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.
John Griffin and Harold Perrineau Talk From on EPIX Season 1 Finale
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] How are we doing, #FROMily? In case you missed it this morning, the very good news is that that cliffhanger will be followed by a second season, which was gifted this morning ahead of the linear broadcast of the finale. I always legitimately appreciate when we…
Elizabeth Saunders Talks EPIX’s From
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the things that makes EPIX’s From such a fun ride is the abundance of Canadian cast members. Elizabeth Saunders, who plays Donna, is a favorite from her turn on the third season of Mary Kills People, which US audiences still have not been able…
Corteon Moore Talks From “Broken Windows, Open Doors”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight’s episode of From had us all in our feels as we learned through flashbacks about the Sophie’s Choice Boyd had to make to save his son, and back in the present as Boyd said his piece with Ellis before heading into the woods with…
Pegah Ghafoori Talks From “All Good Things…”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode] Tonight on From, Fatima’s anniversary celebration turned into a Colony House of horrors when a misguided Kevin let his monster bae in and she promptly killed him and left the window open for her crew. While the party devolved into terror and sent everyone running,…
Shaun Majumder Talks From “Book 74”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight on EPIX’s From, Father Khatri made a bold move, kidnapping Sara instead of turning her in, and then recognizing her as a vessel for some big messages. That startling realization speaks to him on multiple levels–as a man of faith, a man trapped in…
Avery Konrad Talks About Sara’s Struggle in From “Silhouettes”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Over the course of the season so far on From, we’ve witnessed Sara’s battle against the voices telling her to to do terrible things, and tonight we saw her unravel further, threatening the Matthews and lashing out in a moment of terror with horrifying results….
Hannah Cheramy Talks From “Choosing Day”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight, on EPIX’s From, the Matthews participate in the show’s version of the sorting hat, choosing where to call home–the town or Colony House. At the end of the episode, Julie makes the decision to split from her family and instead settle in with Fatima…
Ricky He Talks From “The Way Things Are Now”
[Warning: Spoilers for episode 102 of EPIX’s From.] Epix’s new series From is two episodes in and it’s already laying the groundwork for a seriously spooky season. Tonight’s episode demonstrated the careful balance of relief and horror that the show hits, with our characters’ worst fears realized, just not when…
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
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…