This is another very old interview with Alex, from way back in 2008. It is kind of interesting and relevant now, because Alex will be more or less in the same situation as back then – Looking at options of where his future in entertainment will be.
But fortunately for him, he’s got the huge success of Hawaii Five-0, to back him up now. And it will hopefully give him a bigger advantage to do his own thing. Maybe this time around, he will get the opportunity to develop his ideas and be able to pitch them successfully. I think it will be a dream come true for him to produce his own creation.
The interview was done 4 months after Moonlight was cancelled and before Alex got the guest role of Vincent, in an episode of Criminal Minds, in April that next year.
This is an audio interview with Alex O’Loughlin, done in August 2008. The interview was with Ed Gross of Vampires and Slayers. This was shortly after Alex signed a holding contract with CBS, allowing him to co-develop, produce and star in his next show.
Ed: Last time you and I spoke, we were talking more about, the possibility anyway of, I believe it was a medical show, you were talking about.
Alex: Yeah, look, I’ve been working on … I’ve been working on a couple of different ideas. One of which was a …[sigh]. They’re all kind of, character-based ideas. One of which,… I mean, but it’s… it’s the world in which we put these characters, really in it. A couple of ideas, that have come and gone. And one idea in particular, that we were fond of, which had a medical aspect.
Alex: It’s the direction, if we’re going to go, we’ve only just recently realized, that it’s a little, sprawling, for what we want, you know. We want to … we want to contain it. At least, writing a show for TV is … you know, creating a show for television… it’s difficult [chuckle], you know. I mean, the shows that will, in full size, hopefully, be successful. It’s a difficult task.
You know, it’s one thing to write these cool characters, it’s another thing to write a cool first act of a movie. There are lots of other things that are actually, a little easier to do. But, actually writing a show, that is going to run autonomously in some …. in some areas … and … and sort of … and, putting a set of rules together, that will keep …. that will keep the show running week to week. And keep audiences, tuned in … and you know. All the things that are required, to make a show exciting.
Alex: It’s tricky. It’s a big …. big ask. So, but we are very, very close. And I’ve got… I’ve got an excellent writer, I’m working with – Simon Mirren. Who is ...
Ed: I know that name. But why do I know that name?
Alex: Well you know, probably Mirren, because of Helen Mirren [Laughs],
Alex: He’s a …. of … of which, he is a nephew. And he’s … he’s also the co-executive producer and head writer on Criminal Minds. Criminal Minds, the TV Show.
Alex: And, he’s fantastic. He’s really, really good. But he is co-creator of the show Spooks. But…
Ed: That’s the MI6 show, right?
Alex: He’s done a lot of great stuff. And so, he’s at the helm of this thing I’m working on. We’re creating a skit. And so, you know, we’re working on some variation of that theme, at the moment. And …. we’re hoping that we can … pull something through to CBS in time, which is in the next sort of day or so, now. To finish up our visions, and to get the go-ahead to work on a pilot, officially, for a show, for January.
Alex: But look, all that being said, I’m on a holding deal with CBS. And …. if they are not … if they don’t want, or think that the next idea is appropriate for … for their network, then they’re going to start firing their pilots at me.
Ed: To see what you might be interested in?
Alex: So, I guess their motivation at the moment is, to get me on TV.
Alex: Which is cool. And the … yeah. So, I’m looking forward to working, now. I’m looking forward to getting back into something. ‘Cos its been a while.
Ed: Oh, yeah, you know. And, I mean did the following that you gained .. because obviously gained quite a following because of Moonlight.
Ed: I’m not saying, you didn’t beforehand, but you know what I’m talking about. That’s sort of real fever for you.
Ed: You know. But has that helped your career? Your place in Hollywood? I’m always curious, what impact that has, besides the fact that you get a lot of people going crazy for you. I wonder what impact something like that has?
Alex: Too early to tell …. I think it is too early to tell, whether it helped my career in Hollywood. I mean … that is … you know. I mean if they’ve … when I finally get a lead a feature (film), in Hollywood. You know, if all my fans … if I have … If my fanbase sort of … you know if Boxoffice works. And people come and sit in a movie theatre and pay for tickets to watch me in a movie.
Alex: You know, and I can actually lead a movie and make money for the studio. I mean that’s when that can help you in Hollywood …
Alex: It’s …. It’s lovely to have the fans I’ve got. I mean, I’m extremely grateful for my fanbase. For the support that I’ve … that I’m surrounded by. So don’t get me wrong … don’t get me wrong with that.
Alex: But has it helped me in Hollywood? … Not yet.
Ed: Just a fanboy question. Have they had any conversations at all of bringing back Moonlight? Only because … I only ask because you get Twilight coming on in this year, which got tremendous buzz. You’ve got two True Blood who has become a big hit for HBO.
Ed: And the show that replaced Moonlight, is already cancelled.
Alex: Yeah. I don’t know the answer to that Ed. I think, that there were discussions with Joel Silver and the powers to be. You just got to remember, Joel owns the show.
Ed: Oh, he owns it? CBS .. or well, Warners owns it too, I guess?
Alex: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m pretty sure … they’re … and so … I know there were discussions, 7 or 8 months ago … when they canned us, it was…
Alex: About taking it to other networks, smaller networks. And nothing ever eventuated. So, I think at this stage it would be…
Alex: ….. I think it would be ambitions to think that it was coming back. Simply because, the time that’s passed.
Ed: I agree with you. It would seem unlikely at best.
Alex: It would seem unlikely.
Alex: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ed: I hear you.
Alex: But… it’s a shame that we didn’t get that second season. Just at least to…
Ed: You’ve at least got to wonder if the network is kicking itself at all. It’s … because like as said, they’ve already cancelled the show that replaced it. And all these other vampire stuff that’s going on around it.
Ed: You know, just … just
Alex: You never know, man. I mean, we never second guess these people. And it’s like … they always sort of .. it always seems like they know what they’re doing. But I don’t know. I just wish they didn’t cancel it. I wish we could get it going.
Alex: I feel like we got a rough trot. Like I feel like … we had …. we lost 5 episodes to the strike. And we still came back and won the People’s Choice Award. And…
Alex: You know we all worked so hard. This show … I feel like we recovered. And .. to that. I mean we weren’t … we were doing okay in numbers, and they were consistent. And we always won the demographic. And it’s like, well let us go … give us another 9 episodes at least, to show you what we can …
Alex: We had some great stories lined up. But anyway …
Ed: Yeah, it is what it is.
Ed: When you’re choosing a role, you know, from the beginning of your career, to where you are now, I mean, and working up to current – what is it that draws you in. I mean obviously, a good script will throw you in. But in terms of …. What are the elements that you look for, if anything?
Alex: Uhm … the first question I ask myself is, can I shine in this role? Do I have a comprehensive understanding of this character? Do I also have an inherent instinctual … from the first read, of this script, is what I’m talking about …
Alex: … understanding of how I’m going to play this character? Does this character live within me, already … on some level? You know, am I going to be able to authentically bring honesty, integrity and life to this character? You know, and defend this character ….
Alex: …. with all my might? And so,… that’s our job as actors. So, you know I mean sometimes a character just steps off the page characters, and sometimes other …. some characteristics need more work than others for me. Characters are just here and I know without even thinking … without, on a cerebral level, I don’t need to involve .. like intellect or intellectual work or property to my work in the character, because it’s just there …. instinctively … straight away. But others I have to sit down and do my work …. and do all my work, or write off… or write all my techniques out. Or do, you know … The character is the most important thing. And then the story is … is … not secondary, but … but the story is what I sort of consider next. If it’s a really bad story, then I’m like, well … “Can we fix this story?”
Alex: Because …. but I mean, to get to a part where it’s like, …. you can’t do.
Ed: There’s nothing you can do to save it.
Alex: When there’s nothing you can do.
Ed: Yeah. Do you like a character … your characters don’t all have to be heroes, do they? But can they have the darker edge or the darker side? Or …
Alex: No, absolutely. Look, I kind of … I must say … I prefer to play the anti-hero, the flawed character, you know. Because there’s more to work with. And there’s … I don’t know, there’s …because it brings me closer to reality in it. It’s kind of … I just enjoy it. I find there is more at stake. And .. and there’s more to work with, you know. It’s a …. [sigh] yeah, I think I sort of have played more flawed characters, than real heroes anyway.
Alex: I think I’m yet to play a full-on, just hero. [laughs]
Ed: They’re more interesting anyway, aren’t they?
Alex: They are interesting, they are more interesting. I feel that you know, I feel that I relate to those characters…
And there the audio ends – sorry
Link to Audio recording
Interview with Alex O’Loughlin by Vampires and Slayer2s website.
Video made by Moonlight Italian Forum
- I guess, Alex got to play that full-on hero, Steve McGarrett, for 10 years, now. Maybe he would love to get back to playing a more flawed character again? 😀
- Listening to Alex here, about the difficulties of developing and pitching a viable story for a network show, highlights the fact of why Alex have so much respect for Peter Lenkov, who has developed a number of shows successfully by now. It is easier said than done, and involves a lot of aspects to satisfy a lot of stakeholders.
- You can see that developing a great character within a good story, is what it has always been about for Alex. He got the chance to direct a few episodes, but on top of that also write, act and direct one special episode of Hawaii Five-0. A great learning experience for him. Hopefully it will help him in the process of fulfilling his dreams!
PS. From what we have seen, there should be at least 2 more audio interviews between Alex and Ed. One in November 2007 and one in April 2008. If anybody have copies of those and are prepared to share it with other fans, we would appreciate a link or a copy of it.