When Calls The Heart returned last week and we could not be more excited. While last season ended on a sad note we were pleasantly surprised to see that the town has moved past that tragedy and seems to moving into a new, happier light.
Lori Loughlin’s character, Abigail Stanton, has always been the glue that holds everything together in Hope Valley. She has been a shoulder to cry on, a supportive friend, and is always willing to give someone just one more chance. She is a single mother, a business owner, and the town mayor, yet always seems to find time to help out anyone in need. Her strength is undeniable.
The TV Junkies had a chance to sit down with Loughlin at the most recent Hearties Family Reunion. It was the perfect opportunity to discuss just how special her character is, how her relationships have changed with Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and Henry (Martin Cummins). She also previews what’s to come in Season 6.
The TV Junkies: The one thing that really drew me to this show is how they portray the women of Hope Valley. Their strength and kindness and sense of community is something that you don’t really see anywhere else on TV. Why do you think it’s important to portray these women this way?
Lori Loughlin: It’s very important for me, and I’m the one that is always pushing for that in regards to my character. We’ve been really fortunate with our writers as they’re very collaborative. I remember when they were going to create the mayor that they were going to give it to one of our male leads on the show. I’m an executive producer on the show so I said to one of the writers let Abigail be mayor. Even this season, we have a moment where someone has to take down a bad guy, and again, it was going to go to one of the male characters. It was a small thing that Abigail could do, so I went to the writers and said “let Abigail do this”. Let’s show that woman can be kind but yet strong, fair but strong, independent and kind and strong. I think that’s really important in today’s world. We [women] have to stick together, we have to be strong, we have to be our own advocates, we have to advocate for each other. It’s important for me to represent that kind of character.
TTVJ: Abigail and Henry’s relationship has really changed over the seasons. They started out essentially as enemies in Season 1 and have now developed quite a special friendship. Is that going to continue to grow this season?
LL: Yes. What I really love about the journey of that relationship is that Martin and I were working, probably a few seasons back, and I said to him ‘do you want to start playing a bit of an undercurrent between these two characters? That there might be something there but no one is really quite sure exactly what it is. Maybe they’re not even sure what it is but there’s some sort of spark.’ And he was like, ‘sure lets do it.’ So we started playing it like that even though the scenes weren’t written like that, and then to the writers credit, they picked up on it and started writing to it more and more.
I like that it’s not a romance. I like that you don’t really know what it is. I think it makes it more interesting and intriguing for the audience. I have my own vision in my head as to how I think it should all end at the end of the series, but for now I like the dance that they do. I like that they can still be tricky in a sense. Is he good or is he bad? But then have him walking that journey of redemption, and even when you think he’s going to slip, he finds his footing again and he does the right thing. I like that Abigail sees that in him. We’re very quick to not forgive these days so it’s nice that Abigail still has that ability in her.
TTVJ: Abigail and Elizabeth’s friendship has always been one of my favorite parts of the show. With the baby coming in to play this season, and after everything that happened last season, is their relationship going to change at all this season?
LL: I think with the baby coming in it just gets stronger. When you have a child it takes a village. You rely on your friends. Elizabeth is now a single mother so I think that Abigail and Rosemary are going to play especially key roles in Elizabeth’s life this season.
TTVJ: What else can we look forward to seeing on When Calls The Heart this season?
LL: Season 6 is a lot of new. We are introducing these two new guys. Chris McNally and Kevin McGarry are just the sweetest guys and they really fit right in. I think that the fans are going to really like them and they’re going to really like their characters. We’re focusing a lot on the positive this season. We had to sort off go to the dark side with Jack’s death last season, so this season we are really coming in to the light. So we have the birth of the baby, the two new characters coming on. This year we started filming a few months earlier than we usually do, so even just the look of the town will be much brighter and sunny and happier because we were shooting in the summer.
TTVJ: It has to be hard to shoot in the rain all the time.
LL: It’s horrible to shoot in the rain all the time. It’s actually miserable to shoot in the rain. We’ve had such a great season this year because we shot in the summer, it was remarkably different.
TTVJ: Before I let you go can you give me three words that describe what the Hearties can look forward to with Abigail this season?
LL: Romance, Kindness, Determination, Leadership, Abigail’s words of wisdom. I don’t want to give too much away but that’s sort of where we’re headed this season with Abigail.
What are your thoughts on Abigail this season? What are you hoping to see happen between her and Henry? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments section below.
When Calls The Heart airs Sundays at 8p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel in the U.S. and on Superchannel in Canada.
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.