Category Archives: Feed

#AlexOLoughlin – A Bright Beginning – 2005

Today we are waiting “patiently” for Season 6 of Hawaii Five-0 to begin tonight. I thought it could be interesting to go back 10 years and have a look at those early days of Alex’s career  ……….

A Bright Beginning

2  November 2005

Although it was originally posted in The Australian the article is no longer available there.

I found this in the archives of  the now closed down site

Alex O’loughlin. Org

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A gang of four has set up a film production company to get away from the Hollywood system. Jack Thompson is sitting on a wooden step in the small, mustard-coloured courtyard of his home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The veteran actor with more than 40 films to his credit, from the Australian classic ‘Breaker Morant’ (1980) to last year’s American drama The Assassination of Richard Nixon’, sits quietly, listening intently. Every so often he thoughtfully strokes his greying beard.

Thompson may be the most famous person in the vicinity and patriarch of the small group of people who have gathered at his home, but for once he is not the centre of attention. Instead, all eyes are on burly, fast-talking American film director Brett Leonard, who is explaining the magic that happens when a film is made with the right mix of people.

“The film business is a difficult business at the best of times: there is no holy alliance between art and commerce, so you’re often dealing with people coming together with a lot of varying points of view,” he says, leaning forward to emphasise his point.

“The great thing is, if you can bring ‘honour bright’ to that, then it can actually be a tremendously positive experience. It doesn’t matter what film you’re making, it’s really about that magic, when the people making that film are all moving in the same direction and have that bond.

You can’t force it, you can only make it happen by bringing the right people in.”

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Thompson grins. “Hear, hear,” he says in his deep, honeyed voice as his eldest son, Patrick, and actor Alex O’Lachlan nod in agreement.

This meeting is all about honour bright, meaning honour among mates. Thompson chose it as the name for the production company he has set up with Patrick Thompson, O’Lachlan and Leonard.

“Jack named it that because it’s how we feel about each other,” his son explains. “It’s a very old Australian phrase that we feel is representative of us as a group of friends. We feel we have honour bright.”

Leonard, best known as director of 1992′s sci-fi thriller ‘The Lawnmower Man’, met the Thompsons through Russell Crowe.

Later, they were cast with O’Lachlan in Man-Thing, directed by Leonard and based on a Marvel Comics character. Although Man-Thing went straight to DVD, it helped pave the way for Honour Bright Productions’, formed when Patrick Thompson and O’Lachlan came up with the idea for a film.

“Russell, Jack, Brett, Alex and I have always discussed how good it would be to have a group of us making movies,” says the younger Thompson.

“You always want to keep making movies, but as an actor or director or producer you often have to wait until the next project comes along. So Alex and I came up with the idea for a film and approached Brett as a sounding board. And he said: ‘Let’s do it.’”

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Patrick Thompson, 36, has the muscular physique that his father did as a younger man, around the time of 1975′s ;Sunday Too Far Away’. They have the same big personality and guffawing laugh.

Patrick Thompson grew up in the world of films. He has worked on movies in front of the camera and behind it as a set builder (he is a carpenter by trade and has appeared as a builder on the home renovation television shows Auction Squad and Ground Force); he also has appeared in plenty of commercials.

It was at Patrick Thompson’s house in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, earlier this year that he, O’Lachlan and Leonard workshopped the script for Feed, HBP’s debut production.

The three spent the weekend watching dark movies such as Se7en’, ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘8mm’ to find the right tone for Feed, a psycho-sexual thriller about a cyber crime investigator searching for a man with a fetish for overweight women.

The depraved man feeds his victims until they die and broadcasts his crimes on the internet. (The idea came from the disturbing BBC documentary ‘Fat Girls and Feeders’).

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With Leonard directing, O’Lachlan plays the “feeder”, Patrick Thompson is the detective and Jack Thompson is his police superior.

Friends were hired as cast and crew for the shoot in Sydney earlier this year. Gabby Millgate (best known for uttering the “You’re terrible, Muriel” line in Muriel’s Wedding) plays the victim, wearing a startlingly lifelike prosthetic fat suit.

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Half the $1 million budget came from ‘Becker Entertainment’, the rest from private investors, including the main cast. It was Jack Thompson’s first time as a producer and he says it has been one of his most memorable working experiences, especially because of working with his son.

“It’s certainly one of the best things I’ve ever done, despite the fact that I was silly enough to invest money in it,” he says, to the amusement of the others.

It was great because the film had its own real impetus, and that kind of energy is what was there for me in ‘Sunday Too Far Away’ and in ‘Breaker Morant’ … If you have that element there already, that’s something you can never pay for.”

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Feed was screened at the Fantasy Film festival in Nuremberg, Germany, in July. A German fan who posted a comment on the Internet Movie Database called it “disgusting, vulgar and fascinating”.

Last month it screened at Paris’s L’etrange Festival, which also showcases fantasy films. The film has been sold to Germany, Denmark, South Korea and Britain, where it will be released in cinemas this month.

Becker, which is handling the sales, is in negotiations with Australian distributors.

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With the film yet to open in mainstream cinemas, its creators have moved on to other projects.

Leonard is in Lithuania directing Highlander 5′; Jack Thompson is in Los Angeles shooting ‘A Good German’ alongside Cate Blanchett and George Clooney; O’Lachlan — who was screen-tested for the role of James Bond, but lost out to British actor Daniel Craig — is filming ‘The Invisible’ in Canada; and Patrick Thompson is in Sydney, “keeping the home fires burning”.

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Although Crowe is not involved in HBP (Honour Bright Productions), they have a new partner in Peter Sprowles, a successful advertising producer with his own production company, Sprowles Films International.

The two companies now share office space in Annandale in Sydney’s inner west. HBP has several other projects in the works, including an Australian period piece co-written by Jack Thompson and Leonard, and a contemporary political thriller with the working title of ‘Headless‘.

Leonard says he is enjoying creating the magic away from Hollywood, in Australia, which attracts him because of its “aggressively egalitarian” approach to film-making.

“You can’t capture lightning in a bottle,” he says.

“But you can create an environment where you, as primary collaborators in a film-making team, can be nurtured in a way that gives you better odds at the magic happening.

And that’s really what Honour Bright Productions is going to be, that’s what we’re doing, and we’re going to continue to do it.”

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My thoughts

  • I wonder if ‘Honour Bright Productions’ still exist? And if they will ever collaborate again to do something new in the future?
  • In last years interview with Pauly Shore, Alex said that he still have not met Russell Crowe, although his mentor and friend Jack Thompson knows Russell very well.
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#AlexOLoughlin Answers Burning Question about FEED

Another story, originally posted by site owner Mizz, on the old Alex fansite ‘Alex O’Loughlin Rocks’
 
Of course the footage of the scenes from Feed, we added ourselves 🙂
 
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Post by mizzoH on Alex O’Loughlin Rocks on 9 March 2009

 
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Ever since I watched Alex O’Loughlin mesmerize in FEED as Michael Carter, there has been a question bugging me that isn’t addressed in the movie. At the start of the feature when Michael arrives at the house with six cheeseburgers for Deirdre, he has a ritual where he undresses, removes his wedding band and slips a silver chain with a pendant from a statuette and clasps it around his neck. He wears the pendant whenever he’s with Deirdre throughout the movie, so it obviously has a special meaning… but I needed to know what its significance is, exactly, and what is the pendant of?
 
Well, this morning I grabbed the bull by the horns and emailed the best possible source in the world that’s able to answer a query like mine: one of the co-creators of FEED. Imagine my absolute and total surprise when, seated at my desk at the office late this afternoon after just having deleted another email in my Yahoo! account, the following subject line pops up, out of the blue, black and bold: Alex O’Loughlinhas sent you a new message!
 
 

 

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Believe me, the office is not the best place to be when that happens to you. No matter that you’ve received a message from “Mr. O’Loughlin” before. Forget poise, forget dignity, forget self-control. Where’s the diazepam when you need it?

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Back to my message to Alex… Here’s what I asked (the relevant bit):

Just a quick question: I’ve been breaking my head over the pendant that Michael Carter wears in FEED. What is it of and what’s the significance of it?

And this is Alex’s response:

Hi there!
The pendant Michael wears is Mother Mary. He worships women in his own special way and feels he needs support and protection from the outside world. What better female figure to believe in right?
He also believes that she will help free him from his sins.
Hope you can rest easy now! haha
Alex

 

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How sweet of him to care for my peace of mind 😉

Below is a cap of the actual MySpace exchange. Times are local (at 2:33 AM his time is when I sent the message and I received his response at 5:41 PM my time), so it took him only a little over 7 hours to reply.

By the way, his answer also explains the significance of the statuette: it too is of Mother Mary.

If you haven’t seen FEED yet, then I hope this post has made you curious enough to do seek it out — it’s available on DVD!

Picture of the actual MySpace exchange between Mizz and Alex:

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Behind the scenes of Feed – #AlexOLoughlin and his movies

It has been a long time since we’ve had a look at some of the old performances by Alex.

Here are some of the trivia compiled from the DVD of Feed.

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‘Feed’ was shot entirely in Australia on a small budget of 1 million Australian Dollar and a very tight shooting schedule of only 28 days. (mid January – mid February 2005)

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• According to director Brett Leonard, feederism is especially prevalent in the USA, Great Britain and Germany. At the time the movie was shot, there were over 4,000 websites dedicated to the topic.
• The idea that Alex and Patrick got for the movie came from a Channel 4 documentary ‘Fat Girls and Feeders’ that first aired in the UK in March 2003.
• To get the right tone for ‘Feed’, the makers watched movies such as ‘Silence of the Lambs’, ‘Se7en’ and ‘8mm’.
• According to Jack Thompson his initial reaction when Patrick Thompson and Alex O’Loughlin brought the idea of ‘Feed’ to him was, “What is this, some weird nightmare that my son and Al had conceived after some really bad night on the booze?” 😀feed_08
Alex O’Loughlin and Patrick Thompson are credited as ‘co-writers – based on an idea by’ and ‘co-producers’ of the movie. (The actual writer was Kieran Galvin and the producer, Melissa Beauford.)
Alex O’Loughlin was to originally portray the part of Phillip Jackson (The policeman), and Patrick Thompson was to take on the role of Michael Carter (the feeder). But Brett Leonard changed it around.
• The gothic German house used in the cannibalism scene was shipped from Germany to Australia. The owners ran a furniture business and only several additional pieces were required for the feature.
• The video camera footage of Deirdre was actually filmed by Alex O’Loughlin in his role of Michael Carter.

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• The internet cat-and-mouse sequences between the cyber crime cops and Michael Carter were written based on input from the head of the cyber crime unit in Canberra, Australia.
• The websites depicted in the movie were created especially for the production.
Abbey’s and Phillip’s apartment in Bondi Beach was actually owned by Jack Thompson.

 

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• To achieve authenticity, director Brett Leonard wanted the actors to be spontaneous, which meant that a lot of scenes were unrehearsed, such as scenes between Abbey and Phillip and the scene between Michael and Lucy. About the latter, Brett says in the DVD commentary,

“We put her in the fat suit and out walks Alex O’Loughlin, naked, with a funnel to simulate force feeding her. So all of her giggles and her reactions are very spontaneous and just natural to the fact that that’s what happened to her in that scene.” 😳

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Gabby Millgate’s fat suit weighed about 66 lbs/30 kg. On the DVD there are extras that show how they created the suit.
• The pendant that Michael Carter wears is of Mother Mary. (this was confirmed by Alex himself, when asked about it)

• The food smearing scene between Deidre and Michael was one of the most disturbing scenes Brett Leonard has ever shot, “because both Gabby and Alex really went for it.” It was done in fifteen minutes with only him in the room with the actors, using a hand-held camera.

Heathcote Hall, in Heathcote, New South Wales, was used as the location for Michael’s house where he kept Deidre. A lot of the trash in those scenes was authentic, as the lady who lived there, Maureen, did not spend a lot of time keeping house. 😯
• The movie was scored by Brett Leonard’s brother Gregg, who is a music producer.
• As cars are driven on the left side of the road in Australia, the driving scenes provided a challenge. Brett Leonard solved this by filming the actors with their hair parted on the opposite side, their costumes fitted accordingly and then “flopping” or mirroring the images in post production so that it looked as if the cars were driven on the right, with the steering wheels on the left.
Alex O’Loughlin made the jump off the balcony himself, several times.

Michael’s father, the old man in the bed, was actually Maureen’s father, Joe, who was not aware that they were filming the scene, with Maureen’s permission. “But his arm moved there and it freaked the living shit out of me when I was shooting it,” says Brett on the DVD. Joe passed away a week after the sequence was shot.
Alex O’Loughlin put his foot unintentionally through the glass of one of the balcony doors during the struggle between his character and Phillip in Deidre’s room. You can hear the glass breaking.
• The alternate ending was requested by Becker Films International, who felt there had to be some form of redemption for Phillip. Brett Leonard chose not to use the sequence in the final cut, as it wasn’t as powerful as the one that he did select.

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Brett had “Young Girl” by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap in mind for the later deleted scene of Michael feeding Deidre burritos, but Gary Puckett would not give him permission to use the song.
• The poem that Deidre doesn’t like in the poetry reading deleted scene is The Fly by William Blake.

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• The scene of Michael Carter pretending to be NSA agent Dak Stummer in the Chinese restaurant was shot before Alex O’Loughlin shaved his beard and dyed his hair blond for his role of Michael Carter. Unfortunately, Alex got quite sick shooting this sequence, most likely because of the amounts of MSG in the (cold) Chinese food he had to consume.

• An explanation of what happened to Phillip’s ear lies in the deleted Dak Stummer scene. In the feature, Phillip is seen with a bandage on his ear, seemingly with no clarification as to how he had gotten hurt. His ear actually got bitten off by a member of the Chinese Triad when Phillip went to meet Dak Stummer in Chinatown. The Stummer storyline was cut from the movie because it slowed down the pace.
• As Dak Stummer, Michael Carter gives Phillip a little two-fingered wave in the Chinese restaurant. Michael gives Phillip the same wave when Phillip drives away after confronting Michael in front of his house in Toledo.

• The two shots heard at the end of the movie is Phillip shooting Michael in each foot. The bullet holes can be seen in the closing shot.

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•  The only special effect in the movie is included in the ending, where a composite shot was created of Alex O’Loughlin’s head on the body of the thinnest man Brett Leonard could find.

Transcript of Alex talking about the movie can be found here

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Gifs of a deleted scenes from the movie here

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Transcript of Alex doing questions and answers can be found here

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My review of the movie can be found here

Not everybody’s cup of tea, but we hope you enjoy learning more about Alex’s career and earlier movies.

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The road to Steve McGarrett, gif-recap of Alex´s screen appearances

 

We have done posts of Alex´s roles in the past, but it´s been a while. We thought it might be a good idea to celebrate his career again, as part of our birthday celebration for him.

First we have young NIDA graduate Alex, practicing his craft in Australian television and film……..

Then we have Alex in his first roles in Hollywood movies and US television……….

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And then we get Steve, the super schmexy SEAL 🙂

Not only is he a pleasure to look at, but his performances over the years have always been a treat.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX!!

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Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, August Rush, Dr Andy, Feed, Hawaii Five-0, Jack, Oyster Farmer, Kevin - Shield, Marcus - Invisible, Mick wants to kiss you gently with his fangs., Stan "the Man", Steve McGarrett, Whiteout

#AlexOLoughlin answers questions about the movie Feed – 2006

After the first screening of the movie Feed in America, Alex and the producer of the movie Melissa Beauford, answered some questions for the audience…….

– 31 March 2006 –

– Philadelphia International Film Festival –

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Question: There was one shot that I thought was really interesting, when cut to where the detective goes to Toledo, there is a shot of the hotel and superimposed over it is the American Flag. I was wondering if this film, if it consciously were picking on American culture and our …..?

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Melissa: Totally a Brett question.

Alex: Totally a Brett question and, and what did he say? “It’s his love letter to America”

Melissa: It’s pretty much what he said.

Alex: This is his love letter to America.

Melissa: And Brett, for those of you who are not already Brett fans, he grew up in Middle America, as did I. We grew up in……

Alex: Toledo Ohio, on Middlesex Drive … I believe.

Melissa: And so for him after having been away and having made the film in Australia, which is where we all met. He had come back and gone away again and he just sort of felt like he saw the place differently. And then after the boys saw this story, he just felt well I’m gonna put a stamp on it, that is different to just about Feeder and Gainer.

He wanted to make a thriller, wanted to have the subtext, which is the Christian thing and the American flag and of a lot of other hidden things that are all Brett signature pieces.

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Alex: I think the main thing about this picture is, the catch phrase to this film and also the catch phrase to my character is “Consumption is Evolution”.  And that’s the thing.

That monologue that Michael says when he is standing over Phil in the hotel room, is sort of something I think we came up with when we were writing at the retreat. That’s the main thing, you know.

Melissa: That is his underlining theme.

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Alex: The underlining theme, we are just eating ourselves, until the planet is fucked and we are all fat. And we’re going to die.

Melissa: And not in a physical sense, but in a consuming the world, consuming the environment, consuming everything……..

Alex: So all those moments in the film are quite obvious, that speaks for that, are Brett’s stamps.

Question: Have you shown this film to any people that you know are members of that “Feeder-Gainer” subculture?

Melissa: Interesting that you would say that.

Question: And what was their reaction?

Melissa: Yes there have been people a part of that subculture. I always get e-mails. We have been in several film festivals around the world; this is the first in the US.

But the people who have seen it, in Europe, originally were very skeptical and thought we were actually out to get the subculture, which is not what this film is about at all. It’s just, it’s just a stepping off point.

Alex: In all the research that I did just on that. A huge huge amounts, hours and months and months of research that I did, I never once saw anything between Feeders and Gainers, other than affection.

I mean there were some stuff going on, all the measuring and that I sort of went ugh …. it is not for me. But I never….

Melissa: But there are tools…

Alex: Yeah, yeah, but that’s the same. I have tools.

Melissa: Exactly.

Alex: At the hotel, right now.

Melissa: Shhhhh

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– I’m joking –

Alex: I never saw anything but affection and that was what so endearing. That was the dichotomy, like I judged it so harshly, but I am watching these people love each other and I am like…..

Melissa: And there is some great scenes that did have been deleted, that will be on the DVD, that are great, because Michael reading poetry and painting Deidre’s nails.

And they are these beautiful  intimate moments that was actually what our research was made up off. Those were the things that we found. Yeah, feeding was part of it but that was part of the worshipping ritual.

The subversive elements, the second half of the film, that is entirely just made up of you know, people making movies. The bits about Feeders and Gainers that we learned, were truly the more loving bits and you see and judge the relationships.

The relationship between Michael and Deirdre is the coveted one in the beginning, in my book. I want to be a part of that where someone coming home and bring me treats and tell me they love me. Were instead of coming home and bitching about me …

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Alex: No woman has ever brought me six hamburgers, …… never.

The Burgers

Melissa: I thought you said…

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Alex: Well, it’s six burgers, babe. That’s the thing for me.

Melissa: I thought it’s cupcakes.

[Laughs all around]

Question: This is kind of minor, but are we supposed to believe that he been kind of feeding his mother to all these women, one by the other?

Alex: No. That’s interesting though. Maybe we should do another cut.

Melissa: We haven’t had that one yet.

Alex: No, no, no, his mother is.

Melissa: Long gone.

Alex: His mother is long gone and there’s been some grave reviews. What was that “When I see another psycho film, and the mother is involved ……”

Melissa: But this was actually a piss stake on that. Brett was like, “Let’s not do it”. The writer is like “Let’s not do it”.

And then Alex was like, “Well, let’s do it and get the piss out of the fact that people do say, “Oh, it’s the mother”. But it’s not the mother, but it is the mother, but it’s not the mother, because I am actually conscious of what I am doing.”

Alex: But, no….

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Melissa: No eating the mommy.

Question: I thought that there are minor elements of very very very black humour in the film.

Melissa: Oh, absolutely.

Question: Was it intentional?

Melissa: Absolutely.

Alex: Welcome, to Australia.

Melissa: Australia is all about black humour. As soon as something is too serious it’s like oooo …..

Alex: I have never seen it with an audience. And hearing what you guys were laughing at, I was like agh. A lot of them were things I thought,  “We can’t put that in, we can’t do it”.

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Melissa: They won’t get it.

Alex: No, not that they won’t get it. It won’t be funny, it will be inappropriate. We would be in more trouble than what were going to be in.

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All my life I found myself in cinema’s watching films, and going, “bah wah ha”  [and everybody around me is silent].

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And so I think there’s a lot of that, that we as filmmakers think are funny. Comedy was born from tragedy, right? And, like I am always laughing and going, that’s really bad, I should not be laughing and that we all are. Some of it was kind experimental as well.

Melissa: But Gabby, she is a comedic actress, so a lot of those laughs come from her and their interaction and playing off of each other. They worked so well together and I think that is the strong point of the film.

Alex and Gabby on the set

Alex: [Nearly inaudible] Yes, we became pretty close.

Question: What is up with the spin of the roof?

Alex: Did you like that? That was my stunt. What was with it? You didn’t like it?

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Question: The reasoning for it?

Alex: He had to get out of there.

Melissa: There was no other way out of the room.

Alex: He actually is part machine. [Laughs]

Melissa: I like what you have to say though cause as a producer, because that was not in the script, but when we got to the location, there  was no way out of the room for the chase. Except for over thing.

And he and Brett come to me and I am like have your mind. I’m not going to wait for shooting, if I lose him the film is over …..

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Alex: Brett and I were like “How am I going to solve this? He’s gotta get out and there, and he can’t go out the balcony and there was all these filming gear here.”

And I looked at Brett and I said, “Dude, I’ll just jump off”.

And he goes, “Fuck yeah”. And we lean over and it was really high. It was probably as high as the roof. It was high.

Melissa: As high as those grey tiles.

Alex: As high as the roof Mel.

Melissa: It was high and scary.

Alex: It was high and we looked over and we looked at each other and we went “For sure. That’s a really good idea”.

And Mel came in…

Melissa: And I said, “We don’t have any money for a stunt guy and we can’t lose the actor, forget it!”

Alex: And we said, “Don’t worry about it. It will be okay”

Melissa: And he just looked at me in the Alex way and said, “Mel, I can do it, I can do it”.

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And so we got safety. There was the  appropriate safety gear. But he did the stunt himself. And I stood at the bottom and bit all my nails off and go, “If you get hurt, I’m going to kill you when you land”.

 

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Alex: But I did it, I did it…….

Link to the Video clip of the interview:

If you haven’t read it before and are interested to read it, you can find our review of the movie Feed, here:

Alex O’Loughlin – Playing cat and mouse with Pac-Man

Alex as Michael Carter in Feed

My Thoughts:

  • I think both Paula and I, once again fell head over heels, for the young, adorable and enthusiastic Alex O’Loughin, while working on this interview…… ❤

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