the space.

TVLINE: You directed some action scenes as well, including a car chase that segued into a foot chase. How involved does the director get in those particulars, or at that point does a special team take over?

Alex: I was very involved. The car chase, I handed some of it over to [stunt coordinators] Eric [Norris] and Paul [Lacovara]. But then of course I had to shoot the foot chase and be in the foot chase, and the funny thing about that was that I shot so much. [Laughs] We could have had 42 minutes of just foot chase. But the action stuff is kind of breezy for me, it comes to me naturally. I’m a physical guy, and my brain is little different — I’m a little “crazy” — so I think of crazy things, and they show me ways of shooting it.

TVLINE: Looking further down the road, I see that Joe White will be back….

Alex: As a matter of fact, because of Scott’s schedule, the one that Terry O’Quinn is in and which is my “story by” credit, we’re shooting it now as [Episode] 25, but it’s going to play as 24. We’re having so much fun. I really wanted to do a SEAL Team episode with [showrunner] Peter [Lenkov], and I was shocked, man — I thought that maybe they’d consider this story for Season 9 if we get to a Season 9, so the fact that he dropped it so soon speaks to how incredibly prolific he is when wants to make something happen. It’s rad.

We are currently working with two SEAL techs, Jim Beck and Steve Kaplan, who are the real deal and incredible dudes. We’re all great mates, we dive together on the weekends, we train together… so to be able to be a part of writing something that involves getting them in the show as Navy SEALs and sort of going through all the movements has been a blast, man.

My Thoughts

  • Really excited to see that they are once again visiting Steve’s skills as a Navy SEAL. I have had the feeling that for the past few seasons, the writers completely forgot that Steve is a highly trained soldier.
  • And on top of that, to see that Alex is credited for the story idea (for Epi 24), and that Peter regarded it so highly as to include it in the show before the end of this season, is great news. My guarded optimism for the future and some changes to the status quo of the show, if renewed for Season 9, is becoming less guarded.
  • It is really great to see with how much focus and enthusiasm, Alex went into this directorial debut. But I guess as a long time fan, that comes as no surprise. That has always been his approach with everything he does …… And if the show does not get renewed, then at least it all ended on some sort of artistic high note for Alex.
  • And remember, we will be hearing Alex play a Portuguese Guitar as well ….. (Thank you to one of our Fb followers for the correction – that it is not a Spanish Guitar)


Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, Hawaii Five-0, Interviews

That is it

Season 8 shooting is done and over with. We wish Alex and his family a relaxing hiatus 

ps original photo credit to AOLO 


Filed under Alex O´Loughlin