CBS knew what they were doing when they cast Alex O’Loughlin in the role of Detective Steve McGarrett in the remake of the 70s classic Hawaii Five-0. Though there was no cracking the Australian actor when it came to the plot of the upcoming pilot, he did share some behind-the-scenes information about the series with TV Guide Magazine while attending Thursday’s Australians in Film 6th Annual Breakthrough Awards in Beverly Hills.
O’Loughlin said he expects fans of the original Hawaii Five-0 will be happy with the modern-day version. “One of our main priorities is maintaining the integrity of Hawaii Five-0,” he says. “We pay homage to the old series, but it is a new, contemporary remake of an old classic. I hope fans really like it.”
When it came to scenes from McGarrett’s past as a Navy Seal, O’Loughlin definitely enjoyed himself. His favorite thing - “Blowing things up.” Might a civilian McGarrett find himself involved in pyrotechnics now that he’s on the force? “Once a seal, always a seal, right?” O’Loughlin teases.
As for McGarrett’s relationship with Hawaii Governor Pat Jameson, the person responsible for pulling together the special task force McGarrett heads up, O’Loughlin stays mum. He has plenty to say, though, about Jean Smart, who plays Jameson. “She’s amazing,” he says. “She came in on pretty short notice and nailed the role.”
O’Loughlin’s lips are sealed, too, about the possibility of Victor Hesse, the gang lord who murdered McGarrett’s father, being a recurring character throughout the series. If rumors are true, however, James Marsters, Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame will be pulling out all the stops as McGarrett’s evil nemesis.
Much to the chagrin of Danny “Danno” Williams, played by Scott Caan, the familiar phrase, “Book ‘em, Danno,” will be bandied about in the new series. Though McGarrett may rib Danno, O’Loughlin has nothing but accolades for his castmate. “He’s incredible,” O’Loughlin says of Caan. “I think he’s the best thing about the show, to be honest.”
Other scene grabbers viewers should be on the lookout for – Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly and Grace Park. “Park is playing Kona, who used to be a man,” says O’Loughlin. And beyond Kim’s onscreen role as Kelly, he performed as O’Loughlin’s personal welcome wagon, helping him get the lay of the island. “He was wonderful, so hospitable,” says O’Loughlin of the Lost alum. Indeed, such hospitality was extended from Oahu itself. “I felt really loved into the island and the culture there,” says O’Loughlin. “I’m looking forward to moving there in a month.”
Which leads Hawaii Five-0 fans to wonder – will he be unpacking his bags for long? “The show has a lot going for it,” says O’Loughlin of his third major television series. “I really feel like three is a charm for me.”