Many of you watched the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and witnessed the colorful and brash Canadian hockey icon, Don Cherry with his cherry red suit, Hockey Canada cufflinks and his Canadian Maple Leaf tie on NBC predicting that Team Canada would win over Team USA. Great drama on the ice ensued as Team Canada won Gold over Team USA 3 – 2. Not quite the 5 – 3 victory Don Cherry promised, however.
For those not in the know, Don Cherry is an ice hockey commentator for CBC Television. Cherry co-hosts the COACH’S CORNER intermission segment on the long running Canadian sports program HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA, and in addition occasionally adds commentary on ESPN during the latter stages of the Stanley Cup playoffs. He is known for his outspoken manner, flamboyant dress, and staunch Canadian patriotism.
Prior to his broadcast career, Cherry was an NHL player and coach. He played one game with the Boston Bruins and later coached them during the days of the great Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito.
On March 28th and 29th, the CBC will air their biggest and best production ever, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, KID: THE DON CHERRY STORY. The 2 part mini-series, directed by director Jeff Woolnough and written by Cherry’s son, Tim, is a testament of Don Cherry’s love for his family and his love for hockey.
I was the dialect coach on this project working with stars, Jared Keeso and Sarah Manninen, assuring their accents were spot on. Jared also worked with vocal coach, Brad Gibson, to ensure he had Don Cherry’s vocal quality and tones.
I had to teach a Hershey, PA accent to Sarah Manninen who plays Rose, Don Cherry’s devoted and beloved wife, as well as the actors playing Rose’s family. I contacted a number of people in Hershey who were gracious enough to talk to me so I could hear their accents. Someone even directed me to Rose’s cousin, still living in Hershey, who spent an hour with me on the phone. When the accent must be this specific, this kind of research is mandatory. Sarah Manninen dove in and embodied Rose fully. She made me so proud. And Don Cherry was amazed how much Sarah sounded like his sweet wife.
Canada, watch this mini-series. It’s Mr. Canada as you’ve never seen him.