#AlexOLoughlin & Co – Interview at the Paley

A few good men

How the stars of MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I. won over their fans playing heroes not afraid to get their butts kicked or their hearts broken

By Jim Halterman

for TV Guide

April 2019

“Captain America is a dream, so your job is to bring truth to these Characters”

Alex O’Loughlin

Jay Hernandez  is well aware what fans of Tom Selleck’s Magnum P.I. initially thought of CBS’s idea to reboot the iconic actions series: “Everybody hated it.” He says. “I was as sceptical, if not more sceptical that they were.” But just as Alex O’Loughlin (intrepid Lt. Cmdr. Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-0) and Lucas Till (the crafty operative on MacGyver) had done before him, Hernandez put his faith in Executive Producer Peter Lenkov, the mastermind behind all three dramas, and hoped viewers would appreciate how the original series’ spirit while not trying to copy it. They did: Even before Magnum wrapped its first season in early April, CBS had ordered a second.

Now many fans of the new Magnum would love to see Hernandez in a three-way crossover event with Till and O’Loughlin – a tricky puzzle that Lenkov says he would happily continue to ponder if MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0 score renewals too.

MacGyver concludes its third season on May 10, with Peter Weller guest starring as “the bad MacGyver” (a formidable nemesis pitched by Till who would become a big part of Season 4 Lenkov teases). That same night, H50 welcomes back Joey Lawrence, so his baddie hacker, Aaron Wright can wreak havoc for the team in the final two episodes of Season 9.

As they await their shows’ fates, the leading men team up for their first joint interview to chat about their heroic roles, Selleck’s short shorts and why saving the world is easy for their characters, but long-lasting romance …. not so much.

Jim: The three of you play modern-day action heroes. Why do you think fans are drawn to these shows?

Lucas [to Alex and Jay]: Hawaii’s their appeal. I don’t know why people watch Hawaii. [Laughs]

Alex: No offense to Atlanta [where MacGyver shoots], but when you look at Hawaii [where Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum film], that part of the planet is in high definition.

Jay: I heard the colder and more horrific the weather is in town, the more ratings go up for shows like Hawaii Five-0.

Jim: But MacGyver is very international. Right, Lucas?

Lucas: Yes, they do a surprisingly good job, because half of the locations we shoot are just old [local] warehouses from right after the Civil War. In each episode, we’re in three different countries.

Alex: Is that the rule of MacGyver?

Lucas: That’s an average. Sometimes we’re in five different countries in an episode. We also have the worst home security of all secret agents of all time. [Laughs] MacGyver’s home has been broken into about seven times, by the same dude three times!

Jay: Funny you say that, because Magnum is a Navy SEAL, and I have never had my ass kicked more in my life! These guys are trained assassins, and I get my ass kicked all the time.

Jim: What makes a reboot successful?

Jay: Nostalgia’s a big part of it. It’s built-in audience potential. But to some extent it’s the casting. It the casting is wrong, it wouldn’t work.

Alex: I absolutely agree. You [to Jay] are so different from Tom Selleck. I am so different from Jack Lord [the original McGarrett].

Jay: The idea of a 2018 version of Tom would’ve killed [Magnum]. You had to do something that’s a little different.

Lucas: I just thought I was going to shoot the MacGyver pilot, cash a check and walk away. Then I got picked up for a full season. I’m only half-joking!

Jim: What are some things you wanted to make sure you kept around from the original show?

Alex: We have McGarrett’s car [from the original series], the Mercury Marquis. And from the beginning [my character] works on it like it’s his pop’s car.

Jay: The seventh episode, Higgins [Perdita Weeks] presents Magnum with his first aloha Hawaiian shirt. That was a cool earned moment.

Jim: With all of your characters romantic relationships don’t seem to last. Is it possible, given their jobs?

Lucas: Unrequited love, maybe. But it probably wouldn’t be very interesting if we had one girlfriend the whole time.

Jay: To be the central guy, you have to be flawed.

Alex: It’s hard to bring humanity to a flawless dude, so I’m always trying to throw obstacles at McGarrett.  Captain America is a dream, so our job is to bring truth to these characters .

Jay: And I you’re a flawed guy, you’re never going to be in a relationship too long.

Lucas: Especially with [the original] Magnum. He was a sex symbol and had a different girl all the time, didn’t he?

Jay: It was a different time.

Alex: Jay’s character would have more women in his life if he just wore those [short] shorts. [All three laugh]

Jay: Maybe next season!

Jim: What about with McGarrett?

Alex: He’s got a dog. But seriously, relationships require reciprocity, and you have to spend time together to generate shared common memory. I think it would be more realistic to see friends with benefits leaving the house here and there. “What’s that? Doesn’t matter. Come in.” Bye! See you on the 17th next month! “


Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, articles

20 responses to “#AlexOLoughlin & Co – Interview at the Paley

  1. AlexOloughlinlover

    Alex takes my breath away he’s just perfection just wow I love him so much


  2. A 3-way crossover? No way! How do you manage to write a story where the screen quota is equally shared by three heroes who think and act so differently? What villain will have to be created that only the sum of their abilities can defeat him/her? They become mediocre heroes!


    • kathysr

      lol, it’s a totally ridiculous idea and just a stunt to drive up viewership to the shows with lower numbers, i.e. Magnum and McGuyver. Hanging on the coat tails of the one hit, Hawaii Five-O. I hate cross-overs. They’re always dumb. You’re 100% correct. These three characters have nothing in common.


  3. If they do it, I’ll Candy Crush all the while and watch only the H50 scenes. If Alex is there, of course. If he is not in S10, supposing there’s a S10, I’ll not even watch H50 at all. Sorry, Chi!


  4. kathysr

    In the early years of Five-O, Steve was always McGuyvering things to get out of a crisis, and the fan base commented on it all the time. Do you think we gave Peter the idea to re-boot McGuyver?

    Ah, Tom Selleck in those short shorts. He had great legs and was gorgeous in those short shorts. I love short shorts on guys, but they’ve got to have great legs.

    The new Magnum is blah. It has nothing in common with the original series. Thomas was Navy, but not a SEAL. I’ve watched it a few times. I’m very unimpressed with the cast, including Jay. They’re all flat. The guy who plays Rick is closest to the original show. The original show was sweet, goofy, silly, with hilarious animosity between Magnum and Higgins, brilliantly played by John Hillerman, and a lot of utterly goofy silliness among Magnum Rick and TC. And a female Higgins doesn’t work for me.

    Sorry, Peter, I’ll never watch this show.


  5. D. Havard

    I think Juliet Higgins is rhe only reason to watch Magnum. She’s excellent in the role. I kind of like how she and Magnum have a chemistry. That being said, the stories are rather Meh!

    I can see 5 O and Magnum having a cross over. And I think Alex should direct! He’d probably enjoy it.


  6. mamayorkie

    ” He’s got a dog. But seriously, relationships require reciprocity, and you have to spend time together to generate shared common memory. I think it would be more realistic to see friends with benefits leaving the house here and there. “What’s that? Doesn’t matter. Come in.” “ Bye! See you on the 17th next month! “

    I don’t think Alex has much to worry about where McGarrett’s love life is concerned. If he watched the show ( and I understand that many actors do not and usually with good reason as they can be hypercritical about their work and drive themselves crazy needlessly) he would know that PL has been setting up his return with Catherine since she left in 421. Hopefully we will get a Season 10 renewal soon. I m just praying it is not announced as final season.

    I have no problem with relationships that are merely “friends with benefits” as long as everyone is on the same page about the status. Remember, McGarrett only bought one ring in his life and that was for Cath. That is much more than ‘friends with benefits”.

    I am guessing that is the reason for McLynn being McDead. She must have wanted more and they were not on the same page (of the script.)


    • I was a bit shocked by Alex’s response to this question as he is such a nice guy in real life and Steve McGarrett is” An Officer and a Gentleman”. Friends with benefits just seems a little bit tacky to me JMHO. no offense to any body.


      • Nothing wrong with friends with benefits. Steve is a healthy (hot as hell, so where are all the women, seriously???) adult, nothing wrong with having some fun. And show doesn’t give Steve anything to let Alex say something different.
        I liked Lynn, loved her introduction into show and her bravery although she didn’t come from law enforcement or the military. Her character could have been developed way better, she was working with troubled kids so why not use this?
        I would love to see Steve with CIA Emma from the beginning of the season. They were great together.


    • Mary Lou

      Alex might not watch the show but he is in those scenes, he knows what happens 😀 I think it’s his dry sense of humor coming through again. He knows exactly what is going to happen, Cath will come back at the end and McGarrett will miraculously fall in love again even though they haven’t been together for years (…no opportunities to generate shared common memories together). If it happens I know it’s something a lot of fans will love and that’s great for the series but I won’t be watching, I need depth and development in relationships on TV to enjoy them.

      Thought the rest of the interview was good as was Paley. Nice to see our guy doing publicity. He’s so good at it. ❤️ And I agree, Tom Selleck did look hot in those shorts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mamayorkie

        I agree. He is certainly in those scenes but he does not see the final edits. If he did watch he would know which way the wind is blowing and how well he is selling the EP’s plan. And I also agree that many fans will be happy with a McRoll endgame, including me but that there are some who will be irate that their particular ship never sailed and say they will never watch again. It doesn’t matter since McGarrett is not getting a wife and kids until we know the series is ending. The important viewers are the 8 million who watch on Friday night and will tune in for a wedding between two gorgeous characters.They don’t hate Cath, probably can’t recall why she left and just want a happy ending for their hero.

        I feel the same about Danny and Rachel. I wish them well and hope they put the Williams family back together since it is apparent that they still love each other. Nobody but a handful of fans remembers why the marriage broke up in the first place. The Friday night crowd does not care.


        • Mary Lou

          Good points. I do think it’s a shame that some fans think if people don’t like the Steve/Cath story then they ‘hate’ Cath. That’s just not true or fair. Like many of the millions of fans out there across the world (not just the 8 million who tune in on a Friday) I’m not excited by the wedding idea because I don’t like the way the story has been handled i.e she’s so rarely on the show it’s difficult to believe in the relationship any more, it doesn’t really matter which woman he marries, if any. But it doesn’t mean I ‘hate’ Cath. Alex always seems to hint in his interviews he doesn’t find the story line believable either which is why I commented. Maybe series 10 will change all that, who knows😃 . I’ll carry on tuning in for now, got to get my Alex fix – I love watching his acting 😊 Thank you to the site mods for all your hard work.


          • mamayorkie

            I am glad you will be sticking around. If we all bailed because of something we didn’t like then there would be no hope for a season 10. I think that Alex would like to replicate his own happy marriage in the show and see his character settled with a loving wife and some kids. But the fans who adore him, especially the ones who think McGarrett is real and see a relationship with any woman as proof that he is being unfaithful to them personally is troubling for me. PL tried to give him some girlfriends along the way but all of them fizzled for lack of chemistry. There was Jenna Kaye who turned out to be a traitor (wish they had not doe that because I really liked her) then Lori who was to be this tough in your face character hired to keep control of H50’s more colorful behavior but became a puddle at McGarretts feet instead and lost her job. Many fan hated the character and said that Steve already had a girlfriend and her name was Cath! PL tried Ellie but she was really boring and “just a bud” and disappeared. Then there was Lynn who was perhaps deliberately written as a bit tacky so as to fit in with PL’s plan that she was just someone to have fun with but not in McG’s future. I actually resented that comment on behalf of all women who some men might think of as “just for fun”. But since the actress and AOL were friends in real life, it did not translate to any romantic chemistry on the screen. They just couldn’t sell it but I do think they enjoyed working together, even though their characters didn’t work onscreen. PL saw that and ended it.

            So,will there be more attempts at giving Steve a girlfriend who is more than a friends with benefits? Maybe, if there is a season 10, 11,12 etc. But since I’m getting a sinking feeling since we have heard nothing yet about renewal, that S10 could be final and if that’s the case, then we will have a McRoll wedding. Until then, Steve has a dog. And Danny, until Rachel takes him back.


        • jan Schagen

          Men zal best weten waarom Cath / Michelle weg is gegaan. Sommige dingen kun je beter maar verzwijgen. Ze had zowiezo meer rol moeten krijgen in Hawaii en had moeten trouwen met Steve. Dat had de serie compleet gemaakt. Een goede auteur kent zijn werk. Fijn dat het prive goed met haar gaat. Dat gunnen we haar van harte.


  7. CassG

    I only have EYES for Alex!!! I have no interest in the other 2 and certainly not in any crossover!!


  8. lindae5o

    I would not want Steve to be splitting onscreen time with the other two. It’s bad enough that we often don’t see him much on HF-0. So, NO crossover for me !!


  9. Sharon Wlodarsky.

    I am just interested in watching Alex and Scott on Hawaii Five 0. I have no interest in the other 2 shows.


    • I started magnum reluctantly, but it’s actually pretty fun and hawaii as the main star drew me in. Every time I see a location that H5O has been filmed in it feels surreal. Like Alex was here!!! (of course he was, he lives there! – I know. ..) but still can’t help looking for streets and buildings that are also in H5O. It adds a nice thrill.


  10. Thanks for editing the interview and adding the wonderful pictures. This must be so thrilling to see for the lucky few that were actually there! Awesome


  11. AlexOloughlinlover

    Alex looked so sexy there and his eyes omg


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.