When Carson Shepherd, played by Canadian actor and Hallmark veteran Paul Greene, first showed up in Hope Valley we weren’t sure what to think of him. He was quiet and mysterious and was obviously hiding something big from his past. Luckily Faith (Andrea Brooks) saw something in him and sent him to Abigail (Lori Loughlin) to work in her cafe. At Abigail’s cafe Carson quickly proved himself to have an exemplary character. He was friendly and kind and always went out of his way to help Abigail. Last week Carson’s full back story was finally revealed and we all learned what brought him to Hope Valley. Carson Shepherd was a doctor but had sworn off medicine after his wife died under his care. Her family blamed him for her death and essentially ran him out of town with lawsuits and character defamation.
We had the opportunity to talk with Greene just ahead of this Sunday’s intense finale. Read on to see what he had to say about meeting The Hearties, why he thinks Carson ran from his troubles and what to expect in Sunday’s finale.
The TV Junkies: It’s so great to talk to you again. We spoke for a few minutes in the green room at The Hearties Family Reunion back in December. What did you think of your first experience meeting all those hearties back then and what’s it been like since then?
Paul Greene: That was so cool to meet everybody. I had heard about it from everyone that it was quite a movement but I didn’t expect it to be quite that big. There were so many people and fans there and to meet Janette Oke there was really cool because she knew my grandma and that was quite a special moment for me. She knew my grandpa’s name and my grandma, it was just awesome.
TTVJ: I have to say I’ve really enjoyed the Carson character on WCTH. He’s a really kind and genuine character and he brings a great story along with him. Is that what drew you to the character or was there something else?
PG: Yes, that’s what drew me to it, that there was quite an arc. That I would start somewhere and finish the season somewhere else. You know, originally the role of Shane Cantrell was available as well so that was also presented to me, but I really like the role of Carson so I really leaned towards that one. They sent me both roles to look at but I said you know, I really identify with Carson. In my life I think of myself as someone who really likes to help people and I study and know a lot about medicine, not western but naturopathic remedies, and I’m constantly trying to help people feel better. So it was a natural thing for me. And now I can say to people, I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV.
TTVJ: What was it like coming in mid-season on such an established show? Were there any challenges that came along with that?
PG: It was early enough I think in the season, the fourth episode out of ten, so it wasn’t too bad. And I know everyone so well from the Hallmark family. Everyone was so welcoming and everyone treated me so nice. And I knew the storyline coming in. I’d read all the scripts too so it wasn’t really hard at all coming in at that point. There was a lot of transition going on in the show. There was a lot going on with Daniel [Lissing]’s character Jack and I got to do a few scenes with him. That was really cool to do as well.
TTVJ: Why do you think that Carson decided to leave his old life behind? He was obviously a very skilled doctor who was very dedicated to his career, why do you think he just walked away from it all?
PG: Well, I didn’t really walk away from it all, I couldn’t deal with the grief of my wife dying in my hands and not being able to save her and I vowed to never practice medicine again when I couldn’t save her. And then to add to it her sister was trying to sue me and her parents were trying to destroy my reputation just like she was doing in Hope Valley. She had done the same thing in other cities that I had moved to and that’s why I just keep wondering. I’m trying to leave my past behind to get away from her family.
TTVJ: Why do you think he refuses to kind of stand up and fight for himself now? The people of Hope Valley are very forgiving people and would likely welcome him with open arms even knowing his secrets. Why do you think he’s so quick to drop everything and run again?
PG: Well, those wounds from his past are just haunting Carson and dragging him down so much that all he wants to do is get away. Everything he looks at reminds him of what happened to his wife. It’s just too much for him. He can’t handle it and he would rather just go somewhere else and start over again. Sometimes having that traumatic of a past can cause you to make decisions for the rest of your life based on that one thing and he just doesn’t want to risk hurting anyone again. It’s easier for him to leave than to face his past.
TTVJ: Without giving away any spoilers, because I know that you won’t, what can viewers expect to see with Carson in this Sunday’s finale?
PG: Well, the last thing people saw was me leaving town, so really anything I say is going to be spoilers. I could tell you but then you would hate me so I think it’s best if I just say that I can’t say much. But you can expect a lot of suspense and really, really high stakes and a lot of tears. Lori’s performance is amazing. Kavan [Smith] and Pascale [Hutton], the vulnerability that they show between the two of them, it’s just beautiful.
TTVJ: If there is a season 5, and I can’t imagine there not being one, will you be back?
PG: I don’t want to give it away so let’s just say it depends what the writers end up doing with Carson, but I would definitely like to. We will just have to see how the story unfolds.
TTVJ: Talking hypothetically here, if you are back and there’s another season what would you like to see happen with Carson?
PG: Well, Carson really loves this town. Everyone is incredibly generous and kind. Carson is the kind of guy that I’d like him to have a bit of an adventure. I’d like him to not only be doctor McDreamy in town. Wasn’t that funny that they named him Dr. Shepherd? I think that’s so funny. But I want Carson to get in and out of trouble. I love the wild west part of being in a frontier show. I also really hope I get to do a lot more doctor stuff. More medicine and more healing and more natural remedies actually helping people. And of course Carson is going to have to fall in love with someone at some point too right?
TTVJ: Absolutely, I think Carson needs to have some type of a romantic interest in Season 5. If you could pick any of the existing Hope Valley residents who would you most like to see him paired up with?
PG: I can’t go there. I mean if Carson comes back he still has a lot of healing to do from what he went through with his wife. And if I have the pleasure of opening my own practice with some of Lee’s money I suspect that will keep me pretty busy. So I couldn’t tell you, even if I knew. Maybe it will be someone new.
Are you loving Carson’s addition to the When Calls The Heart cast as much as we are? What are you hoping to see happen with him in the finale? Are you hoping to see him back next season? Drop a few words in the comments section below and let us know.
When Calls The Heart season finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on Hallmark Channel
Christy is a self proclaimed and proud TV Junkie. Her love for TV began at an early age with shows like Degrassi, Alias, ER, Buffy, The X-Files & Friends. You can now find her watching, ok obsessing over, shows like When Calls The Heart, Saving Hope, Arrow, Outlander, Grey's Anatomy and many many others. You can catch Christy on Twitter at @ChristySpratlin where she will likely be live tweeting her favorite shows and talking about everything TV.