Republic of Doyle has pulled out all the stops for its third season premiere – nabbing big-time movie star Russell Crowe for a guest spot. And according to series creator/star Allan Hawco, Crowe did much more than merely show up for filming.

“Russell never half-does anything,” says Hawco. “He worked for a real long time with me on the script. Months and months of emails. He was integral to the plot as it is now.”

So why exactly did Crowe agree to play a mysterious bad guy in a little CBC detective series? Well, it seems that Great Big Sea singer Alan Doyle knows Crowe — having previously appeared with him in the film Robin Hood.

Indeed, the Republic of Doyle episode — airing Wednesday — also functions as a sly reunion for Robin Hood’s merry band with not only Doyle and Crowe, but actors Scott Grimes and Kevin Durand.

 

“I was introduced to Russell years ago by Alan, who has since become a very good friend.” says Hawco. “He (Crowe) is just one of those guys who likes to use his position in the industry to help others along.”

In the episode, Jake (Hawco) is framed for murder, leading to an encounter with a mysterious group of men (led by Crowe) whose own agenda is anything but clear. Despite the super star on set, Hawco says the shoot was business as usual.

“Having Russell around really didn’t change anything on the shoot. Obviously we have a tight budget and schedule. But he never derailed us for a second. He was awesome in that way.”

Now entering its third season, Republic of Doyle continues to grow in popularity around Canada — though finding fans has never been a problem in the city of St. John’s.

“The people of St. John’s have been there from day one,” says Lynda Boyd, who plays Rose on the series. “They stop you on the street and tell you they love it and how great it makes the city look. They see it as their show.”

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