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Interview: Erin Krakow

On Sunday, February 18th at 9/8c, the Hallmark Channel hit series When Calls the Heart returns for its fifth season premiere. Since its beginning, When Calls the Heart has become a phenomenon for the network and has introduced the world to their most dedicated fans, the Hearties.

Midway through the fourth seasons, the Hearties biggest wish finally came true. Jack proposed to Elizabeth in one of the most romantic proposals seen on television. Now as we head into the fifth season, what surprises do the writers have in store for the fans?

We had the chance to sit down with Erin Krakow and talk a little bit about the upcoming fifth season. She discusses shooting the proposal scene, the unique friendship between Elizabeth and Rosemary and what fans can look forward to in Season 5.

Pop Culture Principle – Obviously, the big event for Elizabeth in Season 4 was her engagement to Jack. Some fans felt the proposal should have been a bit sooner, but do you feel it was the right time for it to happen?

Erin Krakow – I think it was handled just right and I think it was a beautiful moment in the midst of a very emotional episode. I honestly would not change a thing about it. It’s funny, we were supposed to get a massive storm the night that we were filming the proposal and there is this kind of When Calls the Heart magic that sometimes happens and it ended up being a beautiful clear night for the shoot. I think that 99.9 percent of the Hearties were thrilled with the way the proposal and that scene happened.

Pop Culture Principle – The proposal by Jack was one of the most romantic we’ve seen on television. Did you and Daniel Lissing discuss the scene before shooting it?

Erin Krakow – That’s a good question. Yes, we did actually, but we didn’t over talk it. We wanted to make sure we got it right whatever “right” means. We both knew that this moment was going to be very important to the Hearties and we have waited so long for it, we wanted to make sure that we did it justice. I’ve seen it several times at this point and I think we got it right.

Pop Culture Principle – Soon after the engagement, Jack made the decision to go North and fight even though Elizabeth didn’t want him to. He had a great line in that scene, “Bad things happen if good people do nothing.” As much as she is scared for jack, does she truly understand that it’s something he has to do?

Erin Krakow – I think that line came up earlier, but that’s a theme that we have touched on several times. We saw it affect Elizabeth’s friend, a fellow teacher, who came forward and put her reputation on the line in order to save Elizabeth’s position. We’ve seen Cody learn that lesson with the help of Abigail and Elizabeth.

I think that Elizabeth really does understand that. She, of course, does not want Jack to leave and go fight because she knows how dangerous it is, but she gets it and she was ready to go with him. In addition to that, she understands the importance of following one’s heart and calling and doing what we were meant to do.

Pop Culture Principle – Are you and the cast still surprised that this series, heading into its fifth season, has become such a phenomenon?

Erin Krakow – It’s not as though I continue to be surprised. I was initially surprised that it became such a phenomenon, but my heart is very warmed by it. I feel a lot of pride in what we create and I am very happy that it has touched lives in the way that it has.

Pop Culture Principle – Heading into the fifth season, Elizabeth Thatcher has grown so much since Season 1 and is now looked upon as one of the leaders of Hope Valley. Would you agree with that?

Erin Krakow – Yes, I would. 😊 Look, she’s guiding the young minds and the future of Hope Valley, so if she wasn’t seen as a leader in the town, we’d have a real problem. I think that people really respect her and value her and I think that she does provide a kind of moral compass and she’s always encouraging people and seeing the good in people. Elizabeth is such a great person and I think she’s a really great friend to everyone in Hope Valley.

Pop Culture Principle – Is it safe to assume that we will see a wedding between Jack and Elizabeth in Season 5?

Erin Krakow – We all want to see it don’t we? Well, let’s just continue to have hope and faith in what we want!

Pop Culture Principle – Something tells us that Rosemary may end up being Elizabeth’s wedding planner.

Erin Krakow – Ok, well we can just live in the hypothetical world for a moment. If there is to be a wedding this season, that would make a lot of sense given what we know about Rosemary.

Pop Culture Principle – We’ve mentioned before the unique friendship between Elizabeth and Rosemary. It has grown so much over the seasons. Can you talk a bit about that relationship?

Erin Krakow – Pascale is an amazing actor and a brilliant comedienne and she brings so much depth to this character. If you think about it, Elizabeth and Rosemary’s friendship has certainly evolved as the years have gone by. When Rosemary first came on the show, we hated her because she was the wedge getting in between this couple we were rooting for. I think that she has truly become some people’s favorite character on the show and that is quite the leap to make and I definitely give her a lot of credit for that.

It’s been a real joy for me getting to show how our relationship has changed over the years. We were pretty contentious at first, but now things have changed a lot, but we still keep each other at a distance to a point. Now, what we get to see is a really deep friendship and two people who really care about each other, support each other and are there for each other through thick and thin.

Another thing that I love about these two characters is that they are brutally honest with each other. This is the friend that you want to go to when you’re trying to make an important decision and you need someone who can really be honest with you. For me, those are some of my favorite scenes to play with Pascale.

Pop Culture Principle – One friendship/relationship that seems very intriguing to us is the one between Abigail and Henry. Is there something there between them or is this just Abigail truly believing he is a good man?

Erin Krakow - I think part of why we love what is going on between those two is because it’s an enigma. We don’t know if it is some kind of flirtation. Do they hate each other? Do they deeply love each other? Abigail always has a way of seeing the good in people and I think that she more than anyone else, sees the good in Henry Gowan and it’s a little bit of magic what that can do to a person.

In the Christmas special, he rode off to get Becky and to bring her back to town, that was such a special moment. I don’t know if even though Henry Gowan wanted to redeem himself, I don’t know if he would have done that for anyone other than Abigail. So, there is definitely something unique between the two of them.

Pop Culture Principle – We’ve heard both Jack and Elizabeth talk about starting a family. How important is that to both of them?

Erin Krakow – I think that it is something that both of them have been daydreaming about for a while. Going back to the Homestead episode where we hear Jack dream about the life that he wants and also when they took the kids camping. It’s something that is important to both of them and it’s nice that they are on the same page about it. If you are asking for a timeline, I’m not going to give you one because we have to leave a little mystery, right?

Pop Culture Principle – What can fans look forward to with the fifth season of When Calls the Heart?

Erin Krakow – I think that the Hearties can look forward too much more of the same from the characters that they have come to love. There will be funny, heartfelt and emotional storylines this season. We are going to make you laugh and we are going to make you cry. You are going to have a great adventure with us this season, I guarantee it!

When Calls the Heart is a soft place for the viewers to land and there’s always a silver lining and there is always hope in Hope Valley. So, come along for the journey during Season 5. We can’t wait to have the Hearties with us!

We'd like to thank Erin Krakow for sitting down and talking with us! Don't forget, the Season 5 premiere of When Calls the Heart airs on Sunday, February 18th at 9/8c, only on the Hallmark Channel!

**All Photos Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs/Bettina Strauss/Eike Schroter**

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