Part 2 of Our Interview with Republic of Doyle’s Allan Hawco

I promised you the second half of my chat with Republic of Doyle‘s Allan Hawco, and here it is!

I have to say that this series has really put Newfoundland on the map, and that in a lot of ways, you are ambassadors for Newfoundland to the rest of the world.

That’s a huge honour for me, for all of us working on the show from here. We try very, very, very hard to show the respect we have for this place, and I’m very much a product of this place, the culture of this place and it’s defined who I am as a person. I spent the early part of my 20s writing poetry for Newfoundland … it inspires that kind of love from its people. To have the opportunity to work here, to showcase the province the way I see it, the way I love it, it’s a huge honour. And to have the people of Newfoundland and Labrador behind us, and then to have the rest of the country behind us, supporting us, it’s a dream. Totally a dream come true. You can never take that for granted, you can never take your audience for granted and you can never take that trust that Newfoundland and Canadians have put in us. My plan was always to open a window into this part of Canada.

My show and Newfoundland work very well together. Newfoundland government has a great tourism campaign that they have been running for years that in a lot of ways inspired a lot of ideas for the show, and the way that we have a very strong sense of place. I love living in Newfoundland, I love being in Newfoundland, I love shovelling snow in Newfoundland, and I don’t ever want to leave. I want to be able to work abroad and do all that kind of stuff, but I want to pay my taxes in Newfoundland, and I want to work here, and I want to contribute to our identity and our cultural identity in Canada from this place. I feel like people who are interested in the show, they were already half way there, people have a natural love for this place and the people of Newfoundland. And I think that Canada has such a strong reputation internationally that I feel like they get to see the show in Kazakhstan, or Great Britain or Ireland, and they see Newfoundland as a part of Canada that’s stunningly beautiful and we represent it in a fun way, and I think it all works hand in hand.

With that being said, do you think it’s possible for an episode of Republic of Doyle to ever take place outside of Newfoundland?

Oh, of course. It’s all about finances, too. We’re competing in an American market and an International market and that’s the way we’re making the show. I never want to “have to” anything. In order for me to strike that balance between production quality and value, explosions and the kind of things that you sort of fight to compete on that level, we have an extremely reduced budget comparatively to all those other shows in the market. Basically, my motto is, as Executive Producer, is that every dollar we spend has to be on the screen or we fail to compete. It’s an extremely tight, competitive market, so every cent has to be on screen. Moving, travelling costs money, that means you’re spending X amount of dollars travelling your extremely well-rounded, well-paid, high skilled crew versus shooting and paying them while you’re shooting. It’s not something that we wouldn’t do. I think if we did a movie, I would probably want to do some kind of road element to it. In the regular season, we are so restricted in a budgetary way like all Canadian shows are, you have to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

You’ve had such an impressive list of guest stars on the series so far. Is there anyone that hasn’t appeared yet that you would like to have on for an episode?

After you get Russell Crowe, you have to stop and sort of think about what’s happened and count your blessings. That was the most obscure amount of luck that you could possibly have. We structure a lot of the structure and the storytelling on the core cast, and every episode, because it’s a mystery, is based around some guest stars. You start there. I always shoot for the best actors I can possibly find and that’s a big thing for me. We’ve been very lucky and I hope that we continue to be so [lucky].

Is there a particular relationship on the show that you would like to explore even more, and have the viewers learn more about?

I think that Malachy is a goldmine of a character. There’s a lot of story there about his past. He has an interesting past and he’s an interesting guy that’s trying to do the right thing in the world. I like focusing as much as I can on him, finding out his story, and his and Rose’s back story and how they met, and discovering a bit more about the core of their relationship because they’re so solid together, so strong. Whenever you see anything getting in the way of that, you immediately get defensive and you really want to know what’s going on. I also would like to see a little bit more exploring between Rose and Jake, and learning a bit more about how Jake is going to grow up, where is he gonna go, how is he going to evolve, what kind of a man will he become.

One thing that I find frustrating as a viewer is the flack that Jake gets from everyone around him. He always acts with his heart and with the best intentions in mind, but he doesn’t always go about things in the best possible way. What is it like for you to play and write that aspect of the role?

He’s extremely intelligent in a lot of ways but the one great thing about Jake is that he acts with his gut, and I think you nailed it right on the head, his intentions are always pure and honourable, he’s always going for the right thing, he doesn’t lie, he always tries to make sure he tells the truth. He’s really about everyone having a fair shot and justice, and he hates the idea of people taking advantage of others and that kind of thing. Because of his intense passion for that, it makes him extremely flawed. He acts without thinking. He just goes for it because it’s the only way he knows how to do things. He got married that way. He ended up in a marriage in the same way that he ends up in fistfights. Something I really admire about him is that his ability to not overthink things and just act, that sometimes pays off for him, and other times, it gets him into a lot of trouble, but we know he’s trying to constantly do the right thing. His father knows that. No matter how much he gives him a hard time, his father knows that Jake’s truly a good man.

At this point, you don’t know if there’s going to be a Season 4.

That’s correct. We’ll probably know in the next little while. It’s hard to say. CBC’s going through a lot right now and trying to sort stuff out. They’ve been really supportive and open and we’re all working together to push this. Everyone wants to make another season, there’s no doubt. In the meantime, I’m focusing on getting scripts ready just in case. I can’t think about any of that stuff right now because it’s completely out of my control. All I think about is how do I make the best possible Season 4 if there is one. That’s what I’m focusing on. We have a great season ender for Season 3 that propels us into such an interesting place.

Almost all of Canada has seen that Season 3 finale now, and in a short while, the West Coast will also see exactly what Allan was talking about. Be sure to tune in at 9pm PT, or if you missed it earlier, get that time shifting to work, because you don’t want to miss out! And let’s start crossing our fingers now that we get some good news very soon regarding a fourth season! Oh yeah!!!

Photo Courtesy of CBC

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