Melissa, from Moonlight Detective, has done a wonderful new interview with Alex O'Loughlin. I enjoy how candid and funny he always is in his chats. Humble as always, he congratulates the fans for Moonlight's People's Choice Award. He teases about Sophia bugging him on set. Talks about not being recognized and that it is not such a bad thing. I receive questions all the time about Mick St John's ring. Alex discusses it in this interview. He actually picked it out himself and fought for it. That is cool to know. Of course, he has some great things to say about Sophia Myles and Jason Dohring ~ how well they get along and so on. At the time of their talk, the news of Moonlight's April return was not yet known.
You can also listen to an audio version of the interview. Alex sounds so tired :(
ML-D: Hi Alex, my name is Melissa and I’m with Moonlight-Detective.com.
Alex O’Loughlin: Hi Melissa!
ML-D: It’s nice to talk to you.
Alex O’Loughlin: It’s nice to talk to you too.
ML-D: I understand you just got back in town, were you working on the UK launch of the series?
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah, I was actually, I was in Australia for five weeks first of all, and I was seeing my family and stuff, but I was also doing all of the final installments of the voice over, and I did a lot of press for the Australia launch of the show over there. And then I came back to LA for 24 hours and went to, I’ve been in Europe for three weeks doing that stuff so…
ML-D: Wow, so a couple months of jet lag!
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah, actually my body, my times are so, they’re completely upside down; thoroughly invert everything so I’m just getting back to normal.
ML-D: Well, how was the experience? Are you getting a lot of fan response overseas already?
Alex O’Loughlin: Not that much through Europe. I mean, in Australia I get a lot of fan response to a certain extent because I’m from there. A lot of those guys know my Aussie work as well, but in Europe not too much. I mean, some people know a movie or two that I’ve done but the show has not played there yet. Yeah, I’m still pretty normal there which is nice. I’m pretty anonymous everywhere, really. Whenever I go out I should wear a hat and glasses and stuff, but no ever really says anything to me.
ML-D: Is it one of those big floppy hats?
Alex O’Loughlin: I wear a lot of hats, like I wear a lot. I always have a lot of hats, and I really love hats. Like, I have floppy ones, I have, kind of, broad, full brimmed, I have baseball caps. I just like hats. I’m a hat guy. So, no one really recognizes me.
ML-D: I guess I can see where that would be nice to be incognito.
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah, but like I said, it’s not like I’m meaning to be incognito. I’m like, I’ve always worn hats so it’s kinda cool just to roam around. I can’t really imagine what it would be like to have to be a celebrity, and I’m a celebrity. Not being able to leave the house without getting hassled by paparazzi and stuff like all the time. That’d be a bit of a nightmare I’d imagine.
ML-D: I would think it would be frustrating you know? You just wanted to go get some milk and…
Alex O’Loughlin: Right, right, however, it’s a glamorous problem that I don’t have so… (laughs)
ML-D: I don’t know whether to say I’m sorry or uh…
Alex O’Loughlin: Oh, I’d just say “moving on!” (laughs)
ML-D: Yup moving on! Well speaking of accessories, something that the fans have been talking about pretty much since the show premiered is Mick’s ring.
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah.
ML-D: So I wanted to ask you about that. Do you know what the significance of the ring is?
Alex O’Loughlin: It’s the first thing I chose for Mick, for that character, and I chose that for him when we showed the pilot that didn’t air; the pilot with the original cast. It was, I wanted him to have a piece of jewelry that we could attach a time line to; that we could attach a storyline to, and that could be a piece of jewelry that was… cuz he’s quite a modern character, you know, I mean, he doesn’t dress in long velvet capes and… You know, I mean, he wears … he fits into contemporary society. He looks like any guy, you know? And I wanted him to have one piece one something that was from another time.
ML-D: Kind of a throwback?
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah, and I know that he’s only, kind of, 90 years old himself, but you know, that ring comes from maybe when he went to Europe one time and he had an association with a six or seven hundred year old vampire and had a love affair with, or, you know, maybe he went to Prague, but it’s definitely from another time and it’s from another place and there’s a definite storyline attached to it that we haven’t sort of released yet and so hopefully you know… But it’s such a beautiful peace that I was looking for - I said, “I want him to have a ring,” and the guys were saying, like, the producers were asking me what I thought and I said, “Well, I don’t know.” And we were looking at the French symbols and we were looking at talking about the French origin of vampires and stuff which we start bringing into [episode 12] as well, and they brought in, you know, hundreds of different rings and I found that one, and I was like, “That’s the one! That’s the one I want.” And the producers were like, “No, no, no, it’s not right. It’s too…” And I was like - I really fought for it and I was like, “No, it’ll be good because…” And I sort of sold it, and it doesn’t actually have any religious iconography, or any fleur de lis, or anything specific on it. It’s just kind of got cool flower patterns, and there is a cross with diamonds, but it’s not like a crucifix, and so it’s… and it’s got that beautiful moonstone underneath, and so, yeah, it’s just a piece of jewelry that Mick wears on his right index finger, which is kind of unconventional as well. It’s not really a finger I associate ring wearing with, but I liked it, that’s different.
ML-D: It’s a pretty spectacular piece, and it sounds like you put a lot of thought into it. I do hope we get to see a storyline attached to it.
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah, me too.
ML-D: Speaking of that, I don’t know if you have any information on this and you may not be able to say anything about this, but with the strike over, do you have any idea when you guys are coming back?
Alex O’Loughlin: No. [Editor’s note: CBS announced mere hours later that they are planning to order a handful of new episodes to air later this spring.]
ML-D: Nothing yet?
Alex O’Loughlin: No, nothing at all. I wish I had an idea but it’s very frustrating for all of us, but no one knows. But then again, you know, like CBS are reknowned for not saying anything, and are reknowned for dropping info at the last minute, and so I’m not worried. And whatever the case may be, I feel really proud of what we’ve done to date, and we created a show in the face of adversity that’s had three different show runners, two different casts…
ML-D: It’s really an amazing success story for it.
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah, well, in the shadow of the biggest writers strike in 20 years, I mean, it’s like not only have we maintained serious numbers, we won a really important award and so it’s pretty great.
ML-D: Congratulations on the People’s Choice Award, by the way!
Alex O’Loughlin: Thank you! Listen, congratulations’s to you guys too, to all the fans. I mean, it’s not - I just happen to play Mick St. John. I mean, this is like - that award’s for all of us, you know.
ML-D: Yeah, well we did have a lot of fun organizing ourselves to vote, so we were pretty thrilled when you popped up on screen to say thank you.
Alex O’Loughlin: (laughs) Good!
ML-D: That was a banner day for the Moonlight fans.
Alex O’Loughlin: Awesome!
ML-D: I got to talk to Sophia a few weeks ago when [episodes] 12 and 13 were getting ready to come out, and she was telling us that someone should film you and she on the set, when you’re out of character, because you guys just have so much fun.
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah, we have a lot of fun.
ML-D: Are we going to be seeing the “Alex and Sophia Show” on the extras on the DVD?
Alex O’Loughlin: Well, I’m not sure about that, you might - she has a lot more down time than I do, you gotta understand. (laughs) I work harder than she does.
ML-D: Oh, really!
Alex O’Loughlin: She’s got more time to come and annoy me, that I’m usually, like, telling her to go away cuz I gotta read the next draft, or the next script, or the next whatever.
ML-D: Right, because you’re more serious and more focused…
Alex O’Loughlin: But, what I do think would be interesting is if we just strapped a camera on Sophia and made “The Sophia Show”, and I could make a cameo appearance from time to time.
ML-D: That would be fantastic! I mean, talking to her on the phone, she sounds like a lot of fun.
Alex O’Loughlin: She’s a lot of fun. She’s a great girl, and she brings a lot straight away. I don’t know if it’s the Brit - Aussie thing or what it is, but you know, we laugh a lot, and we have similar sensibilities, and we have mutual friends as well, and yeah, so I mean, not to mention a great actor and, you know.
ML-D: Right, well you guys have amazing chemistry on screen. It’s nice to know that it’s off screen too.
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah, no it’s very different off screen, you know. I mean the chemistry on screen is manufactured. Manufactured, I wonder if that’s the right word.
ML-D: A different set of circumstances?
Alex O’Loughlin: Well, it’s a different set of circumstances. We’re acting; we’re playing two characters, and the chemistry, a romantic chemistry, whereas off screen, we’re buddies you, know what I mean?
ML-D: Yeah, it’s her teasing you while you’re trying to focus. (laughs)
Alex O’Loughlin: Well, yeah, we have a relationship off screen, but it’s a platonic relationship that we have.
ML-D: Yeah, well it’s a lot of fun to watch you guys on screen.
Alex O’Loughlin: Cool!
ML-D: We also talked with Jason Dohring.
Alex O’Loughlin: Ah, lovely Jason!
ML-D: Yes, and he has so many nice things to say about you. I think you’re his hero.
Alex O’Loughlin: He’s such a great guy, he’s just, I feel really blessed working with these people, you know. Like, his family threw this Christmas party the likes I’ve never seen, and its just genuine, you know. They’re just genuinely wonderful people, and it’s such a pleasure to ah…when I see him on set, it’s like, YES! YES! And that’s rare, you know what I mean, it’s rare, rare, rare, rare. Especially in this industry, I mean, there’s so many f--kheads!
ML-D: To really like your coworkers, yeah, that is a blessing.
Alex O’Loughlin: You know? I mean there is! It’s a weird thing in acting, you know. I mean, we’re artists, but we deal with the human condition, which can involve emotion a lot, you know. And a lot of people get confused, a lot of people end up living this really introspective life. You can move into self obsession very quickly and very easily. You know, you need to constantly remind yourself it’s not about how you feel, it’s about how the audience feels. And it’s not about your emotions, it’s about the emotions of these characters, and so you are simply the device with which you deliver this character’s reality, or you bring life to this character and you become the mouthpiece for this character and whatever. And so, a lot of actors can be construed as self obsessed. Sort of vain and narcissistic, and Jason is just, like, the most other-centered person that you know. He’s always thinking about other people, he’s always, he’s so generous with his time. I’d work with him again in a heartbeat.
ML-D: I did want to ask you very quickly what else you’re working on. I know that you’ve got “Whiteout” coming up with Kate Beckensale.
Alex O’Loughlin: Yeah, I do. I know “Whiteout” is coming out this year sometime. I don’t know exactly when, you guys probably know more than me, but that should be a cool film. I haven’t seen a cut of it yet, but they’ve been working really hard on it. But yeah, it’s going to be fun. I’ve been going out on a couple of things and I’ve been approached on a couple of different films, because no one knows what’s going on with the tv show.
Alex O’Loughlin: And of course, CBS is sort of still saying, “Well, we’re not comfortable with letting you just go and do something else,” which would suggest that Moonlight will be coming back, but then again I haven’t heard.
ML-D: Well I’m sure they’re not gonna want to let you go since you are…
Alex O’Loughlin: Well, yeah, one would presume that, but anyway, but I’m not actually officially attached to anything else. But there are a couple of things in the pipeline if Moonlight doesn’t go on this year, so. But because I’m not confirmed for anything, it would be silly for me to jinx myself.
ML-D: Sure, I can understand that. We’ll just have to keep our eyes open!
Alex O’Loughlin: There you go!
ML-D: For announcements of Alex, the movie star…
Alex O’Loughlin: And maybe your fingers crossed.
ML-D: Ok, we’ll do that too!
Alex O’Loughlin: Ok, thank you! (laughs)
ML-D: Well, thanks so much, I know you’ve got other things going on, so I just wanted to say thanks for talking to us.
Alex O’Loughlin: It was a pleasure, Melissa. Yeah, absolutely, thank you for your time.