Alex O'Loughlin and Opening the Book on Bond, James Bond

alex o'loughlin bond
Janet Jenkins: "Alex is a terrifically sexy, masterful, and take-charge guy -- just the type who can make you remember that James Bond is a seriously dangerous man."

The search for a worthy replacement for Pierce Brosnan as British screen icon James Bond held both filmgoers and the media captive in 2005. The unknown Alex O’Loughlin (then 28 years young) was shortlisted for what he described as "the biggest screen test of my life". Although he didn’t get the role, being tested for it certainly bumped up his hotness factor in Hollywood by several significant notches. Alex told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph in August 2005:

"People’s ears prick up and they do take me a lot more seriously here now."

In their 2006 book 'A Star is Found: Our Adventures Casting Some of Hollywood’s Biggest Movies', casting directors Jane Jenkins and Janet Hirshenson from The Casting Company shed some light on the search for Bond #6.
o'loughlin bond

The Casting Company came on board when Roger Moore was still 007. The search for his replacement in the 1980s was shrouded in more secrecy than a mission for your eyes only, and the cover story at the time was that they were casting a new US TV pilot that required a leading man with Bond-ish qualities. In the end, Timothy Dalton became Bond #4, although Pierce Brosnan was the producers’ first choice. Brosnan was unavailable due to contractual obligations, but when his TV series Remington Steele was canceled and Dalton called it quits after two movies, he was finally able to join the franchise. GoldenEye was released in 1995.

Ten years later Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson decided that a new license-to-kill holder was required, one that would appeal to a trendier and younger audience. The next feature, after all, would cover Bond’s early career. And so the hunt was on for someone who was ideally in his mid-twenties. A Bond charismatic enough to compete with today’s new crop of film, TV, and video-game action heroes.

Although this opened the door for just about everyone in the English-speaking nations, the new 007 had to be perceived as an Anglo-Saxon Englishman with an accent to match the looks. Among the actors who were screen tested comprehensively were Alex O’Loughlin, Henry Cavill, Sam Worthington, Ewan McGregor and of course, Daniel Craig. The producers spared no expense: set, lights, film (instead of the less expensive video), makeup and tuxedos.

After all, they needed to see how the candidates handled "a girl, a gun, and a martini" and of course it was imperative that they looked fabulous in a tux while they were doing it.
o'loughlin bond

About Alex O’Loughlin, Janet Jenkins wrote:

"The age issue turned out to be stickier than we’d expected. We were all very excited about Alex O’Loughlin, for example, partly because he was so young. Alex is a terrifically sexy, masterful, and take-charge guy - just the type who can make you remember that James Bond is a seriously dangerous man."

According to Ms. Jenkins, other actors who were considered were Julian McMahon, Karl Urban, Colin Farrell, Orlando Bloom and Heath Ledger. McMahon withdrew because of sequel possibilities for The Fantastic Four and Urban was never available to be tested. Like McGregor, Farrell, Bloom and Ledger were too well-known, because "when you look at the sexy, powerful secret agent, your view shouldn’t be clouded by memories of the actor as a lovelorn husband or drug-ravaged youth. You just want Bond - pure Bond."

The choice eventually fell on craggy Daniel Craig even though he was thirty-seven.

Alex admitted in November, 2007 to Media Blvd magazine:

"I think I was a bit young, to be honest. I think in five years I’ll be a good Bond."

Janet Jenkins concludes her evaluation of Alex with:

"And he might make a fabulous Bond in a few years, but when we saw him, he just didn’t seem old enough for that 007 sense of command."

Alex O’Loughlin’s self-imposed five-year wait will be up in 2012, when he is in his mid-thirties. And Daniel Craig has stated that he’ll "keep doing [Bond films] for as long as it takes, or until my knees go, whichever happens quicker."

By that time, will Alex either be too old or too famous to be considered for the iconic role again?

- mizzoH  


c 2009 Alternative 007