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Allan Hawco's Most Explosive (And Most Embarrassing) Republic of Doyle Moments

Two hours long and featuring major guest stars Gordon Pinsent and Paul Gross, you could call Sunday night's Republic of Doyle finale Doyle: The Movie. "We wrote it and shot it almost like a film," series star and creator Allan Hawco told CBC Live, but it's not like the rest of Season 4 was a pain in the arse - or however Jake Doyle might put it. The whole year was packed with major moments, and Allan Hawco shared his favourite stories from the set with CBC Live.

-- CBC

CBC Live: So, stunts...

Allan Hawco: I do a lot of my own. I love doing a lot of the driving stunts, so my favourite to do are in the new GTO that we have. It's a standard so it's easy for me to light it up and it handles really, really well.

CBC Live: How many GTOs does the show have?

There's three. Three GTOs.

CBC Live: What was your most memorable stunt from the last season?

AH: Flying in, Bob Joy's (Kavanagh) on the ground with a shotgun. Joel [Thomas Hynes] (Taylor) is there with Krystin Pellerin (Leslie) down underneath the bridge in St. John's on the harbor, and I FLY in and I lock it up and I do a full complete half donut while Bob is in the middle of it. And sort of hit my mark perfectly and jump out of the car. That was one of my favourite moments.

(Look for that scene near the end of Episode 405, "The Heroine.")

AH: It scared Bob Joy, though. In the middle of it he was like "What is going on?" But he didn't realize that he was completely safe. I was going nowhere near him. If anything I would go off into the harbour.

CBC Live: How many tries did it take to pull it off?

Oh, first one. Oh yeah.

CBC Live: Where and how do you practice something like that?

AH: I used to practice when I was a teenager, take my mom's car and go out to the parking lot and practice. So it's like one of those things where it's a lifetime of training.

I have a real pride thing where time is money and I have this real self-competitive thing where it's really important that I can hit my mark with a car. Sometimes they put down a nickel for me to hit my mark. I'll just - it's something I'm not bad at.

It's never dangerous. The stunt coordinator would never let us put an actor in danger without knowing. [...] Safety's big. We were just voted the most safe set in Atlantic Canada.

CBC Live: I imagine you're one of the most explosive sets in Atlantic Canada, as well.

We blow up a lot of stuff, yeah.

CBC Live:  Biggest explosion?

AH: Oh, just recently in 409. That was an exciting thing, too, because Brad Peyton directed and he's a Hollywood director but he's also from Gander, Newfoundland. We're developing other things with Brad, and he comes down and directs with us as much as we can, but we blow up a building, a big old building in 409 and that was cool.

Watch the episode:

CBC Live: What's your best story about working with a guest star this year?

Talking about fight sequences, Paul [Gross] and I had a fight sequence in the finale and both of us like to consider ourselves pretty good at stunts and the stunt coordinator trusts us to do what we've got to do with each other.

Paul punched me in the nose and I head butted Paul in the nose. In the same fight.

It's just a touch and we were so cold we couldn't feel it anyways, but both of us crossed the line. He also stabbed me in the face with a metal shard.

CBC Live: For real? He cut your face?

AH: Oh yeah. He didn't mean it! It was just one of those days when both of us were off our game.

Paul Gross is not head butting anyone in this scene from Republic of Doyle. -- CBC

CBC Live: What happens when that happens? Do you keep going?

Oh, Paul and I? We keep going. Yeah. We'd never let our pride stop production.

CBC Live: So in the finale, if you're looking ruined, it's because Paul Gross just stabbed you in the face?

AH: He did cut me, actually. He cut me, and then we put it on as makeup for the rest of the episode so it matched it. He cut me right there. [Hawco traces a line down his right cheek bone.] And you'll see when I head butt him in the episode, his face - the surprise on his face is o-o-oh wow. But he punched me first.

CBC Live: How frequently does that happen?

Never, ever, ever, ever happened on my set, ever before. Ever. I've never in my life ever hit anybody on a set, in a fight, except for that one time with Paul.

CBC Live: It's a good thing you like each other. Most embarrassing shirtless scene?

All of them.

Very embarrassed shirtless actor Allan Hawco appears in a scene from Republic of Doyle. -- CBC

CBC Live: All of them? But you write the show.

AH: I know, but it's not me. Like, it's not like "Oh, I want to be shirtless." It's like I'd much rather eat chicken wings than work out.

CBC Live: Just write it into the character.

But then nobody would watch. That's the thing, you've got to compete with the rest of the world and these guys are - every American show I watch with a guy like Jake, he's always shirtless. Jake is only shirtless once a year, people don't realize that. He only does a shirtless scene once a year. We just shoot one. Usually near the beginning because I've got so much to do, it takes a lot of work to stay in that good of shape.

CBC Live: Favourite episode?

One of my favourite episodes is the one with Luis Guzman, Episode 11.

Watch the episode:

AH: Luis is one of my favourite actors and he shows Canada what he can do in that episode. Brad Peyton directs that one.

And the finale. Yeah, it's pretty special.

Watch Republic of Doyle's two-hour Season 4 finale Sunday, April 21 at 8 p.m./8:30 NT on CBC.

For even more on Republic of Doyle's season finale, check out CBC Live's video visit to the set. Find out how guest star Paul Gross has been a mentor to Allan Hawco:

(Produced by Jamey Ordolis, James Cooper and Craig Cooper/CBC Live)

(This interview has been edited and condensed.)

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