(new) Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

New star of Hawaii Five-O reboot plays nice guy in Lopez comedy.

in Times Colonist

20 April 2010

wrtten by BOB THOMPSON

LOS ANGELES — Even the acerbic Aussie Alex O’Loughlin knows when to speak softly and carry on with very little shtick.

The moment arrives when he’s asked about the American TV institution called Hawaii Five-O. O’Loughlin has signed to play the role of Hawaii state police Det. Steve McGarrett, defined by Jack Lord in the classic 1960s cops ’n’ robbers series that ran from 1968 to 1980.

But he’s hesitant to divulge much about the modern makeover, or offer his critical impressions of the original show, which featured a stylized brand of acting and lots of location filming in Hawaii. “I’m not really sure how much I should say,” admits a diplomatic O’Loughlin during a recent chat promoting the Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy, The Back-up Plan, opening Friday.

Some things Hawaii Five-O won’t change, notes the actor. The memorable theme song will be the same, and his McGarrettwill utter the classic “Book ’em Danno” at the end of the pilot.

And, while O’Loughlin’s McGarrett will continue to track down bad guys each episode, he’ll do it with more intensity, and a great deal more hand-to-hand combat, as a former special-ops Navy SEAL commander.

“That’s a lot of fun to do,” the 33year-old says of his action scenes in the series, which wrapped shooting its pilot last month.

For something completely different, there’s The Back-up Plan. In the Alan Poul-directed romantic comedy, O’Loughlin plays a nice guy instead of a villain, a tough guy or an investigator with an attitude. Instead, he’s Stan, a nice guy who meets Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) when they both try to grab the same Manhattan cab at the same time. One thing leads to another as they slowly fall for each other — but there are complications.

Zoe is a forceful independent business woman who has already decided to conceive through artificial insemination because she was getting frustrated waiting for the right guy to come along. So Stan has a lot to consider when Zoe eventually confesses to him that she’s pregnant with twins. Cue the laughs as The Back-up Plan explores, and exploits, the dilemma, mostly for chuckles.

That’s where Lopez comes in, O’Loughlin says. He was surprised and pleasantly pleased by her comic abilities. “Jennifer’s the true queen of romantic comedies,” says O’Loughlin. “And I actually learned a lot from her.”

Lopez, who had script and actor approval, reports that they connected almost immediately, which helped both of them. O’Loughlin’s a rookie in the romantic comedy genre, and Lopez was returning to work after being away for a few years to care for her fraternal twins.

O’Loughlin took a few years to get into the swing of things after starring in several Australian TV series. He joined the cast of the well-received U.S. cable series, The Shield, portraying Detective Kevin Hiatt, but really broke through as the private detective and vampire Mick St. John in Moonlight.

Lopez says O’Loughlin has an onscreen presence that is rare, and should serve him well in his future roles.

“Some actors are good on TV and get lost in a movie,” Lopez reports.“Alex can do both. And especially on the big screen, you want somebody who can hold your attention, and Alex proved he is one of those people who can do just that.”

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