March 5, 2015 by Speakers' Spotlight
Allan Hawco’s Big Break
Allan Hawco is a renaissance man. The creator, writer, executive producer and star of television’s hit show, Republic of Doyle, he is also frequently seen in feature films, other television programs, and on stage. Imparting his high-wattage celebrity and trademark charisma into his keynotes, emceeing, and endorsement activities, Allan ensures that whatever he undertakes shines. Allan recently spoke for the Burin Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, and the local daily caught up with him with a few questions about his talk:
Actor, writer, producer Allan Hawco was far from his rough-around-the-edges character of Jake Doyle when he made an appearance in Marystown [last] Wednesday.
Hawco feels that having filmed his hit television show in the province contributed to its success. Hawco, who was the keynote speaker at the Burin Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting, is best known for his lead role the hit show “Republic of Doyle,” which ran for six seasons on the CBC.
He said that one of the goals of his career was to come home to the province and contribute to the economy.“For those of us who get to live and work in the province that we love, and do the thing that we love, it is a very special thing indeed.”
Hawco, who runs Take the Shot Productions with his business partner, John Vatcher, says there are similarities between acting and business development.
“To be an actor or to be a business person, you gotta be cracked,” he said with a laugh. “You got to be half cracked to be at it.”
He added that both come with their share of rejection and the challenge of overcoming that rejection and staying committed to making your dreams a reality.
“I was really committed to it. I knew I wanted to do it but there was a problem. … I knew I couldn’t just sit around and wait for other people to make my decisions for me. … I had to be the master of my own destiny,” said Hawco.
He said truly understood the risk involved in his chosen profession when he was being considered by the CBC for a role in a show depicting the life of Don Cherry.
“I don’t think it hit me until then that I would actually have to play Don Cherry,” said Hawco. “I would be terrible as Don Cherry. I was like, ‘Oh shit!’”
Hawco, concerned that a poor performance as the hockey icon could have a negative effect on his career, wrote a letter with his manager turning down the role he had not yet been offered.
“From that conversation the CBC took me aside … and that’s when I got to pitch them ‘Republic of Doyle.’”
Hawco said the Burin Peninsula holds special meaning for him.
“I got my first film and television break in my life, in my career, in St. Lawrence on the Burin Peninsula,” he said. “In the Ocean View Motel.”
The role – in 2004’s Making Love in St. Pierre – not only brought him from the theatre stage to the world of film, but also helped to pave the way for his future.
“Why my experience on the Burin Peninsula is so profound to me is because that experience, making that movie, directly led to the creation of ‘Republic of Doyle.’”
Hawco was cast by director John Vatcher to play the lead character, Sebastian, a fisherman in his early 30s.
“From that experience he and I went on to create Take The Shot Productions — Take the Shot Productions is responsible for the creation and production of ‘Republic of Doyle.’”
Hawco said he has a piece of advice for anyone looking to start in the acting field or any pursuit.
“If you could imagine yourself doing anything else and you would be happy, then pursue that. And if you cannot, then you know the answer.”