It has been a long 10 month hiatus for fans of When Calls The Heart, better known as the Hearties, but thankfully the show finally returns this Sunday. Hallmark Channel’s successful drama, which will be airing on Super Channel in Canada this year, follows the people of Hope Valley as they navigate their way though life in a small frontier town in the mid 1910s. Season 5 premieres Sunday, February 18 at 9 p.m. and it is looking to be one of the show’s best seasons yet. A wedding is being planned, a mayor is being challenged and old friends are coming back to town.
The TV Junkies recently spoke exclusively with leading lady Erin Krakow. Read on the see what she has to say about last season’s proposal, this season’s wedding, friendship and what else we might be seeing in Season 5.
The TV Junkies: Elizabeth is a strong female character unlike most that we see on TV right now. She’s not a cop or a doctor or a superhero, but she’s still strong in her own way. Do you think it’s important to show people this different type of strong female character?
Erin Krakow: I do. I believe that all women are strong, but I think it’s nice that we get to celebrate a woman that is nurturing young minds. Teachers are maybe the most important of all because they are educating the next generation. It is certainly an honor to get to play a teacher for that reason.
TTVJ: Friendship between women is something that it very under represented on TV right now and Abigail (Lori Loughlin) and Elizabeth show us a very special friendship. What do you think it is about their friendship that makes it so special, and do you think it’s important to show this type of friendship?
EK: I do think it’s important. I will have a lot of angry Hearties if I say what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it anyways. I think that Jack and Elizabeth, that relationship is certainly a very important one and it’s a romance that we have all loved to follow, but maybe the more loving relationship is that of Abigail and Elizabeth. It’s a very special friendship and I think that Abigail has been there to support Elizabeth truly from Day 1. Abigail has always seen the good in her and she’s always supported her and vice versa. These are two people that have been there for each other through thick and thin and there’s just something really special and unique about that friendship. And I think that we can all take a page out of that book in being supportive to our sisters. I’ve seen a lot of mean girl behaviors and experienced some of it myself growing up, I just think it’s really important to support each other like they do.
TTVJ: What can we expect to see between the two of them this season?
EK: I am trying to think about what I can say here. There are a lot of wonderful storylines that are shared between Abigail and Elizabeth this season. Elizabeth gets to support Abigail as she becomes a more confident mayor in town, and Abigail will be a wonderful support as Elizabeth plans her wedding. They both have a lot going on this season but I don’t want to give away any more than that.
TTVJ: The Hearties waited for Jack (Daniel Lissing) and Elizabeth’s engagement for a long time, as did you I’m sure. Was that how you pictured it all happening?
EK: Yes, I did! I had so many ideas in my head as to how it could happen but it really could have happened anywhere. It could have happened in the mine or up against that wall where Jack stole a secret kiss. It could have happened in the church or in the saloon where they first properly met. The thing about Hope Valley is that everywhere you turn there are beautiful places that would remind these characters of a special moment that they shared, so really anywhere the writers chose to place the proposal would have been perfect in its own way. But I do think that there was something really special and magical about putting it right out in front of the church/school that Jack built for Elizabeth. I mean what and incredibly generous and romantic gesture and celebration of Elizabeth’s true passion of teaching. I know I shared with others that we were expecting a big storm that night but by sheer magic it stayed clear and all of the candles stayed lit. It was a very fun scene to shoot and I think everyone really loved it.
TTVJ: How long did it take them to set that all up? There were a LOT of candles in that scene.
EK: Oh my goodness I know. We’ve got to give major props to our crew who spent all that time lighting all those candles. It’s a shame that Jack couldn’t have thought of something equally romantic but perhaps not as time consuming.
TTVJ: Did you and Dan have any input into how it all played out?
EK: Yeah we did. We actually talked a lot about it. It was something that we really wanted to get right and spoke with our writers about it as well. This was a moment that we had spent a lot of time building up to and thinking about and we wanted to get it just right. And I think that we did in the end.
TTVJ: Because of previews we know a wedding is coming this season. Do you think that the Hearties are going to like how it all plays out?
EK: I’m very happy with how it played out and I think everyone else involved with it was as well. I think that at the end of the day we can’t give the Hearties everything that they want, but we knew that this was very important to them and we wanted to be able to deliver. And I truly believe that we have. It’s a truly special event that takes place during an incredibly epic season.
TTVJ: Jack and Elizabeth have discussed kids in the past, are those discussions going to continue this season?
EK: I’m not sure exactly what they discuss, but they do spend a lot of time daydreaming about their future and we are all very lucky in that we get to see those dreams start to come true this season.
TTVJ: And what about Lee and Rosemary? They’ve really never discussed having kids. Is this something that is going to come up for them as well?
EK: Well you’ll have to talk to Pascale (Hutton) and Kavan (Smith) about that, but I think that we have heard Rosemary talk about how she feels about children. I believe the word she used was sticky. But we will definitely get to see a lot more of her interacting with the kids and more of Lee interacting with them as well. So you’ll get a sense of how they might be as parents.
TTVJ: Elizabeth’s sister Julie (Charlotte Hegele) is coming to Hope Valley this season. Can you tell us anything about what to expect from that visit?
EK: Yes, Julie’s visit is a big surprise. Elizabeth wasn’t expecting it and that surprise should come as no surprise really because that’s how Julie rolls. She comes in and man she’s a firecracker. During this visit she tells Elizabeth that she would like to be a teacher, so Elizabeth ends up letting Julie come and shadow her class. It’s just really interesting to see how she takes to it and what that means for their relationship. It was lovely to have Charlotte back. She’s a great actor and a really strong addition to the cast. It was nice that we got to know some of Elizabeth’s family in earlier seasons, and I know a lot of people were wondering what happened to Julie, so it’s good that we get to revisit her story.
TTVJ: Will we get any insight about what happened between her and Tom at the end of Season 2 or what happened when she ran away from her parents’ home?
EK: I don’t think we spend too much time on the past in that way. Her storyline focuses more on what is happening with Julie right now and what could be happening in Julie’s future.
TTVJ: Jack bought land for he and Elizabeth to build a house on one day. Is this land going to come up at all this season?
EK: Yes, absolutely. That was another beautiful, romantic gesture from Jack. He really is just full of them isn’t he? But yes, we will definitely spend more time on the land that Jack bought.
TTVJ: You work with a bunch of really special child actors on the show. What’s it like working with so many of them and how does it change the dynamic on set?
EK: It’s definitely different for sure. The scenes where I’m filming something one on one with one of the child actors and when I’m filming with an entire classroom full of them, there’s definitely a different energy. You know what it feels like when get 25 kids in a classroom at once and then you tell them that they have to sit still for however many hours. It’s a challenge for them. But they do such a good job and they’re all really happy to be there and they all really like each other. They get a lot of breaks during the day and you see them run out into the grass and play ball together or jump rope or whatever it is. They’re just having a great time. But in the moments where they days start to feel a little bit long for them, I’ll try to engage and play games with them between set ups so that they have a good time while they’re there. Working with the kids is one of my favorite parts of When Calls The Heart. They’re so special and imaginative and present and really very natural. They are a great reminder that some of the best acting comes from being present with your scene partner. They are constantly reminding me of that.
TTVJ: Are you working on anything else?
EK: I was actually traveling quite a bit over the holidays and just got back from another trip here, so I’m really happy to just be here in L.A. kind of settling back in to things for a minute. But it looks like I may be doing another Christmas movie for Hallmark and there’s some other stuff up in the air. None of it is a done deal yet though, but I promise that I will let everyone know about everything once it is official.
Are you looking forward to the premiere of When Calls the Heart? Add your thoughts below!
When Calls The Heart premieres Sunday February 18 at 9 p.m. EST on Hallmark Channel in the U.S. and on Super Channel 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.