Category Archives: Alex O’Lachlan

#AlexOLoughlin …. no best in acting.

Something in this industry that you’ve got to deal with a lot is this weird attitude that people have of superiority.

And one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard is when Sean Penn got up to accept is Oscar and he said that we all know that there is no best in acting.

– Alex O’Loughlin

Filmink

June 2005

My thoughts

  • Although I agree with Alex about the “no best in acting”, I do however think that there are definitely those who are better than others – And he is definitely one of those better ones …..
  • And also there are those who are more dedicated to their craft and who are ‘in the moment’ when they do their job in order to make every chance they get to be a character, be a memorable one.
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Filed under Alex O'Lachlan, Alex O´Loughlin, From his lips

NIDA invites applications for 2003 – Featuring #AlexOLoughlin

NIDA INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR 2003.

posted 14 August 2002

Official picture from NIDA 

What better invitation could you imagine?  Until, maybe, you remember the tv makeover: backstage at NIDA seemed pretty daunting.

And, of course, you can’t forget that your invitation has about a 1% chance of getting you into the party.  Is it really possible to get into NIDA?  Two Canberrans are there now, so I asked them how they did it.

Just to begin with a downer for drama teachers, neither Alex O’Lachlan or Gordon Rymer beavered away at drama through high school and college.  Gordon did all the right things, like study hard across the normal range of subjects, until he started to seriously worry his parents at the beginning of Year 12.  Who said he could act?  What about his nice career, as an accountant or something?  Help!!

Well, Gordon found indeed that he wasn’t a great actor, or likely ever to become one, but he became fascinated with the way theatre production works.  So even more horrors – he became stage manager for the bloodthirsty story of Sweeney Todd with a collapsible barber’s chair on a truck.  In Semester 2, Year 12!  Oh, what will become of him?

(Alex in 2004 in Toronto – promoting Oyster Farmer)

He’s actually a calm and sensible lad who now praises the drama teacher who left him to face up to solving problems like what to do when the wheels literally fell off the truck, on which most of the set was built, as it was being shouldered on for final dress rehearsal.

He took a year off after that, went travelling to Europe, worked as a dishwasher in a large hotel for 10-14 hour days, and thus proved to his parents that he was able to look after himself, and proved to himself that he could work the long hours that NIDA now demands of him.

Only then did he take up the invitation to apply, built a set model with lighting, sound and costume design for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (which he claims was “not very good”) and wrote some 3000 words about why his design was eminently workable.  Phew!

(Alex in Country Music – 2002)

Now in Second Year, Gordon recently was deputy stage manager for NIDA’s Third Year production of Country Music by Nick Enright, in which Alex O’Lachlan was a leading actor.

Wheels falling off trucks was nothing, says Gordon, compared with a 4 hour long play being written in the wings, with pauses for writing lighting plots extending technical rehearsals over a whole week.

Both Gordon and Alex seem to have revelled in the challenge.

(Alex working as a barman – 2002)

But how did Alex get there, via a story which could be entitled, How Not To Get to NIDA?  He was the bad boy of high school and college that many teachers would recognise. 

Actually, they won’t because his name is not in the records, not just because he often wasn’t in school (and never did drama past primary).  Alex needed to escape a Canberra which did nothing for him before he changed his life, and his name.

Perhaps the first solid book he read was AB Facey’s A Fortunate Life, when he was 19.  Here he discovered a common spirit in touch with humanity, a kind of innocence, and a person of honesty who would not deceive another. 

Facey was a model for a new life, and as Alex travelled, also in Europe, he watched films with an ache which he finally recognised.  He wanted to perform with the same commitment and honesty he now saw in so many great actors.

Back in Australia, but in vibrant Sydney, not the cold Canberra of old, he says he literally woke up one morning and knew he must apply for NIDA

They didn’t invite him: he invited himself, at the age of 23.

(Alex in Melbourne – 2004)

As soon as his real life began, commitment to the work has led to an avid interest in theatre history covered in essays which would surprise his earlier teachers. 

He told me he is an “instinctual actor – I feel my way through it” but very soon was explaining detailed techniques of characterisation.  He seems to have just the right mix of method and emotion, and control of his life, for us to sincerely hope for professional success.

Alex is the one with the photo, but Gordon will be there in the backstage gloom, making sure all the calls are spot on. 

He didn’t mind not having a photo, he said.  That’s not his role.

For NIDA, ring the Admissions Officer on (02) 9697 7600 or at www.nida.edu.au, but if you may not be in that particular 1%, don’t forget all the other drama and theatre courses available after Year 12.  You can find them all on university websites.

(Alex in Toronto 2004 – Oyster Farmer interview)

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Filed under Alex O'Lachlan, Alex O´Loughlin, HiStory, They say ....

#AlexOLoughlin – It is sad when things get lost …..

It makes me sad to know that some information are lost when fan sites close down or when media companies’ archives suspend certain information on their internet sites.

While I have been looking at all the old interviews, I found many of the original source data gone. 😦

In this post, I have combined a little research about some old photographs, combined with some interesting articles written at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2004.

During this week we have had a discussion about old pictures of Alex and specifically these above. The source that I previously had about these pictures is no longer available, but I saved it as: ‘Oyster Farmer Premiere March 2005′.

But I then also found a picture I saved from the closed down site, ‘Adoring AlexOLoughlin.org’ marked as: ‘Oyster Farmer Premier 2004. I  decided to have a closer look and follow-up on it, by following the timeline and picture, in order to find when it was most probably taken.

We know from other pictures taken at the world premiere of the Oyster Farmer at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2004, that this is what Alex looked like at the time:

Toronto Film Festival – 2004

Film Monthly

by Paul Fischer

9-18 September 2004

(Part of his report that mention Alex)

After Crash, it was time to catch up with old friends Kate Bosworth and Bob Hoskins, here for Beyond the Sea, before checking Oyster Farmer, a great Australian film which had its world premiere here.

A stunning feature directorial debut from Anna Reeves, who wrote this gentle, yet wry comedy/drama, Oyster Farmer is a love story about a young man who runs away up an isolated Australian river and gets a job with eighth generation oyster farmers, falling reluctantly in love along the way.

Aussie newcomer Alex O’Lachlan is a star on the rise, the new Russell Crowe, appealing and charismatic as the young Jack, trying to find himself amidst the lush beauty of the Hawkesbury River.

Like with so many Australian films, this one looks gorgeous, shot on location, as the Hawkesbury takes on a life of its own. Reminding one of the classic Sunday Too Far Away, Oyster Farmer is about male bonding, love, sex and mateship.

And Jack Thompson returns to Australian cinema, reminding us of how nicely he ages. Oyster Farmer is funny, human, sexy and glorious, one of the best Aussie films in years, and one destined for both local and international success.

When I spoke to director Reeves, she was saddened that representatives of the Australian distributor didn’t even support the film’s first screening, which regrettably says it all about the state of the Australian film industry.

Hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come, especially since that distributor didn’t even mention that Oyster Farmer was even premiering in Toronto. If they don’t even care about their own, home-grown films, what does the future hold for gems such as that film and beyond?

(and)

While wrapping things up, I bumped into Australian icon Jack Thompson, unexpectedly here because of both The Assassination of Nixon and Oyster Farmer, both films of which he spoke with genuine pride and passion.

Of course, nobody told me he was coming, including the Australian distributor of Oyster farmer, determined, one suspects, of not telling anyone about what a special film they had.

But Jack, whom I first interviewed nearly 20 years ago, said that if he were to retire now, he’d be happy “because I got to share the screen with Sean Penn.”

Thompson also talked about his role in the comic book film Man-Thing, in which he and real-life son Patrick Thompson play the bad guys, in this Australian-shot film. “I’m a huge fan of these kinds of film so it was a joy to work on it,” Thompson said, while sipping beer at the Intercontinental.

  • And also in …

FilmStew

Toronto International Film Festival

September 2004

Another newcomer to Toronto and a newbie to the movies in general is young Alex O’Lachlan. Remember the name; you’ll be hearing it in the future.

The 2002 graduate of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art has appeared in television roles in his native country, and he’s set to appear in the U.S. in yet another Marvel comic adaptation, this one of Man Thing. He makes his film debut in the starring role of Jack, an out-of-towner who adapts to rural ways in the crowd-pleasing Oyster Farmer.

The blue-eyed O’Lachlan remembers the thrill of reading filmmaker Anna Reeves’ screenplay for the first time,

“I opened up the script and started reading it, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s fantastic, the writing is so powerful and the characters are so strong and full, and it’s such a beautiful story and such an important story, I think, for us, because of the way things are in the world at the moment.”

“It’s about love; it’s about hope; and it’s about family. I just went back to [my agent’s] office and said, ‘I’ve got to do this; get me this job!’”

The whole experience has been a series of firsts for O’Lachlan, including flying to Toronto to watch the film with an audience. With the film making its world premiere here, this is the very first time he’s ever seen himself on the big screen.

He almost didn’t make the trip, as he says,

“I had a bunch of stuff going on back home, and I wasn’t sure if I was invited. But I spoke to the guys and they said, ‘No, you’ve gotta come! We’ll fly you over!’”

Now that he’s here, a ubiquitous part of the back patio scene at the Hotel Intercontinental in his Roots sweatshirt as he meets and greets a seemingly endless wave of journalists, he enthuses,

“I’m so glad I came. The people at this festival and in this city have been wonderful. It’s so relaxed, everyone’s so chilled out, but at the same time, so enthusiastic about the work,” he continues.

“It’s been great. And some of the films have been great. I saw The Assassination of Richard Nixon last night and I got to hang out with those guys after it, what a group of talent we have here.”

O’Lachlan continues modestly,

“I’m really starting to feel a part of it. As a young actor, I’ve got so much to learn and I’m so keen to learn. At the same time, I don’t want to impose or ask too many questions. It’s a weird thing. It’s not that it’s a clique-y industry, it’s just that it’s a full-on industry, and I’m just learning the ropes.”

He’s certainly starting in the right place, appearing in one of the films alongside The Sea Inside, Greg Araki’s Mysterious Skin, Lukas Moodysson’s A Hole in My Heart and Pawel Pawlikowski’s My Summer of Love.

As Oyster Farmer prepares for its March Australian premiere and searches for US and other foreign distribution, the extra attention can’t hurt.

*******

U.S. Premiere of Australian Film “Oyster Farmer” Opens the Rosemount Australian Film and Style Festival.

The exclusive U.S premiere engagement of the Australian feature film “Oyster Farmer” is the debut event of the three-day Rosemount Australian Film and Style Festival, part of G’Day LA: AUSTRALIA WEEK 2005

First Screening Tuesday, 18 January 2005

******

Feed filmed from mid-January to mid-February 2005

(Alex with fairly long blond hair and blond brows)

*******

The 4th Commonwealth Film Festival, 29 April – 8 May 2005

Opening the festival was Oyster Farmer (2004), an Australian gem from director Anna Reeves. With its uplifting narrative (Jack returns to an insular oyster-bay community to nurse his injured sister), meandering storyline and a fine collection of character actors, this crowd-pleaser was a worthy opener, and hints at a newfound ambition and scope in antipodean filmmaking.

******

52nd Sydney Film Festival

10-25 June 2005

 (Alex with darker coloured and straightened hair in June 2005)

Looking at all the information at hand (dates of premieres and the way Alex looked – including hair colour and length), I believe that the pictures in the light blue sweater, were most probably also taken in Toronto at the Film Festival in September 2004 (and not in March 2005, as I originally found info on)

Alex 6

  • I wonder who took these pictures?
  • If anybody else has some further information about that time (2004 – 2005) in Alex’s career, that can clear things up, please let me know. – I would like to update all information with correct information. 🙂

Update:

We managed to find the original upload of the pictures.

Date taken ’12 September 2004′ at the Toronto Film Festival by @cbutkovich : Album – 04filmfest 

Thank  you  to Sheppy for providing us with the info – You are a STAR! ❤

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Filed under Alex O'Lachlan, Alex O´Loughlin, articles, Intense Research Reports, Interviews, Jack, Oyster Farmer

Oyster Farmer >> #AlexOLoughlin – Rollin’ on the river (2005)

He beat out some big names to take the lead role in the new Aussie drama OYSTER FARMER, and judging from ALEX O’LACHLAN’S powerful screen presence, it was a gamble that paid off.

FilmInk’s Gaynor FLYNN met the young actor at The Toronto Film Festival
FilmInk,

June 2005

It must be intimidating for an up and coming young actors to be compared with Oscar-winning colleagues. I the case of Alex O’Lachlan, who makes his feature film debut in the new Australian flick, Oyster Farmer, which has earned him an instant comparison to Russell Crowe, the comments are more puzzling that intimidating.

I don’t know what that means,” says the 28 year old. “If they mean talent wise, then I find that very flattering. Russell Crowe is a tremendous actor with incredible power on screen.

As a young actor, people who aren’t in the industry often say things like. “Oh so what do you want to be? The next Mel, or the next Russell or the next Heath?’

I don’t want to emulate anyone’s career. I want to just be me.”

Alex as Jack
And in Oyster Farmer, he does just that. The film, by first time director Anne Reeves, is a romantic, atmospheric drama about a young man who runs away to the isolated Hawkesbury River and finds a job with a crew of eighth generation oyster farmers.

The poignant tale explores mateship and what it means to be a man. The film wowed them at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Where O’Lachlan was immediately heralded as the next big international thing.

But we may not have even heard about O’Lachlan for years to come if the investors had gotten their way. They wanted a “name” actor, but Reeves refused to cave in, and the results are obviously paying off.

O’Lachlan is a find by anyone’s standards, although in true Aussie understated style, he plays down the fact that he won the coveted role ahead of some steep competition.

Winning a role he says, can come down to something as simple as having the right colour hair.

“Something in this industry that you’ve got to deal with a lot is this weird attitude that people have of superiority. And one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard is when Sean Penn got up to accept is Oscar and he said that we all know that there is no best in acting.”

The pressure of carrying his first film was intense, and O’Lachlan was also up against some of Australia’s finest performers.

“Jack Thompson has given me so much insight,” says O’Lachlan of his co-star. “We met on the set of Man Thing [a Marvel Comics film shot in Australia and directed by Brett Leonard], which is where I met his son Patrick as well, and from the minute we all met, it was like “G’day mate, please to meet ya”.”

“It was all very Aussie, and we hit off straight away. So he was an enormous help, and the basically I just had to learn to get over myself,” laughs O’Lachlan when asked how he coped with the nerves.

“I’d be like, “Fuck man snap out of it, this film isn’t you, you wanker. There are like a million people involved, and I am a tiny piece of the collaboration of many artists, so get over yourself and do your fucking job”.

So I had this little conversation with myself every day.

The boys

And of course you do your research. I am big on living like the character, so I went up to the river and I actually stayed up there for a week with a swag and not many pairs of undies, and a fishing rod.

Then I spent a lot of time with the boys up there working with oysters.”

The farmers
But even then I wasn’t completely prepared for the gruelling demand of the shoot.

“Shooting up there was a pain in the arse,” Alex laughs. “We got stuck in the mud for like six hours one day….it was fucked.

Then there’s the fog – you can disappear in that and never be seen again. So it was tough because there are big tides up there, and before you know it, you’ve got no water under you and you can get stuck if you’re not careful.

So the shooting schedule was completely dictated by the tides. If it wasn’t for the first AD Mark Turnbull, I’d think we’d still be up there filming!”

Jack
But the tides the mud and the weather all paled into insignificance compared with his first onscreen love scene.

“Mate, it was fucked and I hated it,” he laughs. “I love Diana Glenn, who plays my love interest in the film, but it’s a hard thing to do.

I mean the film crew is right up every orifice! And in this instance, we were in the middle of Sydney Harbour buck naked except for our set of cock socks and modesty panels, which are for hygienic reasons, but it doesn’t leave much to the imagination, let me tell you!

So it’s quite disturbing, especially when you watch it back and you go, “Oh that’s what I look like!”

Kiss
As for what’s up next, O’Lachlan will feature in Mary Bryant, a swashbuckling mini-series due for release in the not too distant future.

“It’s kind of freaky waiting for everything to come out,” he laughs, “so I try not to think about it.

I’m just trying to get as much work locked in now, before everyone sees my work and goes, “Okaaay”,” he jokes.

“so I’m working on a piece with Pat Thompson and Brett Leonard called Feed. It’s a psychological thriller and it’s coming your way.”

Jack Flange

I came up here camping with David Field, before we started shooting. One night we where lying down looking at the stars, I said, “Mate, I relate to this character so much, I am worried about playing myself.”

– Alex O’Loughlin, Oyster Farmer set interview, 2003

My Thoughts:

  • I know we are all harsh on ourselves whenever we see what we look like on film and pictures – but one thing is for sure, Alex need never to worry about what he looks like …… he is YUMMY!!
  • A number of the men who appear in the movie, are real oyster farmers.
  • As you can see on the interview pictures of Anna and Alex, she is pregnant. Anna mention in her director’s comments on the DVD, that there were quite a number of “oyster-babies” born amongst the cast and crew, nine months after filming the movie – she thinks the oysters worked their magic 🙂 .

FilmInk Jun 2005

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Filed under Alex O'Lachlan, Alex O´Loughlin, articles, Interviews, Jack, Oyster Farmer

#AlexOLoughlin – The Oyster Boy Moving to Tinseltown (June 2005)

Alex O’Lachlan hopes his first feature film will launch him into the big time,

– by Des Partridge, The Courier Mail, 23 June 2005

Actor Alex O’Lachlan has made a new home in Los Angeles, determined he won’t return to the roles of waiter or bartender he’s played for real in between acting jobs in Sydney. The rugged 28-year-old, who is expected to create a buzz with female moviegoers in his feature debut in the joint Australian/UK film, Oyster Farmer, relocated to Los Angeles from Sydney’s Coogee four months ago.

He is sharing a house in the Hollywood hills suburb of Laurel Canyon with his Oyster Farmer co-star, Diana Glenn, and her boyfriend, New Zealand actor Dean O’Gorman.

Alex and Dean

(Picture: Alex as Mick in 2007, with Dean who played one of the bad guys in the 1st Episode of Moonlight)

O’Lachlan, who graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney in 2002, said in Brisbane before appearing at a preview screening of Oyster Farmer:

I don’t want to be mixing drinks in Sydney bars any more. Los Angeles is the mecca for everyone interested in film or television. I’ve had a manager in Los Angeles for the past three years, and I’ve been going back and forth. I’ve recently joined a management agency there,” says O’Lachlan, who had roles in Blackjack and White Collar Blue on television.

“It’s been tough in Sydney. Now I’ve decided I have to be there (Los Angeles) to chase the work. I really want to pursue my craft, and all the people you want to work with, directors, and writers, and actors, they’re in Los Angeles.

I’ve been doing at least one audition every week since I’ve been there, and something might come from one of those. It’s the right place to be to practice my craft.”

One audition that O’Lachlan hopes might bear fruit was for a role in a new movie for an Oscar-winning director, but he doesn’t want to prejudice his chances by talking about it yet. But I can tell you, that’s a role I really crave, he said.

O’Lachlan needed no introduction to the Hawkesbury River region where Oyster Farmer was made two years ago by a crew led by New Zealand-born, London-based Australian Film Television and Radio School graduate Anna Reeves, who won international festival awards with her short films.

“It’s a secret little slice of paradise,” says O’Lachlan, who made regular fishing trips to the Hawkesbury when he was growing up in Sydney.

Much of the film was shot around the idyllic Hawkesbury riverside settlement of Brooklyn. In Oyster Farmer, O’Lachlan plays an itinerant 23-year-old who joins an oyster farming community, developing a bond with members of a family who’ve grown oysters for several generations.

Alex in Oyster Farmer

O’Lachlan worked alongside well-known talents such as Kerry Armstrong, David Field and Jack Thompson, but it’s a frank outdoor love scene with Secret Life of Us regular Diana Glenn that has provoked most discussion about Oyster Farmer at international film festivals, rivaling interest in the film’s off-beat scenery.

The actor says he’s seen the film four times on the festival circuit, but always leaves his seat when the sex scene, filmed on a mangrove-lined wooden jetty, is about to play.

“As an actor, you know you just have to do the scene. We were pretty uncomfortable, but fortunately I knew Diana before, and we joked our way through the hours it took to get it down. We looked after each other,” says O’Lachlan, who admitted he had minor cuts to his knees from simulating sex on the ancient jetty over several “long and painful” hours.

“If we didn’t laugh about it, we would have been crying. Now I’ve started worrying because Oyster Farmer is going out on 22 screens internationally in July, and there’ll be my naked bum again,” he says.

He says it was tremendous experience to work with Thompson, whose late career revival includes a supporting role in the current art house release, The Assassination of Richard Nixon.

He and Thompson have shared festival platforms discussing Oyster Farmer, and since making the film, O’Lachlan has appeared in another film, Feed, produced by Thompson and his son, Patrick.

“When you act with inexperienced younger actors, there’s a tension you don’t have when you’re working with someone like Jack. He makes you feel safe because he’s there,” he says. I knew that no matter what I did in the scenes we had together, he’d been watching my back.”

Some added thoughts from others:

Alex O’Loughlin and Diana Glenn (Pearl) are wonderful discoveries, with great chemistry on screen.”

– David Field, DVD commentary

*******

Finding someone to play the lead role of Jack Flange was challenging. You go down to the beach and there’s all these gorgeous young men who could play Jack Flange but they probably couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag. I had to find an actor who was convincing as a man oyster farmers would give a job to, he had to look like he’d done hard physical work. But I knew I would recognize the qualities when I found the right actor ……. and Alex walked in. He was so keen and I knew he would have the courage to play the role and give it his all.”

– Anna Reeves (writer/director), DVD commentary

********

“You had to have a great sense of humor to be part of Oyster Farmer.  … like the sex scene with what feels like the Spanish Armada parked off the end of the jetty.”

– Anna Reeves (writer/director), DVD commentary

********

Alex as Jack

My thoughts:

  • Of course for the film Oyster Farmer, Alex was still using the surname, O’Lachlan.
  • Everybody always comment on the probability of splinters in Diane’s bum after that love scene – forgetting that Alex’s poor knees were actually doing most of the hard work 😛
  • For me the scenes he shared with Mumbles (Jim Norton), were the best of the movie. (The pier scene with Diana, excluded, of course 😉 )

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Filed under Alex O'Lachlan, Alex O´Loughlin, Interviews, Jack, Oyster Farmer