• Image about jennifer-lopez-moonlight-three-rivers-hawaii-five-o-americanway

A couple of canceled TV series aren’t slowing Aussie expat Alex O’Loughlin down. He stars in this month’s The Backup Plan, and soon, he’ll return to the small screen in a familiar role.

[dl] Movies

STEP ASIDE, HUGH JACKMAN: AUSTRALIA’S HOTTEST NEW EXPORT HAS ARRIVED. In truth, Alex O’Loughlin, 33, landed on U.S. shores a few years back, when he headlined the popular, albeit short-lived, television series Moonlight. More recently, he starred in the medical drama Three Rivers, which suffered a similar gone-too-soon fate. But this month, he’s poised to break out opposite Jennifer Lopez in The Back-up Plan, a crowd-pleaser about a woman who takes pregnancy into her own hands only to then meet the love of her life. Next up, he’ll return to TV as Detective Steve McGarrett in the much-hyped reboot of Hawaii Five-O. We chatted with the Aussie about his career, his fans and what it’s really like working with the woman formerly known as J.Lo.

  • Image about jennifer-lopez-moonlight-three-rivers-hawaii-five-o-americanway

So you land your first major movie role, and it’s opposite Jennifer Lopez. Any first-day on-set jitters?
No, working with Jennifer was great. Most of the time I just forgot that I was working with J.Lo.

Do you call her J.Lo?
I call her Jen. But I also call her — I don’t know how she feels about this, because she would usually look at me sideways — but I call her J. from the B.

As in, Jenny from the Block?
Yes, but J. from the B. I mix it up a little bit. [Laughs.] But she’s a pro, and you forget that you are working with a big star. My favorite films are the ones where everyone gets together and it’s a real collaboration with no attitudes or divas, and that’s exactly what this was.

This seems like a perfect date-night movie. Do you have anything to say to sway the men out there to see it?
I really love comedies like The Hangover, and when I read the [Back-up Plan] script, it became clear that this is sort of a brave new comedy. It’s slightly naughty and raunchy, with humor on a base level — which tells you about my level of intellect! The film has a really good balance: not too lovey-dovey, but the romance in there is based in real drama.

Though it only lasted a season, your show Moonlight developed a cult following. Can you tell when something will resonate with an audience?
I have a really poor meter for that stuff. I wish I knew, because then I would sign on to the correct projects. Moonlight should have died a lot earlier than it did, but we got a huge fan base, and people still are like, “Make the movie. Do another season!” Whereas with Three Rivers, I still don’t understand what happened. We had great actors, great guest actors, great scripts and it was something that hadn’t been done on TV before.

You’re headed back to TV with a remake of Hawaii Five-O. What drew you to the project?
It was a lengthy negotiation process. It was important to me that the integrity of the original show be maintained. I’m excited about the creative team behind the project, and I think it’s going to be a fresh and fun revamp of the show.

Do you keep in touch with your fans through Twitter or Facebook?
When does anyone find the time to tweet? I can barely open my mail. I have to pay someone to help me open my mail. As sad as that may be, it’s the truth. And what would I say? “Hey, just letting you know I am going to get a coffee?”

In the spirit of your new movie, do you have a back-up plan should the acting thing not work out?
No, this is it, dude. That’s kind of scary in a way. But there’s a saying: “Hollywood eats the weak.” And I’m still here, baby.