August 30, 2007 - Alex O'Loughlin is the latest in a long line of Australian imports to American film and television. O'Loughlin first got notice for his role as Kevin Hiatt, the cop who would replace Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) on The Shield. O'Loughlin left The Shield when he was offered the role of Mick St. John, an immortal vampire who works as a detective in modern day Los Angeles on the series Moonlight.

While the description of Moonlight may sound familiar to anyone at all familiar with the show Angel, it turns out that Moonlight even has some direct ties to that show. After the original Moonlight pilot was scrapped, producer David Greenwalt was brought in to reconfigure the show and develop a new pilot. Greenwalt, along with Joss Whedon, was the creator of Angel. It seems that if anyone can keep Moonlight from being an Angel knock-off, it's Greenwalt. However, Greenwalt's association with the show ended shortly after it began, as another producer took over (Chip Johannessen of Dark Angel...to work on this show, you have to have done a show with 'Angel' in the title...). Nonetheless, the newest pilot was developed under Greenwalt's supervision and whatever initial direction the series takes, it seems that the former Angel writer will have made his mark on it.

While at this summer's Television Critics Association event, we had the chance to talk to Alex O'Loughlin on the day he began shooting the new pilot, which would go right into the regular series.



IGN TV: Has your character changed much from the first pilot that was shot?

Alex O'Loughlin: A little, but not too much. Fundamentally he's still the same cheeky devil he was when we first started out. There's been a few little shifts, in so much as the way he conducts himself in his day to day affairs. And also how light he is and how serious he takes things.

IGN TV: So when David Greenwalt got involved, are these changes he implemented, in maybe bringing the character up a little bit?

O'Loughlin: A little. My character Mick St. John was a little dark, a little obsessed and…I don't think sanctimonious is the right word, but he was kind of trapped in the darkness of his life and he seemed to have to struggle to get out of that. Now he's much more in touch with the irony of everything that's happening around him, which I think is really important. It's also a way in for me as an actor into this character, because that's much more what I'm like and how I see life.
- CBS Photo: Monty Brinton
Alex O'Loughlin as Mick St. John

IGN TV: This show is starting up a little bit different because you're re-shooting the pilot and then heading right into the regular season.

O'Loughlin: Yeah, it is different. The regular way you shoot the pilot over two or three weeks and then its over and there's a break while you see what happens. But with this, it's on. There's no wrap, we're on. We've got weekends off, we have 30 seconds to see our families and open presents. If we get the back nine, and hopefully we will, we shoot through another five months or so.

IGN TV: Did this bring you away from The Shield? Had you planned on staying longer?

O'Loughlin: Let me tell you, when you do a show like The Shield you're mad if you don't plan on staying longer. They asked if they could have an option [to keep him longer] and I said, "You can have as many options as you want, Shawn Ryan, you're incredible." Essentially the deal was for seven episodes, which is what I ended up doing with the character of Kevin Hiatt. They did talk about an option, but at that stage they weren't sure where the show was going and if it was going into another season, and if so what that season was going to be about and the journey of Vic Mackey. All the episodes I did there was so much emphasis on Vic being squeezed out of the Strike Team, so…I got this role on Moonlight and I thought, 'Oh, now I don't think I can option on The Shield.' If they even choose to go that way. But I got my own show, so you really got to do it.

IGN TV: It seemed Hiatt began as the guy who really got Vic. He got Farmington and the Strike Team and understood what needed to be done.

O'Loughlin: Yeah I think so. He got it.