Republic of Doyle Stars Visit VFS Acting Students

Acting for Film & Television and Acting Essentials students and faculty were treated to a special guest visit this morning from two of the stars of CBC’s The Republic of Doyle.

Allan Hawco and Lynda Boyd chatted with Head of Department Bill Marchant about the industry, how they each got started, and – of course – the third season of Doyle, which premiered last week with the help of a little-known star by the name of Russell Crowe.

“He was a real gent,” Hawco said of Crowe, noting the arduous mega-flight the actor had to make from Australia to Newfoundland for a few days of filming.

Check out photos of the visit on the VFS Flickr profile.

Both Hawco and Boyd come from theatre backgrounds and adapted their skill sets to the screen. For Hawco, it’s been a fight the whole way:  “I was 24, 25, and I was doing a play somewhere and everyone was asleep,” he said. “I wanted to fight for things I could create myself.” He saw 45 coming closer and didn’t want to be complaining about the same things he disliked at 25. Now, he’s the showrunner of one of CBC’s most successful series. Along with a just-get-it-done attitude, it means wearing a lot of different hats aside from acting — like producing, editing, and writing. In fact, all the major decisions for the series come from him.

Boyd, meanwhile, hit her stride in the mid-’90s with appearances on series like The X-Files and Highlander. It was big transition for a theatre pro who’d been dancing since she was a child: “I didn’t have a clue what I was doing,” she said. “I didn’t know what a ‘mark’ was.”

When she auditioned in Newfoundland for Doyle, she took a mental picture of everything around her at the time and told herself “I’m coming back here”. Clearly, that positive mindset has paid off.

It’s something Hawco has taken to heart as well: “I spent most of my career unemployed… I don’t care about anything else right now… I’m making a TV show in Newfoundland.”

Many thanks to our guests and congratulations on a successful season three premiere!

Check out series air times on CBC’s website.

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