Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Meeting Alex On The Back-up Plan Set

By Pam

(July 16, 2009) I had the best experience I could have ever imagined, though it had been the hottest day of the summer so far. Now I know why they call The Big Apple the gritty city. I got home from NYC that day with what felt like a layer of sand stuck to my skin.  

My friend and I had planned this trip after finding out that The Back-up Plan would be filming in the Tribeca section of Manhattan. We arrived in the city about noon.  As we left the Holland Tunnel and headed for downtown, my friend saw a film crew to her left (this girl doesn’t miss a trick).  There they were, Jennifer Lopez and Alex O’Loughlin standing next to one another in what appeared to be a pose for pictures. We were in traffic so we had to keep moving, albeit slowly. We drove a bit further and found a parking lot on the next block.  We parked and hurriedly walked back to the film site.  Alex and Jennifer were in the middle of a scene.  Production people told me to move back because I was in their shot (And…?). There were a lot of people milling around and snapping pictures. We got a few.

We had made a small sign that read “FOR ALEX”.  As we stood across the street from the action, my friend’s nine year old twin daughters, who were dragged along for lack of adequate child care, held up the sign.  A woman in a sun hat and pink shirt came over, smiled and said she didn't want us to stand in the sun and wait because Alex was done with his scene. She said filming would continue on Duane Street at 2:00, and to show up there because Alex would get a kick out of the sign and the kids. She told us she was the publicist for the movie.  I was beginning to like having the twins along.

It was 1:40 when we headed over to Duane Street Park. Nothing appeared to be happening, so we sat on a loading platform for a bit and took some pictures of the Farmer’s Market set. We saw the nice publicist and my friend asked when things would start. She said it would be at least another 45 minutes. We took a walk and saw some of the cast trailers. We walked into the park which we now realize is the park where Alex and Anthony Anderson filmed their scenes.

We went back to Duane Park and decided to sit on the other side of the street and wait.  We found a nice bench in front of a dress shop. We took more pics and marveled at the detailed set. We fanned ourselves. It was hot and humid.
All of a sudden there was a lot of activity and the director, Alan Poul, arrived. He glanced over at us a few times. I’ll bet if we had said hello to him he would have posed for pictures with us. He seemed very approachable, but we didn’t want to intrude.

My friend thought it would be a good idea to prop up our “FOR ALEX” sign up. Some of the crew started looking at it and snickering to each other.  We sat for about 20 minutes watching the excitement and casually chatted, occasionally not really paying attention, suffering in the heat. My friend turned her eyes to the set and said, "Holy shit!" I turned my head and there was Alex standing about 10 feet away, apparently waiting for us to notice him. Saying, “Oh my goodness,” I got up from my seat. Alex walked over to me, looked into my eyes, extended his hand and asked my name. I took his hand and said, “Pam.” He repeated my name and said, "I'm Alex." He kept my gaze the entire time. I was not in the least bit star struck. He turned to my friend and shook her hand while he asked her name. My friend introduced her daughters. I told him I was the one who interviewed him back in December. He needed some brain jogging to remember. We asked for pictures and he said, "Absolutely." We asked him to autograph what we had brought and he said he would autograph everything. As I posed with him for pictures, he put his arm around my shoulders and leaned in. I had my arm around his waist. We talked a bit while my friend snapped away. When my turn was done and I let go, my gut reaction was to give him a loving rub on his back. It’s the same thing I do to my sons. My friend took her turn, and then her daughters had their pictures taken with Alex. For them he did the nicest thing.  He knelt down to their level. What a guy

 As I took out all the items I wanted Alex to autograph I told him he had signed the Moonlight Pilot script for me at New York Comic Con. He asked me if I still had it.  I said, "Of course!" (What … did he think I sold it on Ebay or something? Fat chance). I handed him the items. I sat down on the bench and he sat on the curb at my feet. He looked at the items (the Three Rivers original pilot script, Three Rivers Pilot DVD and Plan B [The Back-up Plan] script). He asked, “Where did you GET these?” I mumbled something. He asked me how I wanted him to autograph them. That took me by surprise. He obviously aims to please. I thought for a few seconds and said to personalize them. He intently sat for several minutes, thinking, writing, thinking, writing. 
We all talked about the anticipated success of Three Rivers. Then, out of nowhere, a man stood about 10 feet in front of us and jokingly said, “Don’t believe anything this guy tells you” (I realized later that it was Todd Black, one of the producers). Alex snickered. I said, “Oh, we know him. He’s a good guy.” After he autographed the Three Rivers Pilot DVD, he said that I’d need to wait for it to dry (the DVD has a non-porous surface). He held it with his thumb in the center hole in his open palm and blew on the ink so it would dry faster (yes, he really did that).Two other female fans approached and asked Alex for pictures. When he was finished with them he returned to my friend and me. He told us he tries to keep up with his fans, but it’s difficult. It was then that I remembered I had brought my little audio recorder. I took it out and started recording our conversation.  He said he gets a lot of stuff from his fans and he really tries to keep up. He said about his fans, “I enjoy meeting you guys.” I thanked him. I was sitting down at the time when I put my hand out to get his attention before he left us and said, “One more thing.” He hurriedly stepped over to me and took my outstretched hand in his and intently said, “Yes.” I told him I had sent him (through his manager’s assistant at the time) a Three Rivers Cook Book (recipes from the Pittsburgh area). “Oh, thank you!,” he said.  I told him that I had written a note that said maybe the cookbook had been given to Andy by his mother when he left home. Alex threw back his head, like he does when he is particularly amused, and said, “Awesome!” I told him to be on the lookout for it and he said he would. He chatted a bit with my friend and then asked if we wanted to “come over” and watch the filming. Oh my, we were being invited to watch … and by Alex O’Loughlin! I said, “Sure, if we can.” Alex said, “They let you do that, unless the boss kicks you off.” My friend suggested we just stay put where we had been (to this day I’ll never forgive her for that). Alex hung around for another half minute and then said he had to go to work and, “Thanks for comin’ guys.” He disappeared on the other side of the Farmer’s Market set.

Alex was the most engaging and personable guy.  He was so nice to my friend’s daughters, asking about their Hannah Montana camera and about the bandage on one of the girl’s knees.

A few minutes later the paparazzi started arriving. We knew Jennifer Lopez would arrive any minute. We stayed to see her do a small scene. 

Believe me when I tell you that Alex is humble, speaks calmly, is genuinely giving and truly in the moment. If you ever get a chance to talk with him, take it, and don’t be the least bit nervous. He’s one of us.

(See more photos in our "Photos" section)


  1. This is very cool! Thank you for sharing this!!

  2. He is the one actor I do admire! His sincerety and humbleness makes him so sexy! Thanks for sharing!

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