Hawaii Five-0 star Alex O’Loughlin is featured in the June 2017 issue of CBS Watch! Magazine.
It was early 2010 and the Australian actor had just been offered the lead role on the reboot of the classic crime drama Hawaii Five-0, stepping into the shoes of the legendary Jack Lord to play the 50th state’s taciturn top cop, Steve McGarrett. Accepting meant moving to Oahu, in the center of the planet’s loveliest island archipelago. “I was conflicted,” Alex O’Loughlin says, reflecting on the decision from his house in Waikiki’s idyllic Diamond Head. “I’d done two network shows before that, neither of which had gone past a season.”
Then he met the Hawaiian surfer and model Malia Jones. The couple had a son, Lion, in 2012, and later married. The house filled with boys. O’Loughlin brought to the family his teenage son, Saxon, and Jones brought a son from a previous marriage, Spike.
Hawaii Five-0 seasons are epic—each a whopping 25 episodes. Multiply that by six and you wind up at Episode 150. Playing a character for that long does things to you. O’Loughlin is in territory where few actors ever get to tread. “It’s such a massive volume,” he says. “This has been a master class for me. I can definitely drop into McGarrett’s head space anytime. I have a bible of who he is in my soul, in my mind.”
Signed on to Hawaii Five-0 through eight seasons, he began talking about walking away while he felt he still could. But recently, he’s felt his workload lighten, and those stem cell injections? They’ve been “magic,” he says. Does this mean he might challenge Jack Lord’s record 12 seasons as McGarrett?
“That would be a miracle,” O’Loughlin says with a laugh. “But I can see coming back and doing another season or two. I think this show is everything. It’s the core of it all.”
One thing is certain: O’Loughlin has found his home.
“The majority of my important memories are now Hawaiian memories,” he says. “You’ve just got to look around. You’ve just got to watch the waves in the winter here. There’s something bigger than me in the world, and I feel like that source or whatever that is had something to do with this whole journey for me, because now it all makes sense.”
Hawaii Five-0 premieres September 28th on CBS.
Photo Credits: by Nino Muñoz / Styling: Lily Unkhoff