City musician singing ‘super’ praises of film experience

Cory Hurley
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Allison Crowe is seen during the premiere of ‘Man of Steel’?at the Starr Theatre in Alice Tully Hall at New York City’s Lincoln Centre.

CORNER BROOK  Singer Allison Crowe is staying grounded despite her cameo in a superhero blockbuster.

The Corner Brook musician originally from Nanaimo, B.C. plays a singer at Cassidy’s — a roadhouse bar in the deep north woods — in “Man of Steel.” She is singing Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” during a scene in the trucker’s lounge which features Henry Cavill, who plays the Man of Steel himself.

It is a brief appearance in the actual movie, but it was enough to land her in the Hollywood film alongside Cavill and other celebrities like Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne.

“It is pretty surreal,” Crowe said Friday, the day after arriving back home in Newfoundland’s west coast. “It is humbling and amazing to think that something like that could happen.”

So how did it happen? The independent musician said film producers Zack and Deborah Snyder were among the more than eight million viewers of her version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” on You Tube.

A couple of years after the hit went viral in 2006, she received a call that Snyder was interested in having her version of that song in his movie “The Watchmen.” Although he decided Crowe’s version was too romantic for the scene, he did speak of her during follow-up press to the movie. Crowe and Snyder attempted to team up again in his film “Sucker Punch,” but again her work did not make it to the big screen.

The third time proved successful, and she was cast into what she called the “fire” of a Hollywood film for the first time. She had to keep quiet about her cameo since the filming — which was actually in her hometown of Nanaimo — in October 2011.

“It was totally tough,” she said. “I saw the ‘Dark Knight’ last summer, and they showed the first trailer of ‘Man of Steel’ before that. I was just sitting in the theatre going like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t tell anybody.’”

Crowe has been performing for years as a musician throughout Canada and Europe annually. However, behind a camera in a movie shoot was a different feeling that she enjoyed thoroughly.

“I love anything really in art, music and theatre,” she said. “This was just an amazing opportunity. I was nervous, super nervous, because it was different than anything I have ever done.”

A big movie fan — especially of the superhero genre — she was intrigued by the amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a film. Crowe was also a part of the filming for the behind-the-scenes DVD segments, so she is anxious to find out how much will actually make it onto that. Although she got to see the film in fine style — and walk the red carpet — at the premiere in New York City earlier this week, she is also looking forward to getting a seat at Empire Theatres in Corner Brook and watching it with her boyfriend Adam Brake.

“Man of Steel” opened in Corner Brook Friday night, but Crowe will be waiting a couple of days to see it. It may not be measuring up to the hype in New York, but her friends and family in Corner Brook and Nanaimo are anxious to see the movie — and the local star.

“Everyone has been super supportive. All my friends were watching the red carpet when it was on,” she said. “It was a live feed, and I was getting all these messages and I was sending pictures back. It was really, really neat.”

Crowe said she never covered “Ring of Fire” before, but — like many people — did sing it with friends over the years. She was given the freedom to make it her own, and said the Snyders praised her performance. With all the hype surrounding the film, and the local media attention for her role, don’t be surprised if she starts playing the song in her performances.

Crowe is releasing a new CD “Newfoundland Vinyl: The Flip Side” in conjunction with her role as musical director of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s production for the Gros Morne Theatre Festival this summer.

She will then get more of an opportunity to see if she works “Ring of Fire” into her tour throughout Europe in the fall and across Canada in the winter.

Organizations: Empire Theatres, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, Gros Morne Theatre

Geographic location: CORNER BROOK, Nanaimo, Hollywood Newfoundland Canada Europe New York City

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