The hot Aussie star is lighting up the big and small screens
Alex O’Loughlin On:
Making the big time,
Those Bon Scott Rumours
Dating Holly Valance
Article: News Weekly,
3 March 2008
After years of hard slog, Aussie actor Alex O’Loughlin is finally making headway in Hollywood. Sydneysider Alex stars in the TV drama Moonlight, in which he plays a reluctant vampire and detective Mich St John.
He also has a part in new film August Rush opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Keri Russel. The 32 year old chats to NW about his rise to the top, girlfriend Holly Valance and his turn in a tampon commercial…
News Week: So you made it!
Alex: [Laughs] It’s taken me a while, I’ve been living over here for three years full-time, and I’ve been going over there for six, seven years.
It takes a while to climb the greasy pole of Hollywood, as they say. You get up a bit and then you slip back down, that’s what it’s like. You take two steps forward, three steps back.
But you just chip away until you get there.
News Week: People talk about the “Aussie Factor“ in Hollywood – Do you think they really still care?
Alex: Yeah, I absolutely think they do. I think Aussies are looked upon as a mystery. There’s a universal feeling in America that Aussies have something to offer that’s different. I don’t know if it’s true or not!
We’re very fortunate to be brought up the way we’re brought up. Although certain aspects of it can be frustrating – the tall poppy syndrome is alive and well – it actually breeds a certain level of humanity.
I think we have a really good work ethic – we don’t sit around and moan we don’t have the right flavoured candles in our trailers. The things you hear, it’s like, are you kidding? You’re overpaid as it is, just show up and get on with it.
News Week: What was working with Jonathan Rhys Meyers like?
Alex: Johnny and I play brothers [in August Rush], and we lived together for the duration of filming in New York. Johnny and his real brother Jaime – he’s in the movie as well as the drummer of the band we’re all in – and I all lived together and we had a blast.
It was great being surrounded by Irish accents, too. We just tore the p**s out of each other the whole time, we had a great repartee and they have a great sense of humour. Jonathan is really well-read, a really smart guy.
News Week: How have you found the response to Moonlight?
Alex: A couple of people have approached me on the streets [in Melbourne] and they said they really liked it, and I’m really glad. I’m sure it’s going to find its audience, it certainly has in America.
News Week: Playing a Vampire, a lot of the show is filmed at night – How do you deal with that?
Alex: In television this is about as hard as it gets. It’s a one-hour drama – I’m number one on the call sheet.
The show is about a bunch of different characters and different things, but essentially it’s about Mick St John, who is my character. It’s make-up heavy, it’s special-effects heavy, I do most of my own stunts and we shoot at night so … We get a half-hour lunch break each day.
People think it’s a glamorous industry, [but] it’s not. It’s a lot of hard work. But network television at this level, I’ve never experienced anything like it in my career. It’s just like ‘Oh my God’. It’s quite astonishing how much of your life it takes. So you’ve really got to fight to keep some resemblance of normality outside the show.
News Week: How do you do that?
Alex: You really just have to roll with it. You’ve got to go home and take your shoes off and have dinner and try to relax – or have breakfast depending on what time you’re getting home! Just try to make every hour count with your people and for yourself.
News Week: There was a rumour that you were the secret love child of Bon Scott, the late lead singer of AC/DC.
Alex: Where did that rumour come from? That just knocked me.
Alex’s Photo album:
In Aussie Drama Oyster Farmer, 2004
With co-star Jonathan Rhys Meyers in August Rush
Alex with Holly, who makes a guest appearance on Moonlight
Looking menacing in The Invisible with Andrew Francis
As Vampire Mick St John in Moonlight
News Week: There’s also another guy claiming that he is Bon’s son…
Alex: It’s the same photo that they used to compare me. And this other dude – he looks nothing like me!
I was looking at it going [to actress/singer girlfriend Holly Valance], “Hol, I could be Bon Scott’s son”, and she said, “No you couldn’t, you don’t look anything like him.” This other bloke, maybe he is, good luck to him! [Laughs]
News Week: It must be bizarre for a rumour like that just to come from nowhere.
Alex: It is bizarre, man. But it wasn’t malicious, it was almost cool. Kind of mysterious. My Dad was cool as a cucumber, Mum was a little hurt. She was a little offended but she got over it. It’s just ridiculous.
News Week: How did you and Holly meet?
Alex: We met through a friend in Hollywood … And we got on very well and we’ve been together ever since. I don’t like talking about it too much – but I want to say that we’re happy.
News Week: What was it like being asked to audition for James Bond?
Alex: It was a couple of years ago now … They flew me over and looked after me very nicely for a week and cut a couple of suits for me and cut my hair and did a couple of scenes.
To be honest, I knew I wasn’t going to get Bond, I’m too young … You never know, in a few years maybe …
News Week: Do people in the street ever say “Mousey, Mousey?” to you, in reference to the tampon ad you starred in?
Alex: So funny, man! Not recently, but that was a big favourite of a lot of people for a long time. One of the first times I was approached on the street in Australia – I’d done a few movies here and some theatre – somebody came up to me and went, “Do I know you?”
I was like, “I don’t know”, and he’s like, “What do you do?” And I said, “I’m an actor.” I’m waiting for, “Oh, I saw you in this movie”, and they go, “I got it! Tampon boy!” And I go, “Yep, that’s me, I’m tampon boy.” I’m quite endeared to that little commercial.
Link to the tampon ad: