With some new pictures from this GQ photoshoot of 2011 surfacing this week, we realised that we have never added the actual article in our archives. Here it is now, together with some of the most incredibly sexy pictures ever taken of Alex.Credits for the sources of the pictures and fanart are on the pictures.Over the years a number of these pictures that were not in the magazine came along and I could not help myself – had to add nearly all of them! After 2 months of nearly nothing from us, we hope you take your time and savour all this beauty and the article with so many things about Alex that we know so well from way back 6 years ago, even before he settled down with his wife and family in Hawaii.. It contains a few of my favourite Alex quotes.
Alex O’Loughlin – Actor of the Year.How does a battler go from labouring on Canberra’s building sites to living the showbiz dream in Hawaii? Hard work, steely resilience and a very Australian sense of humour.For GQ AustraliaBy: Richard ClunePhotographer: Dusan ReljinModel: Alicia Hall
The sun’s final dance of the day melts into the horizon as Alex O’Loughlin straddles his surfboard at the back of a gentle Hawaiian break, chatting to a surfer who recognises him from Hawaii Five-0, the TV series that delivered him to the archipelago 18 months ago.
It’s been six years since this high-school dropout from Canberra arrived in the City Of Angels. The only surfing back then was from couch to couch, crashing with mates until an eventual call-up. That initial luck fell flat, with his first two shows cancelled. But then came the reboot of an iconic ’70s staple, an updated boys-own adventure that had O’Loughlin taking the baton from Magnum, P.I. in fighting crime — often shirtless — around Honolulu.
We sit down with O’Loughlin back on dry land — with his shirt firmly on.
GQ: Is it true you once wanted to fly planes?
Alex: Yeah, I was in kindergarten and the teacher asked what we wanted to do when we grew up. I said, “I want to be a fighter pilot.” She stopped in front of my desk and said, “Haven’t you got asthma?”
I said, “Yeah”. She said, “Well, you’ll never be a fighter pilot.”
GQ: Wow, that’s harsh.
Alex: I was crushed. And I never pursued a career in the skies.
GQ: Still, aviation’s loss was acting’s gain. How did you end up going that way?
Alex: I did my first play at primary school. I was about 10; I’ll never forget it. When I walked out under the lights and the audience was paying attention, I just got it. But I didn’t really think it was something I could do.
GQ: Why not?
Alex: I was a working-class kid and I saw acting as a middle-class profession. So I went off and did a lot of other things. I was interested in building, in fact I loved it. I worked on a lot of houses and offices and it was good. It meant I could get my physical thing on and see something emerge. I also worked in hospitality. I once worked for Neil Perry as a barman and a waiter.
GQ: So when you decided to try out for NIDA, your main acting experience was from primary school?
Alex: I had no technical skills. I didn’t know what I was doing, but when it felt right it came from an instinct and I think people saw that. And passion. If I ever lose that passion I think I’ll change career.
GQ: Are you ambitious?
Alex: It can be a very ugly word, especially in this business. But I’ve always had a lot of drive. Whether I was working on a building site or auditioning or moving to the US, I’ve always done it with all of my heart. I don’t know how to do it any other way.
GQ: Hawaii Five-0 came on the back of two high-profile cancellations — Moonlight and Three Rivers. Did you fear coming back home a failure?
Alex: I did — on a couple of levels. Of course, there was the pride level about coming home to my fellow Aussies telling me, “Hey, you thought you were special, didn’t ya?” But much more significantly, I felt that fundamentally I was a failure. That I didn’t have what it took to cut it, that I wasn’t good enough or smart enough. That thought was the most distressing of all. The thought I mightn’t be able to make any sort of living from it was very upsetting.
GQ: How do you feel about working in such a cutthroat business?
Alex: At the end of the day, I’m either an asset or a liability. I’m either making money or I’m not. You can’t take it personally. That’s a mistake a lot of young actors make when they come to Hollywood. They fall into that trap of believing they’re special. Sure, they might be but…
GQ: …they’re probably not. but what about you?
Alex: Look, I don’t think I’m massively talented but I have a clear understanding of how it all works. And I work really hard. I work my arse off.
GQ: Well, it’s certainly paying off. How do you feel about the fame that comes with your level of success?
Alex: I don’t get it. Especially now I’ve had a little taste of it. I’m fascinated by the pathology of someone who wants to be famous — I am so far away from that. It fucking terrifies me. I’m getting anxious just talking about it.
GQ: You’ve said before that you love movies. Do you worry about being pigeonholed as a small-screen player?
Alex: Absolutely. TV scares the shit out of me. With all due respect, it’s a business about numbers and how many people are watching. When you work in the system the way I do at the moment, occasionally you come across material that can seem like you’re going to compromise your integrity as an artist by participating in it. That’s scary because you think, ‘How am I going to make it out of TV alive?’ But there are other things to take into account. I’m 35 years old and I’ve got a 14-year-old son [Saxon, who lives with his mother in Australia].
GQ: What’s he like?
Alex: He’s the best 14-year-old around. I want him to have every opportunity I ever had and the ones I didn’t. I’m grateful for the job — this is me simply [reflecting] about my career and how I feel. I’d never have turned the Five-O job down because it was too good, but you do stop taking risks after a while — when you say, “I need to get some money in the bank and have a solid home for my family.”
GQ: If you don’t mind us saying so, you’re looking very buff, good sir. Would you be willing to share your body-shaping tricks?
Alex: For me to work an 80-hour week is not crazy, so it’s all about getting it in when I can. I surf and do jujitsu and try to change it up a lot. I really like running, but when I work out, essentially I circuit train, keep my heart rate up and hit it as hard as I can. I just want to stay at that shape and stay strong.
GQ: Fighting beachside crime means you get to show off your impressive collection of tatts, too.
Alex: Man, tattoos are cool! They’re something that started in the folly of youth and there’s been a progression ever since. I love the outward expression, but there was a period where I was judged, because they weren’t part of popular culture, like they are now. Back then, tattoos meant you’d either been to prison or you were in some sort of gang. I had that conversation with so many girlfriends’ parents, explaining that I wasn’t a felon or a Hells Angel!