Only In Hollywood

‘Hawaii Five-0’ star bounces back after injury and addiction to painkillers


BEFORE REHAB Alex O’Loughlin (left) with Daniel Dae Kim in “Hawaii Five-0” photo: cbs/IMDB.COM

LOS ANGELES—“I’m doing great now,” said Alex O’Loughlin in an interview in LA last Wednesday. He spoke for the first time about his break from his TV show, “Hawaii Five-0,” after checking into rehab last March.

The actor, looking fit, tan and sporting a full beard, underwent supervised treatment for prescription pain medication due to injuries he sustained while doing the hit CBS series.

“I got hurt pretty bad on the show and I ended up taking painkillers to get to work,” said the actor who plays Steve McGarrett in the successful reboot of the show that originally starred Jack Lord. “I had trouble getting off them. That’s as complicated as it gets.”

Alex added that he “gets knocked around a lot on the show. I do a lot of my own stunts and I have done so from the beginning. I am not 20-something anymore as you can see from the dusting of grey on the sides of my head.”

The Australian actor admitted: “It was really difficult for me to be away. The hardest part was like when something is so enormous in your life—I’m at work 14 hours every day—and then all of a sudden, you’re not at work. I got a lot of letters and messages from people saying, ‘Where are you?’ or ‘It’s so weird not to see you in the show.’”

Like nothing happened

O’LOUGHLIN on the day of the Inquirer interview photo by Ruben V. Nepales

Being away from the set has made Alex realize a few things. “Probably the biggest thing is how responsible for the show I actually feel,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s my job to feel that way or whatever.”

He gushed: “Personally, I’m fantastic. It’s like nothing happened. I am still doing physical therapy three times a week. I’m back and doing lots of jiu jitsu. I’m surfing, running, doing all that stuff. I just have to say no to some of the stunts that I love doing so much. I enjoy doing that stuff but I’ve learned to let the stuntmen do those.”

Blessed with Aussie humor, Alex’s face lit up when asked about his fans. “I’ve got really fantastic fans from all over the world,” he said. “One of the errors of my career was doing a vampire show (‘Moonlight’). The fans that I got from that show are very committed. They will never ever see me as anything other than Mick St. John.”

Asked about the strange gifts he gets in his fan mail, Alex smiled as he revealed, “I receive underwear—some clean, some not. No joke. My assistant who helps me with my fan mail constantly threatens to quit because of what we get sent… More from the Europeans… avant-garde type Germans, French, Dutch…I see the Amsterdam postmark and I’m like… you know. I get the bras… ”

His kind of gal

As for the kind of woman he goes for, Alex said: “She has to be smart and funny. Funny is really important. If a day goes by and we haven’t been laughing, then I get really sad. Life is so ridiculous that if you can’t see the irony of it, you’re going to have a really hard time while you’re here. Brains and common interests are important, too. I need to be able to admire the woman I’m with and to look up to her. And for her to have the things that I want to have more of in myself, like integrity and dignity. I want to have an equal partner. I don’t want to be a boss and I don’t want to be too much like an underling, either. I want to be right there with her.”

For “Hawaii Five-0” fans, Alex offered some hints as to what to expect: “The final realization for McGarrett is enormous. It flips the whole game on its head. Everything’s changed. The nature of everything he thought about that had been going on, he’s got to go back and reevaluate not only how he feels about everything but also of the information that he’s had. All of the clues that he’s been following, this investigation that’s ongoing about the death of his parents, who’s behind it and who’s filtering the information.”

He cited that “McGarrett is such a strange character to play. Over the last couple of years, we’ve found, especially with his relationship to Danno (Scott Caan’s character), more comedy and bits of chemistry to break up that hard military kind of backbone. But McGarrett is still this guy who gets locked in on something. Nothing will stop him. This is going to complicate his world even more. He’s probably going to become even more paranoid and even more difficult for Danno and the other guys to work with, which also leads to more comedy. But I’m looking forward to it.”

Island fever? Not!

Alex has no complaints about working in what many consider is paradise. “I think the reason I’m so comfortable in Hawaii is because I leave a lot,” he explained. “I love it there. I own a house there. My son (Saxon) is with me and he goes to school there. I don’t get island fever because, like I said, I leave a lot.”

His son, Saxon, is almost 15 and very athletic, said Alex. “I’ve been promising to take him snowboarding his whole life which essentially makes me a neglectful parent, doesn’t it? Because it took me 15 years to do it. I’ve taken him to do virtually everything else. He surfs every day. He does a lot of stuff but he’s like, ‘We got to go snowboarding.’ I thought, OK, since it has taken me so long, I’m going to take him somewhere really special, where the snow is really good. I took him to Charmonix (France). He did great. He snowboarded for four days. I snowboarded for about a day and a half and then spent the next two days with ice packs on my hips. I had a great time. I love Europe. I don’t speak a lick of French but I speak a bit of Italian. I can get through Italy better than I get through the rest of Europe.

“Hawaii Five-0” also stars Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park and Masi Oka. “Scotty comes back to LA,” Alex replied when asked about how his costars spend their breaks from shooting. “He is doing a play here in LA. This is his home and I feel that he’s more comfortable in LA than he does over there. I think Grace might feel the same about Canada. She goes back when she gets the chance. Daniel lives in Hawaii and is building a house there at the moment. We’ve all managed to make it an interesting experience because each character has different arcs. We come together and work as a team.”

E-mail the columnist at rvnepales_ Follow him at


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  • Capri2

    Wheter he said it in a sarcastic way or not, the man pretends to have some sort of intelligents; he must have known that written press doesn’t not come across the same as doing an interview on camera. There you can clearly see by his facial expresssion or the tone of voice that he would have been joking.
    The line ‘Blessed with Aussie humor’ could be a reverancy to his fans not to the part ‘an error in my carreer’.
    So, I wonder where ‘dear’ Alex left his intelligents that morning; between his girlfriends legs, maybe?

    • Ogfod1

      Y’know, you were kind of making a somewhat valid point to what you believe to be true, which I can respect even though I disagree with your take on it. Then you went and made that nasty comment in your last sentence and there went any respect I had.

      Another Alex fan who doesn’t want him to have a personal life. As much as I adore him, I have enough INTELLIGENCE to know that he’s not going to be my boyfriend! Perhaps you should start realizing that, too.

      • Capri2

        I don’t need him to be my boyfriend; I happen to be very happy with my fiancee.
        And that remark about his gf; that was meant sarcastically, jokingly….tsss, can’t believe you didn’t get that….
        Btw, who says I’m a fan?

      • Ogfod1

        My condolences to your fiancee.

      • Capri2

        Sure, no problem I’ll pass that on to him after our wedding and honeymoon in August.
        My condolences to you, for being such a die-hard fan of someone who doesn’t appreciate where he comes from…

      • Ogfod1

        What I don’t understand, is if you aren’t a fan of his, why do you
        care so much WHAT he says or does? I don’t understand why

        people feel the need to be so hateful, which is exactly what you are.

        I would never dream of bashing someone just because I am not a

        fan of their work, but maybe that is because I am a decent human

        being with more to do in my life than troll sites with the purpose of

        being vile and mean. We know who you are ‘capri’. You aren’t fooling anyone.

        Besides, there was confirmation that what Alex said was a joke. But that isn’t going to matter to unstable people like you who are intent on spreading hate.

      • Capri2

        I’m trying hard to get a friend, who is totally completely in love with this man, to see that he is fake. For her this man can do no wrong! Maybe he used to be a sweetheart many years ago, but fame and fortune has gotten to his head; saying bad things about his fans (‘they’re all 65 and over, so where are the hot young girls?’) and now this, it will only get worse. She has spend a fortune in sending him gifts and doesn’t even know if he ever got them, because he used to tell his fans that he was gratefull for all the gifts he got and somehow now does not communicate with them anymore. Yes, I know Mr. O’Loughlin is a busy man, but doesn’t he have an publicist, manager/agent and PA to do that kind of stuff on his FB for him? Besides, he must have gotten thousands of letters, cards and gifts from his fans during his rehab stay. Why, instead of bashing jokingly ML, didn’t he thanked them for their support?
        My friend is like a blind puppy what this man is concerned and I have told her many times that he is not worth her dedication and support, maybe this way I can ‘rub her nose in it’ and get her away from her laptop where she spends her time drooling over this guy!
        Btw, I don’t give a rats-ass if you know who I am!!!!

    • S40

      Let me get this straight – you’re insulting the INTELLIGENCE of someone…and spelling “intelligence” wrong. Way to make your point.

      “The line ‘Blessed with Aussie humor’ could be a reverancy to his fans not to the part ‘an error in my carreer’. ”

      Way to make sense.

      As for the last sentence of your post…shame on you.

      • Capri2

        Ooh, ooh, let’s not offend Mr. O’Loughlin, especially when it concernces his private life. He can say and do anything he wants, but when something wrong pops up on the internet about him, you’re dead meat! You pathetic fans of his will keep defending him no matter what he will say or do. He can start killing babies and puppies and you’ll still say that he was ‘misunderstood’.
        The fact I spelled a word wrong doesn’t have anything to do with MY intelligence. Would like to see you ( or your precious Mr. O’Loughlin) write something in French, German or Greek without mis spelling one word!

  • Rachel O’Donovan

    As I am British and am used to this kinda humour am I one of the few that understood the Moonlight comment? Even though I never saw the show I see where he is coming from, it’s like saying Jensen Ackels and Jared Padalecki will always be Sam and Dean Winchester to their fans because we are fanatics! Other than that it is great to see Alex back to himself and did anyone else find it really cute when he called Scott Scotty? Do they all call him that, is it a nick name? If so THATS SO AWESOME!

  • Capri2

    I think people still are fussing about the fan stuff; those die-hard ML fans are cookoo and need to get a reality check. But we’ve know they exist since ML was cancelled. That’s old news! Most of the fans he got from ML (95%) have moved on with him.
    What really is the issue here is the line “One of the errors of my career was doing a vampire show (‘Moonlight’)”. If he hadn’t done ML he wouldn’t be where he is now. I wonder if Mr. Lenkov would be so support of him if he would say the same thing about H5O in, say 5 to 10 years?
    “I did a show once on this island, called Hawaii Five O, boy was that an error!”

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