EXCLUSIVE TV Goodness Q&A: Erin Krakow Talks When Calls the Heart [INTERVIEW]
Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart wraps its freshman season tonight, and we had the chance to chat exclusively with Erin Krakow about bringing Elizabeth Thatcher to life every week, bonding with the cast and crew, and the support of the Hearties.
Krakow came to the series after the two-hour film had been shot and concurrent with her casting in Chance at Romance (aka Friend Request) for Hallmark Channel. “I’d heard a little bit about it, and I was really interested in the characters,” she says. “The opportunity to work with Michael Landon Jr. andÂ Brian Bird was exciting, and of course, the Hallmark Channel. Who doesn’t love it? I expressed my interest and they were interested in seeing me. After a few really fun auditions, they cast me, and the rest is history.” While she hadn’t read the namesake book before she was cast, she’s read it since, and spoke highly of meeting the woman who created this world. “Janette Oke is the sweetest woman you’ll ever met…so nice,” she says.
A Julliard graduate just coming off a run on the final season of Lifetime’s Army Wives, Krakow says the transition from modern-day war veteran to early 20th century teacher was fairly seamless. “My background is theater-based and I’ve done a good amount of classical work and I had that to help me,” she points out. “From the start, I felt very connected to the character and the world.”
Krakow grew up watching Little House on the Prairie, and spending time with her family watching it. She’s happy that When Calls the Heart has picked up that mantle as family-friendly (and kid-safe) programming that everybody can watch together. “It’s been a while since there’s been a show that appeals to everyone in the family in the same way. I feel very proud to be part of something that has such a big heart and appeals to any age,” she says. “You can watch it with your great grandma or your nephew. There’s something for everyone and it’s an honor to be a part of that.”
Shooting on location in British Columbia and Vancouver helped the cast and crew bond on set and in their off hours. “I loved being in Vancouver. I had never been to Canada before, so it was a cool experience for me from go.” she says. “We film in the most beautiful, picturesque location. I think there was something to being away from home and wanting to get together on the weekends. We have the greatest crew and I made some really great friendships, going to the movies with Daniel and our wardrobe designers, getting to enjoy the town and enjoy getting to know each other.”
The young actors who fill Elizabeth’s classroom as her students found friendships from their time on set, too. “They’re all seated three or four [to] a table. They spend a good amount ofÂ downtime talking to each other and playing hand games or creeping over to craft services,” she says. She says they also help her become Elizabeth. “They’re working long days and it’s exhausting to focus that long [but] they’re so cute and really so genuinely excited to be there and learn that they make it very easy for me.”
In addition to finding inspiration in the kids, Krakow tapped her memories of her own teachers. “I had so many influential teachers. I’ve been very lucky to have quite a few teachers who had something special about them and their passion for teaching came through and made me excited to learn,” she recalls fondly. “Some of my favorites were my acting and theater teachers. They got me excited about making a career out of acting. I draw on that when I play Elizabeth.”
Krakow couldn’t pinpoint one favorite episode, and said it’s more a case of loving every one of them as they get to air. “With every episode I watch, it’s fun to see [everything come] together,” she says. “Everybody works so hard. The most recent is my favorite every week.”
The first season was fairly mapped out from the jump, as far as where the producers wanted the story to go. “The [producers] had some very strong ideas of what our arcs would be and how the relationship [between Jack and Elizabeth] would slowly develop,” she says. “There have been a few surprises along the way, and luckily we’re working with a very talented group of people who are game to see where that takes us. It’s been exciting for everyone and I think everyone’s been very happy with how it developed.”
Like us, she’s not quite sure how much time has passed for the characters since Elizabeth’s arrival, but she suggested it could have been the term of a school year (nine-ish months). “I should know that,” she laughs. “We never really sat down and decided. It’s been enough time [for everyone] to get to know the town, and love Abigail, and for Elizabeth to care deeply for Jack.”
One of the things that’s been so special about the first season is the cast and crew’s embrace of social media, and Twitter, to engage the fans not only during the episodes, but throughout the season–while they were still in production. “The fans have been so supportive and so welcoming and loving. I didn’t have to deal with anything critical that made us want to change anything drastically,” she says. “More than anything, it’s been incredibly encouraging. We really appreciate their support. It feels special the way they’ve banded together as the Hearties. They can talk about the show and have created new friendships among each other and that’s been special, too.”
Chance at Romance had a great fan response here at TV Goodness, so we asked about that. “I love a good romantic comedy, and this one was to die for,” she says. “Getting to work with Ryan McPartlin, who’s so funny, and Pat Richardson, who we know and love, and director Bradford May, who has such a big heart [was really special]. I’m so glad it had such a great response.” For the commenters who asked us, Krakow says the film shot in and around Simi Valley California.
Looking ahead to next season (fingers crossed!), Krakow says they’ve talked a little bit about where the season might take them, but they didn’t get into specificsÂ as they wait to learn whether season two is a go. For now, she’s making a new home for herself in Los Angeles and is on the lookout for the next project while she waits for word on a renewal.
When Calls the Heart airs Saturday on Hallmark Channel at 9/8c.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
George R. Olson, Tim Rozon, and Sarah Levy Talk the SurrealEstate S2 Finale
[Spoilers for the SurrealEstate Season 2 finale.] How’s everyone doing after the finale? As we close out the second season of SurrealEstate, some of our merry band of misfits are scattering to the winds–Zooey to law school, Phil to the Vatican, and Augie back to his think tank with Rochelle,…
Previewing SurrealEstate Season 2 Finale + Revisiting the Season with George R. Olson
[Warning; General spoilers ahead.] Strap in, SurrealEstate fam, because we’ve arrived at the Season 2 finale, and it’s a doozy. As we saw in the closing moments of last week’s episode, Susan is back. But because we have one more episode left, it’s not as simple as all that, as…
Tyler Hynes Talks Through His Eight-Film Hallmark Holiday Library
Things you realize when you have to re-record your shows on a new DVR – just how many Hallmark movies your people have done. Fan favorite – and one of ours – Tyler Hynes has done eight Christmas movies for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries since 2018. Alongside…
Spencer Creaghan Talks About Creating SurrealEstate’s Signature Sound
SurrealEstate is winding down its second season, with two episodes left, and just as in Season 1, Spencer Creaghan’s music continues to be a character unto itself. And every week, he shares tidbits with the fans via his s social media channels, something he started to help give them an…
Andrew Walker Talks Christmas Island and the Magical Hallmark Community
[Warning: Spoilers for Christmas Island.] Now that the Screen Actors Guild strike has been resolved, we’re able to resume regularly scheduled programming and interview our favorites and yours. Up first, earlier today, I spoke with Andrew Walker about Christmas Island, which premiered last weekend and encores tonight and through the…
George Olson and Danishka Esterhazy Talk SurrealEstate “I Put a Spell on You”
[Warning: Spoilers for the episode.] Tonight’s fun new SurrealEstate found Luke caught up in an especially bewitching woman, Kay, played by Tara Yelland, Susan trapped in her house, and Zooey learning the ropes. In the next part of my conversation with showrunner George R. Olson and producing director Danishka Esterhazy,…
Danishka Esterhazy Talks SurrealEstate: “The Butler Didn’t”
[Warning: General spoilers for the episode]. Tonight’s new SurrealEstate, “The Butler Didn’t,” follows the team as they investigate the years-earlier mysterious death of a woman whose ghost now reenacts her hanging by dropping over the banister from the second floor to terrify anyone on the landing or at the bottom…
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk the From Season 2 finale
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale.] How’s everyone doing after that finale? While we wait and wonder and hope for a third season announcement, soon, here’s what Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders had to say about their parts of the finale, and where they hope they get to go next….
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk From Season 2 + A Season Finale Preview
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] It all comes down this, #FROMily. As Sunday’s episode wraps up Season 2, we begin with the aftermath of the terrifying onset of seemingly simultaneous attacks on Julie, Marielle, and Randall, which accelerate the “We gotta get out of this place” of it all. Sara comes…
Alison Sweeney Talks About What’s Next for Hannah and Mike After Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery
[Warning: Spoilers for Carrot Cake Murder.] Everybody OK after that Hannah Swensen Mystery twist? Thankfully, our favorite crime-solving couple is still on speaking term, even if they’re on a break (hopefully not that kind of break). Most importantly, we already know this isn’t the last film in the series. No…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…