Daily Archives: March 28, 2018

#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