One of the fantastic things about When Calls the Heart is that over its five-year run, it’s tapped into the fantastic well of Canadian talent. One of those is Pascale Hutton, who plays Rosemary Coulter. I spoke with Hutton earlier this week about the role, the series, the fans, her partner in crime, Kavan Smith, and what she’d like to see in Rosemary’s future.
When Rosemary blew into town back in Season 1, she was initially a potential roadblock to the budding romance of Jack and Elizabeth. Fortunately for Hutton, the show, and the fans, the role expanded just as another series was ending. â€œI was on Arctic Air and we had wrapped for the season. Then I got offered the last two episodes of Season 1. I was supposed to just be coming in for two episodes. I did that and thought that [was it],â€ she recalls.
â€œCut to two months later and my show had been cancelled. And literally the next morning, I got a call from Brad Krevoy, who produces When Calls the Heart and he said, â€˜I wanted to check your availability because we really want you to stay on the show and Rosemary to stay on the show,â€™ and I said, â€˜Your timing couldn’t be better because my show was just cancelled.â€™ I came on the show and things blossomed and the character has just grown. The writers have allowed her to develop and mature. They want her to evolve with new life experiences and that’s been great.â€
Rosemaryâ€™s relationship with Lee has been a terrific gift for the fans who had to wait five seasons for Jack and Elizabeth to surmount various hurdles on their way to the altar, and Hutton has enjoyed that. â€œI think that’s been one of the great things about the writing. They have paralleled these two couples. Both madly in love, both undoubtedly meant to be together, and yet their paths and journeys are so different because their temperaments are so different,â€ she explains.
â€œJack and Elizabeth are grounded, more cautious, more careful, and still passionate. It made sense that their romance would be a slow burn. I don’t think anyone would describe Rosemary as cautious or slow burn. She’s fast lane. It made sense that she and Lee would have this fiery courtship and stumbling, messy journey to becoming engaged.”
“As newlyweds, it was a roller coaster. It was hot and cold and then boring and then fiery. It was all over the place as they worked that out and so is Rosemary’s personality, so it’s kind of fun to see the two different relationships blossom and evolve in two totally different ways.â€
When Smith was cast as Lee, heâ€™d been given the heads up that the role was potentially a love interest, but Hutton says she wasnâ€™t, and although theyâ€™d not worked directly together before, their chemistry was immediate. â€œHe had been told they were planning to test the chemistry between Rosemary and Lee. I hadn’t been told anything. I was obliviously bouncing along but it fell into place so easily and naturally,â€ she says.
â€œThe chemistry clicked so fast. We have the same sense of humor and complementary sensibilities and the way we approach work is very similar. It was very obvious they had to keep us paired up. Lee and Rosemary were magic together. It’s been one of the greatest gifts, having that relationship and rapport with my counterpart. That’s not always the case. We’re always scheming for ways to work together so we can hang out.â€
Rosemary has also developed a wonderful rapport with Elizabeth and Abigail, and Hutton is grateful that the writers took that path. â€œIt would have been very easy to keep Rosemary, and especially, Elizabeth, in an antagonistic push-and-pull relationship. It’s been really interesting that they’ve gone in the opposite direction. They’re so different, but they’ve both found this appreciation for each other’s strengths and a deep friendship from that,â€ she shares.
â€œIn the episode where we put on the carnival, [there was a scene with] Lori and Erin and I, and the timing of the scene was so good and funny, when we did our first run through, the crew were laughing. It took a while because [we were all laughing]. I love when the three of us get to play because our characters are so different,â€ she says.
Looking ahead, Hutton considers that Rosemary has couple of possible paths to follow. â€œI think Rosemary is not short on passion. She can create passionate projects anywhere she goes [like with] the advice column and the dress shop. She comes up with a lot of projects that allow her to be creative. In her heart, at the heart of her, she is still a performer,â€ Hutton points out. â€œWe need to see her find a way to incorporate that into the town. I don’t want that looks like. We’ve been talking about a theater for seasons and seasons. I think she needs some kind of theater or outlet like that.”
â€œThe other obvious, natural progression is, â€˜What does parenthood look like for these two? Do they become parents? Is it easy? Does Rosemary transition gracefully into becoming a Mom? Probably not.â€™ I get so much feedback from the fans asking when those children are going to come along. The infamous ‘children are sticky’ line has carried with her. I think it would be really funny to take that on. I’m not sure what that looks like for them.â€
Hutton engages with the fans online and has participated in the annual Family Reunion fan gathering in Vancouver. She loves the affection the fans have for everyone on the show and each other. â€œThe fans are so, so, so generous and loving and caring about this show and these characters and us as actors. It’s a heartwarming experience to meet the people who love and support your characters so much,â€ she says. â€œBeyond just meeting us, it’s so neat to see the community that has blossomed beyond any of us. Deep friendships have developed between them. It’s very unique.â€
After taking a little family time post-Season 5, Hutton is about to head back to work with Smith on the sequel to last yearâ€™s The Perfect Bride, which will air in June. â€œThe two characters are together. I don’t think it’s any surprise that they get engaged. Rather than trying to navigate and support other people’s journey down the aisle, she’s trying to navigate, in a positive and supportive way, her own journey,â€ she explains.
â€œShe has all the baggage at having been left at the altar and he has his baggage from the first movie. They’re carrying this and trying to shed it and move forward and not make the same mistakes. Sometimes they’re successful, and sometimes, theyâ€™re not.â€
When Calls the Heart airs Sundays at 9 pm/8c on Hallmark Channel. Season 5 wraps up this month, and production is slated to begin on Season 6 later this year. Hereâ€™s a sneak peek of Sundayâ€™s new episode.
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