Allan Hawco and Joséphine Jobert Talk Saint-Pierre

Allan Hawco and Joséphine Jobert Talk Saint-Pierre

Next up from the CBC press day, I had a quick chat with Allan Hawco and Joséphine Jobert. Hawco is getting the Republic of Doyle band back together for Saint-Pierre, a procedural premiering next winter on CBC that he will write, co-showrun, and star in opposite Jobert. In the series, the pair play law enforcement in the titular Saint-Pierre who solve local cases while forming a personal and professional alliance.

Jobert was thrilled at the opportunity to join the series, and that she was able to share her excitement with her family during the audition process. “It was instant chemistry when I saw [Allan] on screen and when we got to do the scene together, I felt like this was for me and I really wanted to do the show,” she recalls.

“My parents were with me in in my house and they were waiting for me downstairs. They asked how it went, and I told them, ‘I really wanna do it.’ So when I got the call a few days after [that I had been cast], I was super, super happy and I must admit that I cried tears of happiness a few days after I got the call. I got overwhelmed with happiness about getting to start a new project and acting in English and that kind of stuff.”


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Jobert signed on with only the first episode written, but explains that it told her everything she needed to know. “I think everything is pretty clear, like how the characters interact with each other. We’ve only been shooting for three weeks, so I don’t know everything about [my character], but the few things I know I really love.”

“She’s dressed very elegantly. She wears nice shoes, little earrings, trench coats. But any time she needs to get into some action, run, climb, fight, jump, she’s the first one. And that’s what I liked about her character and the fact that you can feel that there’s a dark background to her personal story that we don’t know about really. And I can’t wait to see what it is because I’ve only read the first four episodes.”

“She’s a badass cop and that’s what I like.”


For Hawco, the series is a return to the land of Republic of Doyle after recurring on network sibling Moonshine and CTV’s Sullivan’s Crossing, and he explains that the idea for Saint-Pierre came to him during a visit for Son of a Critch, which he produces.

“We were over scouting for an episode of Son of a Critch. And I shot a movie there 20-odd years ago with John Vatcher, who’s producing and directing the show with us. It was our first movie together. And I remember nostalgia for the place, but something grabbed me on this trip about the way the air and the sky touches the ground there. It’s different than North America, which is weird because it’s in North America, but it’s a light quality that I can’t really explain. It just grabbed me, and the setting of a procedural was screaming at me in my head,” he shares.

“We had a night out that night, and while people were talking to me, I was just not present. I was looking out the window from our hotel over the harbor in the mist that is different than the fog in Newfoundland. It’s just very weird. And I started to sort of see what it needed to be.”

“There were a number of ways that it could have gone in my head, but I knew I wanted it to be a case of the week.”


While it shares procedural roots with Republic of Doyle, the tone of the new series will lean more serious, although not as serious as Cardinal. “Republic of Doyle was one of the greatest moments of my entire life. But it had a real wink to it in its plotting in its comedy, but this wasn’t right for that. The tone [here] needed a serious take in its case-of-the-week structure. It needed to be high stakes. And it belonged in this world that I was seeing,” he explains.

“There is still a lot of lightness. It’s lighter than a Broadchurch. But the procedural elements are very, very serious. We take them very seriously. So I think that keeps the stakes high. While at the same time, the interactions between us in particular are really quite cutting and quite funny, as are the supporting characters. They all bring a certain different voice in life to it that is in a comedic tone.”

“But when these characters are working, one of the slug lines we have is about the police station. It’s like you look at the exterior of our police station, it looks like murders are solved here. That is what we do. That is our job. And it’s bringing all those things together. I think it’s a good mix of a procedural plus has a personal elements, but it also has a fun experience for the audience with their personal dynamics as well as a hopefully successfully structured whodunnit case.”

Jobert agrees that it has a magical quality. “The weather is completely different. It’s something really. The people there are so friendly and so welcoming and all the landscapes and the scenery are beautiful. We started filming there and we were all together in hotels with the crew, so we got to know each other and it was a good start to create a little family altogether,” she explains. “I saw some screenshots of what we filmed and it looked phenomenal, honestly.

“I think people from Saint Pierre will be really happy to see that on screen.”

“There’s something really familiar about the way we’re approaching this show, but it is completely different in that no one’s ever seen this place at this level, I think, before. There have been various things that have been shot there or it’s been talked about in the past, but it’s relatively new in this kind of setting,” adds Hawco.

“It’s kind of untouched. And we have a great deal of respect toward it, in how we are shooting that setting and how we’re portraying it, how beautiful it is and how beautiful the people are. It’s a fictionalized version in the same way Newfoundland was a fictionalized version in Republic of Doyle. There are liberties taken for our world and our version of this place.”

One of the liberties Hawco won’t be taking is representing its diversity, something he recognizes he didn’t do as well as he could have a decade ago with Republic of Doyle. “It is actually quite multicultural. And our version of this place is, too, and it’s organic. Robina Lord Stafford is my co-showrunner and we were invested in that concept from day one.,” he says.

“It’s our own world but it’s also 2024. It’s just a different time for that kind of stuff.”

“Like with Doyle, in many ways, we were trying to represent an authentic look of what that place was, which at the time was very white. But if I could go back in time, I would completely change that. There are too many good actors out there. We’re working very hard to make sure that unrepresented voices are present and a part of Saint-Pierre.”

The 10-episode first season of Saint-Pierre premieres next winter on CBC.



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Photos courtesy of CBC.


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