Alex O’Loughlin has become a regular presence on TV screens with work on “The Shield,” “Moonlight” and “Three Rivers” — and he just finished filming the pilot for a remake of “Hawaii 5-0.” But the hardworking Australian actor is no stranger to movie screens, either. In his latest, the romantic comedy “The Back-up Plan,” he goes toe to toe with none other than Jennifer Lopez.
What was it like going up against J.Lo?
She’s a pro, she’s completely approachable. I mean, we met and became buds before we did the thing, so by the time it was first day on set, cameras rolling, we were like old mates, which is great. I think it’s really important. If you go back and watch romantic comedies where people haven’t been friends, it doesn’t really work.
How did you bond before filming?
I think as an Aussie, and just who I am as a person, humor is a really important part of my life. My mates and I are always giving each other a hard time. When I get to know someone, if I’m interested in them as a person, I sort of do a bit of that. And she’s a Bronx girl from the block, and she was like, “Oh, really?” So there was a bit of that, which was nice.
Do you have a preference between playing heroes or villains?
It feels to me like — and this isn’t to say that I’ve ever done anything clever or talented in my career yet — but I feel like when I’m playing a villain, I can get away with a lot more. You go like, “Hey, listen, what if this guy had a tattoo on his face?” And the director’s like, “Yeah! That’s f—ing evil!” But as the hero, you’re like, “Hey, can we …?” “No! You’re the hero. Just look and smile.”