An Interview with Alan Doyle

Alan Doyle spoke recently about his upcoming role as Senator Gideon Robertson in Strike!.

What struck you about the project?

Alan Doyle: I was thrilled to get a chance to be a part of such a cool Canadian story.  Also, Winnipeg has been dear to my heart since GBS has been so welcomed there for two decades.  I jump at any chance to work there.

Why is it important for Canadians to tell their own stories on film?

Alan Doyle: Committing a story to film is a big job.  The very fact that some story gets told in film gives it a weight and importance that it does not get in any other medium.  There are so many great Canadian moments that deserve that treatment, and we should foster more Canadian films about stories from our own backyard.

Is there a parallel between recent events and this story from 1919?

Alan Doyle: I grew up in a Fishing Town where, for centuries, there was a huge disconnect between the fishermen and the merchants.  Since the collapse of the inshore cod fishery the fishermen are more at odds with government.  I suspect long after I’m gone the push and pull of the fishermen and the authorities, or the farmer and the bank, or the union and the company will still be raging.  It is a timeless story.

There is a visual similarity between you and the historic character you are playing – Senator Gideon Robertson.  Is the similarity going to inform your acting?

Alan Doyle: I hope so.  I’m really looking forward to it all, I must say.  My few experiences in film and TV have really taught me the power of the the picture, of how characters and sets and props appear.  If it looks right, the viewer is much more likely to be drawn in to the story.  If it looks wrong, you have a tough job to keep their attention.

Have you played a villain before?

Alan Doyle: Yeah.  I love it.  I shot a film called Winter’s Tale in New York a few months back where I play a murderous thief.  I play a recurring character, Wolf Redmond, on Republic of Doyle who’s a big stern brute of a fella.  It is so much fun to be the bad guy.

Is this your first movie musical?

Alan Doyle: Yeah, in the strictest sense.  Though I sang and played a lot on the set of the Robin Hood Film as I played the role of the famed troubadour Allan A’Dayle.  I can’t wait to work with Danny and the whole gang.  What a thrill.