Almost a year-and-a-half ago, the Aussie actor echoed to TVLine his stance that he “absolutely” would turn in his badge after the current Season 8, explaining: “[Five-0] is an action show, I’m the main guy, and I defy anybody to do what I’ve done for as long I’ve done it and hold out the way I have. I was a fit, strong, healthy guy when I started the show, and I still am, but you sustain what you sustain.”
But in speaking with TVLine this Thursday — to preview his directorial debut, for Five-0‘s Friday, March 30 episode — O’Loughlin seemed more amenable to re-signing, with his contract due to explore this spring. So what changed since November 2016? Did he get a second wind?
“I don’t know that I’d say I got a ‘second wind’…,” he countered. “But is there a way that I can realistically see a Season 9 being a part of my life? I think so.”
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In the event that CBS aims to renew the procedural (which currently ranks fifth in the 18-to-49 demo out of the network’s 13 dramas), O’Loughlin figures he will need “a little help with scheduling” (e.g. juggling his workload as No. 1 on the call sheet with his role as father to the pair of fast-growing tykes he raises with wife Malia), all while he continues to manage the “pretty radical back injury” that has dogged him for years and still is treated with weekly PT.
“To be honest with you, mate, if you had asked me [about re-signing] two years ago, my answer would have been, like, ‘No f’–king way.’ I want a quality of life, and I want to be with my family,” O’Loughlin asserted. But since then, he half-chuckled, “I’ve been able to put Humpty together again.”
“I am still very tired at the end of the season, and after almost 200 episodes of television,” he added. “But I can sort of quietly and sensibly sit back and go, ‘There’s a version where if CBS can make a deal and be reasonable, then I’m prepared to be reasonable, too.'”
And while O’Loughlin makes clear that his actual wife and kids come first, he also recognizes the extended workplace family that Five-0 employs.
“It’s a great show and a lot of people love it, but more importantly, we keep so many people employed in Hawaii who might otherwise be stacking boxes at a grocery mart,” he said. “It’s hard to get work out here and this feeds a lot of families, so it’s a really good thing. It’s really, really important.”
“I’m sure there are [actors] that don’t let that affect them, it’s not part of their negotiation, but it is something I think about,” he continued. “I come from a working-class family and the people I work with mean a lot to me. They’re really our ohana, so… if we can make it all work, they are some of the reasons why it would be great.”