Allan Hawco’s reality is more fantastic than most. His hit CBC Television drama, Republic of Doyle – now in its third season – draws more than one million Canadian viewers each week, and is now broadcast in over 100 countries across the globe.
Not surprisingly, it’s a bit surreal.
“We have an African-American president in the United States, Newfoundland is an economic superpower, and I have my own television series where I’m the executive producer, writer, and star,” says Hawco, sounding almost dumbfounded.
“I feel like I’ve either slipped through string theory into an alternate reality, or like I’m in that ward of the hospital where I’ve made all this up in my head and the nurse is sayin, Yes, honey, you have a blue GTO, we know, we know – your leather jacket, yeah.”
Charmed as it may seem, Hawco’s reality – and the show’s success – has less to do with luck than it does with hard work, dedication, and being surrounded by exceptional people.
“We’re an awesome team,” he shares of the cast, crew and others that collaborate on ROD. “I have a spectacular group of people around me. I spent years putting together a team of people I want to spend all my time with, because, y’know, you end up married to them in a way.”
That union is undeniably busy these days. Besides Doyle, Hawco’s company – Take The Shot Productions – has three other projects currently underway, another in development and one more possibly taking flight down the line.
The benefits to Newfoundland communities are hard to miss.
“In Newfoundland and Labrador in the past three years we’ve spent over $67 million,” he notes. “Every season is about $22-23 million, and it’s done over 9 months – it has to be spent…that’s just the way we’re funded.”
The investment employs trades people, provides experience and training for local film crews, and contributes to the province’s film industry infrastructure – which invites expats to come home and work in something other than the oil and gas sector.
It also showcases The Rock’s sheer physicality to the rest of the world.
“I wanted to highlight the beauty of the place that I love so much,” shares the actor. “I was thinking how great it would be to have a character (Jake) who was watching over the city that I love. I love characters that are connected to a place and just have a passion for the place they live in and are there to protect it.”
From all indications, it appears that the audience agrees – something that Hawco doesn’t take lightly.
“To get something made is impossible, so when you’re making it you’re like holy crap, we have to make sure we really give this our all,” he smiles.
“We have a massive responsibility now, telling a story that people have invested in and we can never take that for granted… That’s so important for me. You don’t know what you’ve got, right? And I know what I have.” ~ Robyn McNeil
Reprinted from the Spring 2012 edition of Celtic Life International Magazine