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Wabush actor Shawn Doyle scores winning role on House of Cards

03/14/2015 03:33 EDT | Updated 05/14/2015 05:59 EDT
Actor Shawn Doyle, who's originally from Wabush, has scored a recurring role on the latest season of House of Cards, available on Netflix. 

This is the latest in a series of high profile roles for Doyle — who's had television spots on 24, Big Love, Desperate Housewives and Lost. 

The only downside? Doyle says starring in a hit Netflix show makes it tough to be a fan. 

"It's kind of bittersweet because it's really exciting, obviously, to be invited into that cast, and working for writers like that, and the quality of production and whatnot — but it also kind of taints it, because it's not as fun to watch [the episodes]," Doyle said in an interview on Here and Now.

Doyle also has something in common with his House of Cards co-creator and star, Kevin Spacey. Spacey's 2001 film The Shipping News was shot in Trinity.  

On House of Cards, Doyle plays Alan Cooke, a heart surgeon with a close connection to the President of the United States.

It's an intimidating role — but not because of the American politics.

"I think it's a bigger leap to play a heart surgeon," said Doyle.

"Thankfully for me, there's not a lot of heart surgery stuff in the show."

First memories of Hollywood

Doyle began his acting career more than two decades ago in Toronto. 

In 2013, he took home a Canadian Screen Award for his performance as Sir John A. Macdonald in the CBC TV movie, John A.: Birth of a Nation.

Despite his mainstream success, Doyle said acting is an unpredictable business.

"I remember when I first went to Hollywood and auditioned for various projects. I'd be sitting in the auditioning room, waiting to go in, and I'd see actors that I grew up with on television," he said.

"Actors who had been leads in their own television series. And they're there, sitting next to me, trying to get a shot at a role. It's a very competitive industry, which is why I'm so grateful."

Upcoming projects

Doyle has a number of exciting projects in the works, including a big budget series for the American Syfy network called The Expanse. The same creators also wrote Children of Men and Iron Man.  

"It's going to be very high profile, very exciting — incredible sets, just amazing," he said. 

Doyle is returning to the province in April to film Away From Everywhere, a movie directed by Justin Simms and based on Chad Pelley's novel of the same name.

In addition to that, he's writing a movie with Republic of Doyle's Mark O'Brien. Doyle expects that project to be completed in the next couple of years. 

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