Talking stunts and scrunchions with Allan Hawco

Allan Hawco has gone from speeding around the streets of St. John's as Jake Doyle to jumping out of planes flying over Colombia for his new role on the Prime Video series Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.

In the series' second season, the Newfoundland and Labrador actor will play Coyote, a Navy SEAL on a special operation with Ryan, played by John Krasinski, and James Greer, played by Wendell Pierce.

Though Hawco had a stunt double for some of the work on the high-action series, based in part on Jack Ryan movies, he says he enjoyed the times he was in the thick of it himself.

"I love doing that stuff and I love the idea of pretending to be things that I know there's no way on earth I could actually be," he told The St. John's Morning Show

"That's one of my favourite things about this job."

Shooting in Colombia

It's a job that brought him to various parts of Colombia, a country Hawco said was amazing but that sometimes presented safety issues. Plans to shoot in San Jose, Colombia, changed when the city's mayor was kidnapped, for example.

The bubble of being on set sometimes made it easy to get comfortable, he said. "You just start living in a place and you forget that there's real crime everywhere around you."

Hawco said he was standing outside his hotel one night when two men got off their motorbikes and ran toward him. He was wondering what they were doing as the hotel's security guards pulled him inside.

"I've had someone running at me with a dirtbike in the Goulds, don't get me wrong. Happened on more than one occasion," he said. 

"But I think maybe the end result was going to be slightly different."

Working with famous faces

The shoot gave Hawco an opportunity to work with several actors of note, in addition to Krasinski, who is well known for his role as Jim Halpert on The Office.

"Everyone around me has been on their own HBO show or has achieved some level of international success," he said of the show's cast.


That included Wendell Pierce of The Wire, which Hawco said is a favourite show of his. In addition to his being familiar with Pierce's work, it turned out Pierce was familiar with Hawco's home province thanks to his time working on Suits, which filmed in Toronto. That's how he ended up discussing Newfoundland and Labrador with Pierce.

"'Tell me about scrunchions' was his opening line," Hawco said.

Hawco isn't sure exactly when Coyote shows up in the show's second season he knows it's early in the season but not the first episode, he said. He'll be watching along with audiences when the show premieres on the Prime Video streaming service Friday.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador