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Interview: Erin Krakow

At the end of season two of When Calls the Heart, we were left with a massive cliffhanger. Jack was all set to propose to Elizabeth, only to have Charles propose to Elizabeth first. Of course, the fans of When Calls the Heart, known as Hearties, could not wait until the return of the series. Well, the time has come as the beloved Hallmark Channel series returns.

On Saturday, December 26th at 8/7c, the Hallmark Channel presents a two-hour When Calls the Heart holiday special television event. Following the December special, season three of When Calls the Heart will premiere in February 2016.

Pop Culture Principle had the opportunity once again to sit down with the amazing Erin Krakow and talk about that huge season two cliffhanger, what the Hearties can look forward to with the holiday special and she talks about the upcoming Hearties Family reunion event.

Pop Culture Principle – Jack and Elizabeth definitely had their ups and downs in Season 2. Do you feel that is important for them to go through that in order to build a strong relationship?

Erin Krakow – Yes, I think that Jack and Elizabeth have to learn about each other and how to be honest with themselves and be honest with each other in order to move forward as a couple and in order to have the strong foundation that we hope they have.

It’s always frustrating and challenging to play those scenes because there is a kind of joy that comes from getting to play the scenes where everything is great between Jack and Elizabeth, but it’s a different kind of challenge when they are butting heads.

It’s funny, because I think people actually do like to see those moments as well. I just heard recently that people sometimes scream at their televisions when they are frustrated with us. I find that to be so funny, but I think it’s coming from a place of just caring so deeply about these people and their relationships. You just want them to figure it out and you just want them to get to that good place. I think that’s quality television-at least I hope it is.

Pop Culture Principle – In Season 2 we got to see more of Elizabeth’s family life. Do you think that was necessary to get a better understanding of who Elizabeth is?

Erin Krakow – I think it was really great to get to see where Elizabeth comes from. In Season one, you certainly had a sense of the kind of person that she is, where she was raised and the kind of life she comes from based on the way she would interact with people and the situations she would find herself in. She was definitely a fish out of water, but actually getting to see her on her home turf was a different way of exploring that character and learning more about her.

We have such fine actors playing Elizabeth’s family and getting to see more of that world really informed what we know about Elizabeth and how she interacts with the world. We probably aren’t going to see very much of that this season, but it’s interesting to know about that part of her life and seeing Elizabeth grow into a strong and independent woman in Hope Valley.

Pop Culture Principle – Charles definitely wanted to be more than just friends with Elizabeth. Do you think Elizabeth ever seriously considered a future with him?

Erin Krakow – I think that she did when she was growing up. I think that there were probably moments where she thought that would be an easy path to choose and he was a very dear friend, so it made a lot of sense. You can see that they get along really well and they have a lot in common.

This is a tricky question because I don’t want to give away anything without spoiling what’s coming up with the new episode. I feel that there is a different kind of energy between Elizabeth and Jack and Elizabeth and Charles and one of those is definitely love. I think that Jack awakened something in Elizabeth that maybe she didn’t even know was there.

Pop Culture Principle – One of the main issues between Jack and Elizabeth in Season 2 was Jack thinking Elizabeth was trying to change him. Do you think Jack simply misunderstood her true intentions when it came to her father’s job offer and her just wanting to see him reach his potential or could it just be his pride?

Erin Krakow – I don’t really want to speak too much for Daniel and his approach to playing Jack, but I think that he wants to feel like he’s enough even if he doesn’t have a fancy job like the one her father offered him and I totally understand that. For Elizabeth, it wasn’t coming from a place of wanting to make him more like her family so much as it was her coming from a place of fear and a deep love of wanting to make sure he’s safe. As you know, his job as a Mountie is not an easy one and quite often a dangerous one, so that’s where it is coming from.

Pop Culture Principle – In the mines, one of the most powerful lines in that scene is when Elizabeth says, “I don’t know if I’m brave enough to spend my life with someone as brave as you.” What was it like shooting such an emotional scene with Daniel Lissing?

Erin Krakow – Well, all of the scenes in the mine took place during the last two days of filming for Season two. It was such a nice way for us to close out the season because it was very intimate, just Jack and Elizabeth in the mine finally figuring out what had been sort of troubling them for the whole season pretty much.

We really spent a lot of time working on those scenes and making sure we were telling the story in the best way that we could and being true to the characters and what they were feeling. It was very emotional and vulnerable. I really love getting to work on those scenes and particularly with Dan because he’s such an honest and open actor. I really enjoyed filming those scenes and it was a really nice way to close out the season.

Pop Culture Principle – We also see Julie Thatcher really come into her own in Season 2. Do you think Elizabeth living her own life had a major influence on her?

Erin Krakow – Yes I do, absolutely. I think the character Julie is sort of the wild child of the sisters, but Elizabeth was the first sister to be independent in a way that I think did inspire Julie, certainly by the end of the season. There are different kinds of wild I guess, but Charlotte Hegele, who plays Julie, just did such a fantastic job playing such a fiery young woman.

Pop Culture Principle – One relationship that has definitely changed for the better from Season 1 is the one between Elizabeth and Rosemary LaVeaux. Would you agree with that?

Erin Krakow – It’s so funny to think that Pascale Hutton didn’t join us until that last two episodes of Season One because it really feels like she’s been a fixture in Hope Valley from the beginning. The show would not be the same without her character and I am so happy that she is there.

Certainly at the end of Season one, I wouldn’t say we were enemies, but we were obviously fighting for the same goal which complicated our relationship. In Season two, our characters and our relationship really did evolve. I am a huge fan of the friendship between Elizabeth and Rosemary in Season three and I am excited for people to see it because they really learned they can help each other and be assets for each other.

It’s funny because Elizabeth and Rosemary will be having a perfectly friendly conversation and you would think this is great and they are well-suited for each other as friends. All of a sudden, Rosemary will say something that is offensive in a way that she doesn’t even realize and it just completely tickles me. It’s a great balance for them within their friendship.

Pop Culture Principle – How important was it to Elizabeth to prove to Jack that she was more than just a rich girl from Hamilton?

Erin Krakow – I think it’s incredibly important to Elizabeth that she can stand on her own two feet. She doesn’t necessarily need someone to take care of her and save her all the time. I think that saying it’s important to her to prove it to Jack is true certainly, but I think even more than that, it’s important to her that she proves it to herself.

Pop Culture Principle – At the end of Season 2, we are left with a big cliffhanger. Jack was going to propose to Elizabeth, but Charles proposed first. What was going through Elizabeth’s mind at that moment and is it something she’s truly considering?

Erin Krakow – I don’t know that she was necessarily expecting a proposal from anyone at that moment. So, that alone was quite a surprise. She really made it pretty clear to Charles where her heart was and where it wasn’t, but Charles is just so persistent. Charles is such a sweet guy and a likable character if he wasn’t getting in the way of Jack and Elizabeth. I guess I will just say she’s surprised because I don’t want to give anything away and there is so much more to it than that.

Pop Culture Principle – When Calls the Heart returns with a two hour special. What can fans look forward to in that episode?

Erin Krakow – In the two-hour holiday installment of the original series, Elizabeth and Jack are determining the future of their relationship in the wake of Charles’ surprise proposal at the end of last season. Also, Abigail is finding herself the caretaker of a young orphan and his sister who has fallen ill. Bill tries to convince Jack that he’s innocent and Jack isn’t sure he can trust his mentor. Fans can expect a lot of time in our little town Hope Valley that everyone loves.

You can look forward to the community coming together to create a beautiful New Year’s Eve celebration. You can expect more time with Elizabeth and her students. A newcomer to Hope Valley threatens to expose Pastor Hogan’s past, so that is exciting. Also, the entire New Year’s celebration is really the result of Rosemary winning this essay contest and a reporter comes to town to cover the event.

Pop Culture Principle – In January, When Calls the Heart fans from all over will be coming to the first ever Hearties Family Reunion. How excited are you for the event and what can the Hearties look forward to?

Erin Krakow – I’m excited and really looking forward to the event. I’m fairly active I think in social media with the Hearties and it’s just nice to be able to meet these people in person because you spend so much time chatting with them. We are just so, so grateful that our fans, the Hearties, are so loyal to the show and are so supportive, that it’s nice to have an event like this to get to show them how much we appreciate them and meet them face to face, sign autographs and things like that. Plus, we get to show them our little town which is a unique experience to get to film in Hope Valley. I think it will be a really unique experience for them and I am excited to get to share that with them.

We would like to thank Erin Krakow for taking time to talk with us about her series When Calls the Heart. Don't forget to tune in this Saturday, December 26th at 8/7c on the Hallmark Channel for the special holiday two-hour event. If you would like to keep up with all of Erin's latest news and projects, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram via @erinkrakow or you can like her official Facebook page here.

**PHotos: 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter**

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