Category Archives: articles

#H50 – When a shock came as no shock at all ……

It was the question this morning – whether to say anything or not. And if so, which article to run here or not.

We actually already had a post ready for today, that might have been a good fit for this news – but we will let is stand over for tomorrow and you can be the judge.

We are not in a habit of running stories that are not about Alex. But this news involves Alex and his work for the last 10 years. Regular readers would have gotten the drift of how we felt about it all, over the years – or maybe not.

In any case, there are a lot we as the audience (fans) don’t know and most of us form a perspective with the limited information we got over the years, from the corner in the fandom we sat it.

These are the two of articles that cover the story:

‘MacGyver,’ ‘Magnum P.I.’ Boss Peter Lenkov Fired at CBS

by Lesley Goldberg

for The Hollywood Reporter

7 July 2020

Following an investigation into multiple claims that top showrunner Peter Lenkov created a toxic work environment, CBS has fired the Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver and Magnum P.I. showrunner, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Lenkov was dismissed despite having a year left on his rich overall deal with CBS TV Studios, which produces MacGyver and Magnum P.I.

“Peter Lenkov is no longer the executive producer overseeing MacGyver and Magnum P.I., and the studio has ended its relationship with him,” a CBS TV Studios spokesperson said in a statement to THR. “Monica Macer will be the showrunner on MacGyver and Eric Guggenheim will run Magnum P.I. Both are currently executive producers on their respective series. Our studio is committed to ensuring safe and respectful production environments. Over the past year, we have assigned human resource production partners to every show, expanded staff training and increased reporting options. We will continue to evolve our practices with continued focus on building trust with all who work on our sets. Every complaint is taken seriously, every claim is investigated, and when evidence is clear that policies were violated and values not upheld, we take decisive action.”
Added Lenkov in a statement of his own to THR: “Now is the time to listen and I am listening. It’s difficult to hear that the working environment I ran was not the working environment my colleagues deserved, and for that, I am deeply sorry. I accept responsibility for what I am hearing and am committed to doing the work that is required to do better and be better.”

Sources say Lenkov had been the subject of at least three complaints alleging that he was manipulative and abusive during Hawaii Five-0‘s 10-season run and on the current hit MacGyver (with the latter heading into its fifth season in the fall). He allegedly had a “boys club” that included favored male employees who regularly gathered, smoked cigars and inappropriately judged the appearance of women in Hawaii. Others allege that he accommodated special work-schedule requests from male actors without offering similar consideration to actresses on Hawaii Five-0. The series, a reboot of the iconic procedural, concluded its run in April.  

“It was a hard place to be a woman on that set,” one source said of the former Oahu set of Hawaii Five-0.

Behind the scenes, sources allege Lenkov would routinely talk down to writers — particularly women and people of color. In one incident, he allegedly mocked a disabled fan and, after a writer objected to his behavior, attempted to have her fired.

“He isn’t racist or sexist or classist singularly — it’s all of it,” says an insider. “He’s anti-woman, anti-POC, anti-gay, and everything you’d expect. But he’d also torture straight white men if he felt like it.”

Lenkov is one of CBS’ top showrunners, having successfully rebooted Hawaii Five-0 into a global syndicated hit as well as reviving procedurals Magnum P.I. and MacGyver. The latter two series are set to air back-to-back on Fridays in the fall; Lenkov is one of a small handful of showrunners to control a night of programming.

Hawaii Five-0 made headlines in July 2017 when original series stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park made the shocking decision to depart the CBS drama after filming its first 168 episodes. Both actors, who had appeared in all seven seasons as series regulars, asked for salary parity with co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. CBS and CBS Television Studios could not come to terms that worked for the two stars. Sources at the time noted that the duo’s offers came in at less than those of O’Loughlin and Caan, who both had a rich cut of the show’s lucrative backend.

Lenkov is the latest CBS showrunner to be dismissed as the media titan continues to address its own culture issues. Brad Kern, the former showrunner of NCIS: New Orleans, was dropped by CBS TV Studios after multiple sources on the show alleged he harassed and unfairly penalized women and made racially insensitive statements. CBS comedy Fam let showrunner Bob Kushell go after finding that he used “inappropriate language” on the set of the 2019 midseason show. CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery dismissed showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts amid allegations of abusive behavior, along with budget overruns. Vinnie Favale, a CBS Studios executive, was placed on leave in 2018 after allegations of misconduct.

CBS also fired 60 Minutes exec producer and former news division head Jeff Fager after he sent a threatening text message to a CBS reporter who was covering sexual misconduct allegations against him. In 2017, the network dropped CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose amid allegations of sexual harassment. CBS also was rocked by the September 2018 departure of CEO Leslie Moonves, which took place a month after The New Yorker published allegations of harassment and abuse by the top executive. 

and

‘Magnum P.I.,’ ‘MacGyver’ Showrunner Peter Lenkov Fired Over Toxic Work Environment Claims

forVariety 

7 July 2020

Peter Lenkov’s relationship with CBS has been terminated due to accusations the producer and showrunner created a toxic work environment on his sets, Variety has confirmed.

Lenkov developed and was the showrunner on the CBS revivals of “Magnum P.I.” and “MacGyver,” but has now been fired from those shows. In addition, his overall deal with CBS Television Studios has been ended. Lenkov was previously the showrunner on the CBS revival of “Hawaii Five-O,” which ended earlier this year.

“Peter Lenkov is no longer the executive producer overseeing MacGyver and Magnum P.I., and the studio has ended its relationship with him,” a CBS TV Studios spokesperson said. “Monica Macer will be the showrunner on MacGyver and Eric Guggenheim will run Magnum P.I. Both are currently executive producers on their respective series. Our studio is committed to ensuring safe and respectful production environments. Over the past year, we have assigned human resource production partners to every show, expanded staff training and increased reporting options. We will continue to evolve our practices with continued focus on building trust with all who work on our sets. Every complaint is taken seriously, every claim is investigated, and when evidence is clear that policies were violated and values not upheld, we take decisive action.”

The investigation into Lenkov’s behavior is said to have just concluded recently. Multiple sources who spoke with Variety said that Lenkov was known to be misogynistic and to make crude jokes on set. He is also said to have a “boys club” with whom he would regularly gather to smoke cigars and judge women’s appearances. Sources also allege his abusive behavior pre-dated his work on the CBS revivals and was also prevalent during his time on “CSI: NY.” In one incident described to Variety, Lenkov had gathered several writers in his office and circulated a New York Magazine story from 2007 about women being a “depreciating asset” and expected the women present to laugh. During his time at “CSI: NY,” when Lenkov once got a note he didn’t like from a CBS executive, he joked that the writer who was dating the executive wasn’t doing her job in bed because the executive was cranky, according to one source.

“Women were definitely second-class citizens, as far as he was concerned,” says one insider. “I drank myself to sleep for a month because of him.”

Lenkov responded to his termination in a statement, which reads: “Now is the time to listen and I am listening. It’s difficult to hear that the working environment I ran was not the working environment my colleagues deserved, and for that, I am deeply sorry. I accept responsibility for what I am hearing and am committed to doing the work that is required to do better and be better.”

Lenkov is now the latest producer or executive at CBS to be terminated in recent years due to allegations of misconduct. Perhaps most famously, longtime CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves exited the company amid multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment in 2018. Other examples include “NCIS: New Orleans” producer Brad Kern, who was fired from that show due to allegations of racist comments and verbal harassment of women. Longtime “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager was also terminated, with CBS saying Fager had “violated company policy.” Fager was accused of ignoring allegations of harassment and abuse during his time at CBS News.

We all had our points of view even before the news broke. I would warn those who are tempted to comment – don’t be too hasty in judgment. Those in glass houses should not throw stones.

Some even suggest the show would’ve had a different ending if it all came to light sooner. My question is – would the show even have run until now, if this happened sooner? Who were victims and who not?

What is in the bag is in the bag – no do-overs …

It is so interesting to see how everybody is spinning the story to suit their own narrative. Most “heroes” have feet of clay at some stage. It all lies in the perspective of those involved.

For many, the show (Hawaii Five-0) provided an income for a decade. Many got opportunities because of it. It seems, others were victims. Some maybe both victim and benefactor. Isn’t it all part of life in general, you could ask?

In the end, I think it can be a lesson for us all, to do better ….. or not.

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Filed under articles, Hawaii Five-0, News Updates

#TBT – More Bites for #AlexOLoughlin – May 2008

This post covers some of the events surrounding the cancellation of Moonlight back in May 2008

This as a small little newspaper article I found in my old files.

These days we rarely post pictures of Alex and his old girlfriends, but it was part of his life after all.

And he looked so differently sexy for me in these pictures with Holly, taken back in December 2006 in Austalia.

Alex & Holly – Dec 2006

Herald Sun

16 May 2008

Aussie actor Alex O’Loughlin dealt with the news that he was out of a job in the best possible way – he went on holiday to Mexico with his glamorous girlfriend, Holly Valance.

The pair left Los Angeles yesterday for a two-week getaway, following the axing of his US vampire show, Moonlight. Issues behind the scenes and flagging ratings were cited as possible reasons for the decision.

O’Loughlin’s agent, Nathan Morris of June Cann Management, is confident he will not be unemployed for long.

Morris said starring in a popular series such as Moonlight had put O’Loughlin in good stead for landing more high profile parts.

“He has got a raft of things to read through, a role like this has definitely opened plenty of doors,” he said. “The key is to strike while the iron is hot”.

Scan:

And this was the media report of the cancellation then:

E! News

Exclusive: 

Moonlight Producers Confirm Cancellation

May. 13, 2008

This just might be the most depressing news yet coming out of the New York upfronts.

I’ve just received word from Gabrielle Stanton and Harry Werksman, bosses of Moonlight, that the series has been canceled.

They sent me this message to pass along to you fans:

It’s true. We found out about an hour ago that Moonlight has been officially canceled.

We are truly saddened by the news and are sorry that we won’t get the chance to live with our wonderful characters and follow them on their adventures for a second season.

We really want to thank all our loyal fans for their undying love and support of the show.  We never would have made it this far without them.

In vampire solidarity…rah, rah!

Gabrielle Stanton & Harry Werksman

This series has one of the most dedicated, passionate audiences I’ve ever seen in the many years in this job. And to all of you I extend a heartfelt hug.

Feel free to group-hug it out and express your disappointment at CBS below…

 

Pictures of Alex at the TV Guide Sexiest Party on 1 May 2008

It always breaks my heart to read this message from Alex.

MySpace Post:

May 14, 2008

Family and Friends

Dear Friends, Family and wonderful, wonderful Fans of MOONLIGHT.

Well, where to start….?
The decision to cancel MOONLIGHT… my MOONLIGHT… our MOONLIGHT, is as much of a shock and gut wrenching surprise to me as it is to all of you.

Really, I don’t even know where to begin.

I sit here at my computer, still slack jawed even 24 hours after receiving the news that my services are no longer required on the set of this show. A show we have all come to know and love deeply, and it hurts more than I can possibly tell you.

Since i got THE CALL I have not read anything online or otherwise, I have not been following blogs or forums, I have not been reading the trades or opinion polls and I have not been calling around to get information.
“Why are you not fighting for your show?!” I hear you all scream!!
The truth is my friends, I never STOPPED fighting for it.
From the very beginning when I was told time and again that i wasn’t the man for the job, having to prove myself to everyone with tests and screen tests, to a complete re-casting of the show, through 5 different show runners at the helm with 5 different artistic visions, to a Writer’s strike that took 5 episodes away from us…… oh how the list goes on.

But through all of that, i am proud to say that not once did I bow down and allow someone else to come in and do with MOONLIGHT as they please. And along the way, if I needed a break and wanted to do that, I don’t think I could have anyway because, well, I suppose it’s just not in my nature! 😉
This is all still so fresh for me and I am going to need a little time to process this whole thing before i can digest what has actually happened, let alone move on.

Honestly. I really feel lost for words.

I will say however, that never, never in my life have I experienced first hand a level of support from a group of people like that of you all who are reading this now, and who ‘loved this show to life’ alongside me. It has been overwhelming to say the least.

I am grateful to you all. I am extremely proud to be associated with this piece of television.
And I am so, so sorry to my very core, to lose MOONLIGHT.

All my love,

Alex O’Loughlin x

 

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Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, articles

#AlexOLoughlin – In Style – January 2007

Another one of the short magazine articles that we have not posted before …

At first all I saw was grey concrete and dirty skies.

Now I see the trees growing out of the concrete.

– Alex O’Loughlin (about LA)

2007

Alex O’Loughlin, Mulholland Drive; October 6, 2006.

Best known for Oyster Farmer, Alex O’Loughlin, 30, goes out with Holly Valance and has lived in LA for two years.

See him next in the film August Rush and TV series The Shield.

Q: What do you miss most about home?

Alex: I miss the sweetness of Australia – the air and water. And I get people-sick. I miss my son Saxon the most. He’s nine and lives in Byron Bay.

Q: Best kept secrets?

Alex: Supermarkets that give free samples of hot food. You can sneak back and back until you get half a belly full – Trader Joe’s has the best samples.

Q: Favourite getaway?

Alex: Joshua Tree National Park. I love going out there, rolling my swag out in the dirt under the stars, and waking up in the morning with coyotes looking at me.

Q: Most LA moment?

Alex: Auditioning for [the role of James] Bond. They had suits tailored for me, they cut my hair – it was full-on. Part of me was, this is the greatest moment of my life, and part of me was just laughing.

Q: Best benefits?

Alex: You can drive fast and guitars are cheap.

 

Magazine Scan:

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Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, articles

A Summary of Old #AlexOLoughlin Articles about OCD and ADD

As promised my follow-up post from yesterday.

I am doing this post to illustrate why I would never even think to list OCD or ADD as a condition that Alex suffers from, or even suffered from in his youth. This post is about old articles and interviews with Alex, that refer to OCD and ADD.

I have looked at all the old articles that I could find about Alex and these subjects and will list them here in the order of when they were posted over the years. It should give a better understanding of how they fit, and then they are not just random quotes taken out of context and time.

Once again I want to mention, that direct quotes from Alex in these interviews are marked with blue writing.

(And remember you can click on the source name to read the full article from which it was quoted.)

References from Old Articles

  • 28 June 2005

The Canberra Times,

O’Lachlan says he grew up moving between his mother in Canberra and father in Sydney. “Canberra was a strange experience for me,” he says.“I never felt at home in Canberra.” He says there was no possibility of anonymity and he felt more at home in Sydney: “You could disappear.”

He struggled at school, leaving before he was 15. He had trouble reading and later discovered he had been suffering from an undiagnosed case of ADD, or attention deficit disorder.

Academia was not where he his life was at the time. “As a young’un, I just wanted to run to the world,” he says.

Here Alex talks about ADD and no mention of OCD at all. He uses the words later discovered. To me, that would suggest that he either read up on ADD, or talked to somebody about it, and found himself in the symptoms of it.

Maybe giving himself an explanation about his troubled childhood and something that might have been the reasons for his lack of interest in school etc.

  • April 2008

Cleo Entertainment,

Cleo:  How would your friends describe you?

Alex: My friends would say I’m dependable, a joker, intelligent. I’m multi-talented, probably because I’m so ADD. I can also be quiet.

Again, he is just saying – I’m so ADD. He is not specifying it as a diagnosed or a treated medical condition here.

  • December  2008

Alex in an audio interview with by Pam N

Pam: Are you obsessive about anything?

Alex: Most things. [Laughs]

Pam: Really, are you really?

Alex: You see, it’s the only way I get things done, you know. I kind of ….

Pam: In both …

Alex: I’m a little ADD, and so I have to be a little OCD to get … to focus on things long and hard enough to get them done, in my busy life. So yeah, I am definitely obsessive.

Pam: So you’re definitely obsessive, both in your work and your private life?

Alex: Yeah, more so in my work.

I’m a little ADD and have to be a little OCD to get things done – also this is just the way a lot of people talk and does not refer to a diagnosed or treated medical condition. And he also mentions it as more part of his work ethic, than a part of his personal life.

Director – Bob Hardy, Writer/producer – Simon Mirren and Alex as Vincent (BTS – Criminal Minds)

Then in early 2009, Alex got a role as the character Vincent in the TV Series Criminal Minds. The character suffers from a severe case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Promoting the broadcast of the episode, Alex gave a number of interviews about it and explains his preparation for this character.

  • 28 April 2009

HuffPost TV

Question: Did you study the effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder before taking on this role?

Alex: Yeah, I actually had it. I think a lot of us have a certain degree of it. I know I do, but I’m not crippled by it. When I was a young boy in elementary school I was quite a blatant example of a child with OCD, and I remember how it used to make me feel and how difficult it was.

I also did a lot of reading and I studied the effects of OCD on children and how it continues from childhood to adulthood if left untreated.

Here Alex mentions that he used to have symptoms of OCD himself – There is no talk of professional diagnoses or treatment for it. He just adds that he thinks a lot of us have those symptoms to a certain degree.

I guess during his research, he found himself in some of the symptoms of it. I make that assumption from the words he uses, “I was a blatant example of a child with OCD”. Alex is doing some sort of self-diagnoses here, it seems.

But then he also talks of how it continues from childhood to adulthood, if not treated ….

  • 29 April 2009

My Take On TV

My main preparation was of course looking at the condition of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which I have little tiny elements of in my life anyway, but I’m certainly far from ruled by it. I think a lot of us have little things – some people don’t step on the cracks, a lot of us don’t even realize we’re doing it, we tie our shoes certain ways and we feel uncomfortable if we do it a different way, and there’s an anxiety within us.

It’s a very interesting condition. There’s an anxiety within us that gets quelled when we do that pattern, every time we do that behavior, it settles an anxiety within us. And a lot of it’s subconscious because it seems so minor because they’re day to day things that we have to do like tie our shoes or brush our teeth.

This was an exaggerated form, and it happens to certain people, it’s so unfortunate. The condition gets ramped up to a certain point where their entire life is taken over by these behaviors that they have to go through to stop the anxiety that they’re experiencing. Their whole life is catered to dealing with anxiety. So, I made some choices for the character, all my choices were based around this condition he suffers from.

Alex says: “My main preparation was of course looking at the condition of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which I have little tiny elements of in my life anyway, but I’m certainly far from ruled by it.”  <<< And again this is far from claiming any sort of professional diagnoses of the condition of OCD here.

∗  And remember his words here: “some people don’t step on the cracks” and “we tie our shoes certain ways”

theTVaddict

My main preparation with this character was the obsessive-compulsive stuff because that’s the thing that rules his life and keeps him doing what he does time and time again. His OCD is at the core of his physical being.

Here he just talks about Vincent and his condition.

  • April 2009

Entertainment Tonight

I did a lot of research on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. There is more to it than that. OCD is an anxiety disorder. The patterns that people have … you yourself might have some patterns that you are not aware of. A lot of us do.

The patterns that people have in their daily life, such as putting their sunglasses on with both hands, or the way they tie their shoes. There are patterns that we have in real life that ease an anxiety that is inside of us. This is an extreme case of it.

Again, Alex just talks about his research on the subject of OCD and how we all have signs of it in our lives.

Alex as Vincent in Criminal Minds

  • 30 August 2009

Film. com tv

I hated school as a kid. I just wanted to run through forests and not be inside, but now I read a lot. My bed stand has about 10 books and I’ve been reading a lot of medical journals and scripts.

Okay, in this article there was no talk about ADD or OCD, but Alex mentions his hate for school and how he is so different now.

  • 30 September 2009

Timeout New York

I have an ultimate goal: I want long-term health. I want to be fit when I’m in my seventies. The work I do now and the seeds I sow now will pay off later. So when I take vacations, I’m not a slovenly person. I’ll really enjoy take a nice long walk on the beach or do surfing.

Plus, I’m all ADD, I’m fidgeting all the time, which must burn a few calories.

Another casual mention of his ADD personality – fidgeting all the time. Again, no talk of diagnoses or treatment.

  • 8 October 2009

Zap2It

I had a bit of OCD as a kid, quite a bit, actually. I wouldn’t step on a crack. It would take me an hour to get my shoes tied, because I had this weird OCD thing.

Please note that this article was compiled for Zap2it . It does not look like an interview where the person who wrote the article actually quotes what Alex said to her directly. We have no evidence of the original article where they got this quote from. Or maybe she did in fact get the words from Alex during an interview.

  The words that were used here, only remind me of something that Alex said in the earlier interview, but differently – remember – “some people don’t step on the cracks” and “we tie our shoes certain ways”

But even if it was a real direct quote of what he said – there is nothing mentioned here other than, “had a bit of OCD as a kid”. And also, not stepping on cracks and taking time to tie shoes, do not really constitute a professional diagnosis of OCD at all.

 

Of course, 2009 and 2010 were some of the busiest years for Alex. Soon after the Criminal Minds interviews in 2009, he filmed the pilot episode for Three Rivers. Then immediately he went on to film The Back-Up Plan. Once finished with that, he started filming Three Rivers and did a lot of promotion for it and the movie Whiteout.

Then Three Rivers got canceled, but Alex immediately got the part in Hawaii Five-0. Soon after filming the pilot for Hawaii Five-0, he started promotion for The Back-Up Plan. Then it was the move back to Hawaii and filming of the show, until January 2011 and time for a new interview.

 

In March 2011, the GQ interview was published and with it, it got fans and sites eagerly quoting it.  Everybody now suddenly states that Alex suffered from OCD and ADD as a child or still suffer from it now. Let’s have a look at why ….

  • March 2011

GQ Style Australia

He may not suffer depression, but O’Loughlin has struggled with other issues. As an adult, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). But when I ask how these have affected his life, he grows cagey. Once again I am forced to reassure him, but he eventually answers the question with candour.

“I still have ADD. It’s something I’ve learned to live with. It affects people in different ways. It affected my learning when I was younger and I was never medicated for it. It was something that did make me feel like I was different and apart from everyone, made me feel isolated.

Every girlfriend I’ve ever had has had a moment when they’ve gone crazy at me because they’ll say something and, literally, two or three minutes later I’ll respond.  People think I’m rude or ignoring them but I’m not at all. I retain everything. It’s just the way my brain chemistry works. I’m actually a really loving, attentive person.”

The OCD, says O’Loughlin, is now mostly a thing of the past. In the calming atmosphere of Hawaii, his childhood days of taking hours to tie his shoes just right are a fading memory. However, he does admit to having occasional obsessive urges.

“If I get OCD about something, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I have to do it.’” He pauses, laughs and adds, “So you’ve just ascertained that I should be imprisoned and medicated.”

The divorce of O’Loughlin’s parents at a young age undoubtedly contributed to his difficult childhood. Born in Canberra, O’Loughlin spent his younger years shuttling between his mother’s home in the capital and his father’s in Sydney.

During high school, he admits he was a tearaway. I ask whether his undiagnosed ADD may have contributed to him playing truant, getting expelled and dropping out in his mid-teens.

“I dunno, probably. I suppose everything contributes to everything, doesn’t it? I was like, ‘I don’t like it here because I’m not really learning very much because you don’t know how to teach me. So fuck off.’ That was my anxious condition speaking back then, and it just didn’t make sense for me to stay there.”

And here we have the journalist claiming that Alex was diagnosed with ADD and OCD as an adult. Something that was never said in any of the interviews we mentioned before of anything that Alex said himself. You can go back and read them all again. He always talked about discovered, undiagnosed, and not treated. And even here in this article, those are his words that he used.

I, therefore, take this “adult diagnosis” as not reliable at all and just some assumption that the journalist made from somewhere. There was no firm question from him given here and also why does he say Alex was cagey about it. Most probably because he was annoyed that the subject was being brought up and exaggerated and out of context?

Alex mentions here that he feels he still suffers from ADD – but that he learned to live with it. And again, no talk about a diagnosis or treatment from him. And when he talks about OCD he says: “I get OCD about something”. That is hardly claiming a diagnosed or a treated condition. It is again just general talk about being OCD about things.

  • August 2011

Men’s Fitness 

This is particularly impressive for a guy plagued by attention deficit disorder growing up in Australia. “It went undiagnosed and I managed to keep it hidden, but it caused a lot of frustration,he says.

Yet, whenever he did martial arts or any form of exercise, the problem seem to disappear. “When I stopped being cerebral and became physical, my mind cleared. That’s probably why I like to be so active [today]. It’s a huge part of the balance of who I am.”

Again, the ADD is mentioned here as undiagnosed and never treated, other than getting better with physical activity. No mention of OCD.

 ET

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.

Again Alex just a mention being a little OCD about his job as director on the episode. No diagnosed medical condition or treatment.

 

These are then ALL the articles of interviews with Alex that I could find on the subjects of OCD and ADD. And I hope you get the drift of my reasoning of why I would never say that Alex suffers from these conditions now, or as a child.

In my opinion, only a diagnosis by a professional should be used as a reference for any such claims.

Some basic explanations for OCD and ADD:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which you have thoughts (obsessions) and rituals (compulsions) over and over. They interfere with your life, but you cannot control or stop them.

 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem caused by the presence of one or more of these findings: not being able to focus, being overactive, or not being able to control behavior.

And what do the experts say:

Selfdiagnosing your mental illness may lead to trivializing the mental illness or magnifying it, both of which can be dangerous.

Diagnosis can only be given by a qualified expert because selfdiagnosis lacks credibility. Selfdiagnosis can turn serious psychiatric disorders into mere fashion labels, in such a way that trivializes them. A clear example of a diagnosis being trivialized is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). While OCD can be highly debilitating, it isn’t rare to hear people say “I’m so OCD!” in relation to everyday things like being clean and tidy—thus trivializing the condition. 

Once again I want to emphasize that I do not say Alex does or doesn’t suffer from these conditions. Or that he never suffered from it in his youth. And from the evidence that I can see in these interviews, I can not conclude that he was ever professionally diagnosed with it. And he actually confirmed that he was never treated for either ADD or OCD.

Only if there is any other old interview that I have not seen yet, that clearly confirms it, or if in future he would personally actually confirm that such a professional diagnosis was ever made, will I take it as a true fact or post it anywhere.

And even with this latest podcast where Alex talks a lot about his troubled youth, yet there is no mention of either ADD or OCD as conditions he suffered from.

I just feel that to make claims about mental conditions that were never formally and professionally diagnosed or treated, is risky. Even professionals sometimes struggle to make the correct diagnosis and a lot of symptoms can overlap in different conditions.

 

So many people have serious debilitating problems connected to metal issues and it should not be diminished. We can all see ourselves in the symptoms of many mental disorders or conditions, but that does not mean that we actually suffer from it or should list it as part of our lives …..

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Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, articles, Intense Research Reports

#AlexOLoughlin – GQ Style Australia, Cover Story – 2011

This is one of the few old magazine articles of which we haven’t posted the full text here before. Most probably because I have this love/hate relationship with it in general. Such a lot of interesting things said in the interview, but I  sense a weird hostility between Alex and the journalist.

The journalist also uses a lot of “big” words, which I had to look up.

And for some reason, the fashion world only captures and uses all these solemn pictures, with Alex looking so stern and somber in all of them.

I want to emphasize once again that a clear distinction should be made between direct quotes of what Alex actually said, and wording with which the reporter coloured in, or elaborated on with his own remarks. For that reason, all direct quotes from Alex are boldly marked in blue. 

I only take things that are directly quoted, as true facts and the rest I measureu up against the true fact that we have already read or heard before in other interviews.

This interview was done at the end of January 2011 (somewhere around the 29th of January when the fashion shoot was done, I presume). At that stage, they were filming Episode 1:19 and the public had only seen up to Episode 1:15 of Hawaii Five-0. No renewal for Season 2 confirmed yet by then.

 

Alex O’Loughlin Talking Five-0

Who would have predicted a former plumber’s apprentice from Canberra with a CV consisting of flops, misfires and obscure cult hits would be handed the lead role in the biggest American TV show of 2011Alex O’Loughlin’s ship has finally come – packed to the gunwales with colourful villains, wisecracking cops and bikini-clad femme fatales.

GQ Style Australia

Autumn/Winter 2011 Issue (March 2011)

Words: Brendan Shanahan

Photography: Robbie Fimmano

Styling: Wayne Gross

Nearly halfway through my interview with actor Alex O’Loughlin, the conversation takes an unexpected turn. He’s been talking about being in his mid-30’s, heading towards that dreaded period in which you are forced to ask yourself – what is truly important to me?

When I share some of my own fears with O’Loughlin, he recommends that I read Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet”. For a time he extols the virtues of the classic text before coming to a sudden halt. “Can I ask you a question?” he says, not leaving any time to answer.  “Am I going to sound like a cunt when this interview comes out?”

This frankly phrased query arrives seemingly from nowhere. It’s asked partly in jest – another of the actor’s self-deprecating asides that scatter our conversation – and partly in an attempt to deflate any accusations of pretentiousness. But there is a part of it that feels genuine, too.  It’s difficult to know exactly how to respond. I do my best to reassure him (“Not unless you are a cunt,” I reply, which gets a laugh) and the interview continues. Nevertheless, I am left with a sense that Alex O’Loughlin is a bit of a livewire.

At 34 years of age, O’Loughlin has long been touted as “Australia’s next big thing” in Hollywood. With his aquiline features and the kind of rugged off-screen persona that the Yanks seem to lap up in Aussie actors, it always seemed just a matter of time. Now, almost seven years since his debut in the Australian film Oyster Farmer, and after a series of frustrating misfires, he might just be about to fulfill the destiny many have predicted for him.

( For me a Perfect profile )

The vehicle for O’Loughlin’s entry to the A-list is his lead role in the big-budget remake of the classic TV series Hawaii Five-0. Only loosely based on the original (this version is spelled with a zero, as in Hawaii Five 2.0) the new show sees O’Loughlin play Steve McGarrett, a Navy SEAL looking to avenge the death of his father as head of a multicultural kill squad given carte blanche by the island state’s governor.

The show is pure old-fashioned, suspension-of-disbelief entertainment, of the sort in which gorgeous female detectives have fistfights in bikinis and downtown Honolulu sees more explosions than Baghdad.

Since its US debut in September last year, Hawaii Five-0 has enjoyed solid ratings, a fact that must come as some relief to its creators. Retreading such iconic shows is a big risk: a number of spectacular flops have made networks and audiences wary. Surely O’Loughlin couldn’t help but feel the pressure, both artistically and commercially?

“It’s really important that if you’re an artist involved in recreating something as iconic as this, that you find some way to step away from that. First of all, there’s a lot of fans of the old show and a lot of critics who are looking to get their teeth into us.

And then there’s also a lot of fans and friends of Jack Lord – who played the original Steve McGarrett – and I’m an Australian. So I can’t think about any of that. All I can think about is doing my work, being true and honest within the character, and trying to deliver on time.”

For a number of years, O’Loughlin struggled to find his place in LA. Just as he’d put down some roots, he had to relocate.

“When I first moved over here I was really, really nervous. It took me six years to settle in to living in LA. I had my life together there, my niche, and my friends. And I’m like, ‘Wow, I’m up and moving to the middle of the ocean, to a small island where I don’t know anyone.’

And it’s one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to me. This place is one of the greatest on the planet, the people here are amazing. I’ve already made so many incredible friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life. I can’t really see myself leaving, regardless of what happens to the show.”

O’Loughlin’s enthusiasm for his adopted home knows no bounds – the island’s natural beauty, surfing and, in particular, the community spirit of its people all elicit his praise. He paints an idyllic picture, but in such a small place can there be anywhere to hide for the man who is the new face of the 50th state?

“Most people on this island are watching the show. So everywhere I go, people know who I am. But the thing about it is that … it’s Hawaii. And Hawaiian people are rad. They’re a lot like Aussies, very grounded and laidback and really, really sweet.

There’s a lot of ‘Aloha’ here, a lot of generosity of spirit. People aren’t trying to pick a piece of you away when they come up to get a photograph, they’re just really happy to see you. Sometimes I prefer to stay at the house, but for the most part, it’s part of the gig and it’s probably the best place on earth to get used to it.”

Such a major role in what will be hopefully a long-running TV series doesn’t merely mean having to deal with fame: on the horizon looms the spectre of typecasting. So is O’Loughlin prepared to have people screaming “Book ‘em, Danno” at him for the rest of his life?

“It’s one of the fears that goes through your mind as an actor when you sign such a lengthy contract. But you’ve just got to hang on to the George Clooneys of the world; you’ve got to hang on to the stories of people who have broken away from television.”

O’Loughlin riffs for a bit about the nature of contemporary television – pointing out that many top actors now prefer the medium to films – before one of his trademark changes of course.

“I dunno, man. It’s all about perspective: I’ve got a great job, I get very well looked after, I’m living the dream at the moment and hopefully, it’s not going to be a negative thing. My perspective won’t allow me to see it as a negative thing. And hopefully, I’ve got the chops once this finishes to do something that’s good enough to make people see me in a different light again.”

Hawaii Five-0 has been a long-awaited blessing for O’Loughlin, who has struggled with tough breaks since he arrived in Hollywood more than six years ago. He landed his first major TV role in the US in 2007 playing Detective Kevin Hiatt in The Shield, a gritty police drama.

After leaving that show, he joined US network CBS and was given his own star vehicle in Moonlight, a campy supernatural drama in which he played a lovelorn vampire-turned-detective (sample dialogue: “All I know is that ever since I met you I’ve stopped using the word ‘never.’”).

Although it attracted a cult following – mostly among vampire enthusiasts who O’Loughlin says still send him “weird requests every day” – reviews were scathing, and when the writer’s strike hit Hollywood the show quickly joined the ranks of the walking dead.

Still, under contract to CBS, O’Loughlin’s next vehicle was playing a surgeon in the organ transplant drama Three Rivers. Despite decent reviews, it suffered scheduling and casting problems and flatlined before its initial season was finished.

In the meantime, in his first foray as a leading man, he made The Back-up Plan for the fledgling∗ CBS movie division. A rom-com starring J Lo, it was ridiculed by critics and flopped at the box office after being released in 2010.

It was a string of disasters that might have killed another actor’s career. Fortunately, the powers-that-be at CBS seemed to agree with O’Loughlin’s assessment that his failures weren’t “because I was that shit.” When Hawaii Five-0 came up they offered him the lead role without even asking him to audition.

Although he says he was impressed by the strength of the pilot script, O’Loughlin’s decision to do the show was not immediate. Failure had made him cautious.

I literally didn’t’ know what to do. So I asked everybody in my life what they thought. I asked my friends, my family, ‘Do I do this? What do I do if this show isn’t a hit?’

And everyone was like, “Mate, you’re being a fucking idiot. Do this show. Do you have any idea how many actors wish they were in your position?”

I trusted the people around me and did it. And I’m really, really glad I did.”

O’Loughlin seems genuinely excited by his new role – he talks constantly of the quality of the writing and his pleasure in creating a character such as McGarrett. He says he’s glad that success came relatively late in life. Being knocked down gave him, he says, a sense of perspective and an eye-opening lesson in how the entertainment industry operates.

“I think I got a really clear idea of the nature of this business. A really clear idea of the fact that it doesn’t mean anything: it doesn’t matter how good you are, it doesn’t even matter if you’re not good. You are far less important than you think you are. You are just a cog in a collaborative machine that is Hollywood.”

With stardom comes scrutiny. If there’s one aspect of fame that O’Loughlin seems uncomfortable with – indeed, in the past he has said the word “terrified” – it is his loss of anonymity. Does he see the contradiction, then, in choosing a career that leads him towards a life of curtailed privacy?

“I think it’s ignorant if you’re going to pursue a career in acting to allow yourself to get any sort of celebrity status and then be angry about it. I completely accept the loss of anonymity as part of success in this career I’ve chosen. But it doesn’t change the fact that I can get agoraphobic in crowds and that I spin out sometimes when I get too much attention, or that I get anxious, or that I’m sensitive. It’s just …”

He trails off, sighing loudly, “I don’t know what to tell you, man. That’s just who I am and that’s just what I live with. But I’m not going to tell you that I love celebrity. Every red carpet I have to do makes me want to puke. It freaks me out so much. Paparazzi freak me out. I love my job but I still think I’ll never be comfortable with some of the things that come along with it. But that’s OK. And if it gets too much, I’ll stop.”

O’Loughlin’s public image – the motorcycle-riding, whip-cracking, fire-fighting former drain unblocker – is tempered by hints of a certain fragility. In past interviews, he has spoken of dark times during the early days in LA – sleeping on a friend’s floor and feeling like it was all a waste of time. When I ask if he has ever had a problem with depression he laughs uproariously, finding the suggestion ridiculous.

“I think I’m quite sensitive. Maybe it’s what allows me to be an actor. I’m pretty resilient but then it gets to a point where, once I feel defeated, it’s like I hang my head, it weighs a ton. It’s really difficult to raise it back up again and kick on.

And there was a moment there – and I’m sure every artist goes through this – where I was like, ‘You’re a fucking loser. You’re not even very good at what you do. You’re a fool as well for chasing a dream that has no substance.’ It was more an existential crisis than a specific clinical condition.”

He may not suffer depression, but O’Loughlin has struggled with other issues. As an adult, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). But when I ask how these have affected his life, he grows cagey. Once again I am forced to reassure him, but he eventually answers the question with candour.

“I still have ADD. It’s something I’ve learned to live with. It affects people in different ways. It affected my learning when I was younger and I was never medicated for it. It was something that did make me feel like I was different and apart from everyone, made me feel isolated.

Every girlfriend I’ve ever had has had a moment when they’ve gone crazy at me because they’ll say something and, literally, two or three minutes later I’ll respond.  People think I’m rude or ignoring them but I’m not at all. I retain everything. It’s just the way my brain chemistry works. I’m actually a really loving, attentive person.”

The OCD, says O’Loughlin, is now mostly a thing of the past. In the calming atmosphere of Hawaii, his childhood days of taking hours to tie his shoes just right are a fading memory. However, he does admit to having occasional obsessive urges.

“If I get OCD about something, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I have to do it.’” He pauses, laughs and adds, “So you’ve just ascertained that I should be imprisoned and medicated.”

The divorce of O’Loughlin’s parents at a young age undoubtedly contributed to his difficult childhood. Born in Canberra, O’Loughlin spent his younger years shuttling between his mother’s home in the capital and his father’s in Sydney.

During high school, he admits he was a tearaway. I ask whether his undiagnosed ADD may have contributed to him playing truant, getting expelled and dropping out in his mid-teens.

“I dunno, probably. I suppose everything contributes to everything, doesn’t it? I was like, ‘I don’t like it here because I’m not really learning very much because you don’t know how to teach me. So fuck off.’ That was my anxious condition speaking back then, and it just didn’t make sense for me to stay there.”

O’Loughlin’s current family arrangements are off-limits. At age 20 he fathered a son, Saxon, who lives in Sydney with his mother.

When asked whether being based in Hawaii means he misses him, he refuses to answer, saying he wants to keep him out of the press. It’s a stance much to his credit in an age where stars are only too happy to parade their mini-mes in magazine spreads but then complain when their families are photographed in less stage-managed circumstances.

On occasion, O’Loughlin’s sensitivity seems to manifest itself in defensiveness, a gruff wariness that could be the natural desire of an actor to protect himself from the intrusions of the media, or might be evidence of a thin skin.

When I ask him whether he ever feels pressure to live up to the Hollywood image of the macho, untameable Aussie, (O’Loughlin was quoted on a previous occasion saying he is ‘a wild card – always have been, always will be’) he becomes exasperated∗.

“This is a really funny conversation. This is sort of like someone saying to you (O’Loughlin adopts a pompous faux-interviewer voice), ‘You hang in intellectual circles. Do you feel like the whole novelist-writer-journalist thing is really essential for you to get a place in that social structure where people respect you?’ Know what I mean? It’s the weirdest question.”

Fearing I’ve been misunderstood, I rush to clarify. Hollywood creates pigeonholes for actors. Perhaps people might see his off-screen persona as merely part of a Hollywood image, for better or worse.

“Yeah, I mean, that’s just fucking stupid. People can think what they want. I don’t give a shit. The people that know me and have known me my whole life know I’ve always been like that. The things that I like are the things that I like and I like them for whatever reasons I like them.”

Just as I’m starting to fear I’ve irredeemably pissed off O’Loughlin, he suddenly changes tack.

“The thing you’re saying is actually really important. For young actors going to Hollywood, one of the first things you need to do is realize where they’re going to pigeonhole you – how they’re going to market you.

Because if you don’t know how you’re marketable, it doesn’t matter how persistent, driven or talented you are. You’ve got to know where you fit so you can kick off from there, then you can shine in whatever direction you want. But that’s where it starts.”

Chatty and hyperactive, O’Loughlin can be an engaging and charming conversationalist. But what is most impressive about him is his tenacity. It’s a quality as fundamental to being a successful actor as understanding character motivation or having a good agent.

“You can either lie there, admit defeat and wallow in it or you can get up and shake the sand out of your chaps and have another shot,” says O’Loughlin when asked if he ever considered calling time on his dream in the lean years.

“And what else are you going to do? I’m not qualified to do anything else. I’ve invested the 15 years of my life into this.” He pauses. “I’m just going to bang on.”

 

My Thoughts:

  • “this version is spelled with a zero, as in Hawaii Five 2.0″ – I do not really know why the journalist uses the 2.0 reference here? It is not always clear why users uses this term – because the meaning of Version 2.0 is a good thing. Except when it’s not. Being 2.0 means embracing something brand new, something different, revolutionary, totally revamped from the old 1.0, that’s just not as good
  • “I can’t really see myself leaving, regardless of what happens to the show.” – Interesting that Alex decided at this early stage already that he was going to stay in Hawaii. At that time he was just in the process of buying his house in Hawaii. He did not even have Dusty yet, and he most probaly did not even meet or start a relationship Malia, at that stage yet. 
  • “And hopefully, I’ve got the chops once this finishes to do something that’s good enough to make people see me in a different light again.” – Alex’s response at that stage, when asked about maybe being typecast, if the show runs for many years – which it did in the end.
  • Although it [Moonlight] attracted a cult following – mostly among vampire enthusiasts.”– I actually do not think the biggest group of Moonlight fans were ever vampire enthusiasts. I am kind of sure they were mostly Alex enthusiasts. Maybe the long  time fans have a better view about that?
  • “As an adult, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)” – I want to make it clear here, that this was a statement made by the journalist and not Alex himself. And in no interview that I have ever read or heard, has Alex ever said those words himself.
  • “I still have ADD. It’s something I’ve learned to live with. It affects people in different ways. It affected my learning when I was younger and I was never medicated for it. – Once again, Alex does not say here that he was ever diagnosed with ADD, but merely that he had signs of it in his youth and that he still has some of it. But  he clearly states here that he was never medicted for it.
  • “If I get OCD about something, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I have to do it.’” – These are Alex’s own word. Loads of people loosely use the term “to get OCD about something”. That does no imply suffering from the real condition of OCD.
  • “At age 20 he fathered a son, Saxon, who lives in Sydney with his mother.”Saxon and his mom did not live in Sydney and this is a incorrect statement made by the journalist It clearly shows that many of what he states as “facts”, are not true facts and verified by Alex at all.

Word explanations:

  • livewire – an energetic and unpredictable person.
  • aquiline featuresAquiline, from the Latin word meaning “eagle”, is most often used to describe a nose that has a broad curve and is slightly hooked, like a beak.
  • fledgling – an organization that is immature, inexperienced, or underdeveloped.
  • exasperated – intensely irritated and frustrated.

 

On a post many years ago, I took a closer look into this article and I also gave my opinion at the end of other articles about the subject of ADHD (ADD) and OCD and Alex.  You can read it here.

I have now studied all the old articles and plan to do a follow-up post on it.

Magazine Scan:

 

 

 

 

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