Alan Doyle is admittedly one lucky dude. After all, the Newfoundland-born musician’s band Great Big Sea has been a Canadian institution ever since the successful release of their 1993 self-titled debut album. But now, Doyle can call himself a movie star as well.
“I’ve been holding out for 40 years for the right chance,” joked Doyle about his role in Robin Hood alongside Russell Crowe. “I picked a good one, didn’t I?”
As it turns out, Doyle was chosen for the role. Having met Crowe in Toronto while the actor was filming Cinderella Man, the duo became fast friends over their love of music. As the tale goes, while Crowe was initially reading the script for Robin Hood, he discovered one of the Merry Men was a balladeer.
“He’s done a bunch of movies since I’ve known him — he’s never asked me to do one,” said Doyle. “(But) I could see Russell reading the script and thinking ‘hey, we need a dude who can play the lute, sing and write ballads on the spot and play Celtic instruments and his name is Allan A’Dayle…’ I would’ve been pissed off if he hadn’t thought of me to be honest!”
Doyle isn’t just making a passing cameo either. The Newfoundlander underwent weeks of rigorous training with weapons and horses for huge epic battle sequences as one of Hood’s fighting Merry Men. Further, he was asked to compose a few songs for the movie.
“(I got) three or four credits in there, which is a thrill,” said Doyle. “(But) as the years go by, I will exaggerate that.”
Doyle won’t be able to rest for long. After the film hits theatres, Great Big Sea will prepare to release their next album in July and follow it up with a tour.
But with a potential cinematic franchise looming in Robin Hood, one wonders if the singer doesn’t have at least one eye on a career in movies.
“I don’t know, I’ve been pretty lucky with things my whole life,” said Doyle humbly before quickly insisting: “I got this one by kind of not looking for it and that would be my tactic for the next one.”