|The Three Acting Amigos: Pinsent, Gross and Hawco|
The Republic of Doyle has been under siege all year. Moved to Sundays by budget battered CBC, they’ve had to dodge or battle the Oscars, the Grammys, the Screenies and the Super Bowl, not to mention the Walking Dead. This Sunday, their season finale goes up against The Junos.
As a result, it’s been a challenging fourth season, ratings-wise, for star/executive producer Allan Hawco and gang. Sunday’s two-hour finale should get a boost, however, from a couple of Canadian acting heavyweights: Paul Gross and Gordon Pinsent.
I was out in St. John’s, Nfld., last fall when these episodes were being shot. The actors and crew were camped inside a retired school house. They were making good use of the place: a fight scene between Hawco and Gross was shot on the roof and a classroom on the second floor was turned into a cabin in the woods on the day I was a fly on their wall.
Hawco had been telling me the last few years about how he leaned on Gross in the early days of this series, calling him daily for tips on how to do this and how to do that. Gross has been an actor/writer/producer for years, starting back on Due South in the ’90s and extending into his film work today.
Pinsent was somebody Hawco looked up to all his life. “All of
Especially his mother. Hawco remembers advice she gave him just before he left The Rock and set out to find his acting legs in Toronto.
“So worried boutcha Allan,” she said.
“Ma, doin’ fine,” says Hawco.
“Do me a favour,” she pleaded. “Call Gordon Pinsent up–find him, see if he can help.”