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Interview: Erin Krakow

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The Countdown to Christmas celebration continues on the Hallmark Channel this coming Sunday, November 9 at 8/7c with the all new holiday movie A Cookie Cutter Christmas. The films follows Christie Reynolds (Erin Krakow), one of two longtime rivals and elementary school teachers that duke it out during the holidays in a Christmas cookie bake-off, but their real feud ignites over a shared interest in a handsome single dad. With both determined to win the prize and the romance, their competitiveness could jeopardize what matters most this Christmas season.

Erin Krakow is certainly no stranger to the Hallmark Universe. She stars in the hit series When Calls the Heart which was recently renewed for a second season. Erin sits down with the Pop Culture Principle to talk about her new holiday movie, the message she would like viewers to take away after watching the movie and what the Hearties mean to her and the rest of the cast of When Calls the Heart.

Pop Culture Principle – What attracted you to this particular project?

Erin Krakow – Well, working with Hallmark has just been a dream from the start. I was really excited to have the opportunity to work with them again on something a little different. It is a story with a lot of heart and I also appreciated the fact that there is quite a bit of comedy. We get to see a lot of different sides of my character; some flattering and some not so flattering. It was an exciting role to get to play.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us what A Cookie Cutter Christmas is about?

Erin Krakow – I think that people who watch the movie will agree that it’s about many things. It’s about realizing what is really important in life and putting aside some things that we may hold onto that don’t help us lead with kindness and love. My character learns a lot over the course of the movie and not just baking, although that is a huge element of it. She learns how to stick up for herself, but also learns what really is important. She begins to realize that this bitter rivalry and competition she has with her old friend and fellow teacher is not as important as she thought it was.

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Pop Culture Principle – You have some great scenes with actress Miranda Frigon who plays your friend/rival. What was it like working with her?

Erin Krakow – She is wonderful. I enjoyed the scenes we had together. So easy to work with and super prepared. She has a great character in this film and just so talented. We get along very well in real life which is nice. Our roles in the film are pitted against each other the entire time and somehow that was pretty easy for us even though we get along in real life. It was just so fun to play rivals and we really enjoyed those scenes.

Pop Culture Principle – Many people have had a rivalry with a friend that has carried on into adulthood. Do you think many will be able to relate to that situation?

Erin Krakow – I hope so. There are a lot of elements in the script that I think people will relate to. The rivalry aspect being one of them and maybe it will help people recognize that they should let bygones be bygones, move on and find some peace and enjoy the holidays together.

Pop Culture Principle – Your character is very competitive throughout most of the film. How competitive are you in real life?

Erin Krakow – Ooh, that’s a tricky question. I grew up without much competition. I didn’t really compete in team sports or anything. I grew up in a family that was really supportive. I didn’t grow up a very competitive person, but I have become a little more competitive. I like to play a fun competitive game every now and then. I tend not to be too competitive with my friends or my colleagues because I am always happy for their success.

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Pop Culture Principle – The movie was filmed in June. Was it hard to get into the Christmas spirit for the project?

Erin Krakow – It was really fun and our production designer and everyone made it so easy. We would show up to set and everything was decked out to put you in the Christmas spirit. It was pretty easy to get into that mindset. Of course, we are getting to show up and play make-believe. I think we all enjoy the holidays and it was nice to come together and extend our holiday season a little bit.

Pop Culture Principle – What is it about baking and the holidays that are so special for people?

Erin Krakow – I know, it’s crazy isn’t it? Everyone has their favorite holiday cookie recipes! I think that the holidays bring family and friends together in that really special and wonderful way. I think that the kitchen does that as well in general. Families gather in the kitchen all the time for their meals. I know that my family hangs out in the kitchen together when we are all home at the same time. I guess it’s just a perfect combination of those two elements and add to that all those special traditional recipes that people have.

Pop Culture Principle – What message would you like the audience to take away after watching the movie?

Erin Krakow – Be as kind as you can. It’s pretty simple, but I think it’s a really strong message. I think it’s super important especially in the world we are living in now. All the craziness that is going on, bullying and things like that, let’s just be kind to each other.

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Pop Culture Principle – Why do you think the Hallmark brand has had such an impact with its audience?

Erin Krakow - Hallmark Channel is just getting it right. They really get it and they know how to bring families together. They tell stories that warm the heart. They tell important stories and tell stories from the point of view of characters who are really relatable and who are real people. They have the same kind of struggles that we all have. In many situations, they transport us to places and times that we all really love. The holiday programming that Hallmark Channel does is like no other and everyone looks forward to it all year long and there’s a reason for that.

It’s really pretty unique and very special. Hallmark is telling stories that the entire family can watch together. That is one of the things I love about When Calls the Heart is that any age and anyone in the family can comfortably sit down and watch that show. There is something for everyone and I find that to be true about everything that Hallmark is doing.

There’s nothing wrong with liking those other types of shows. I think that there is a time and a place for all of it and there are some really quality shows outside of Hallmark Channel. It’s like coming home. You can go out and have all the crazy adventures that you want to have and you know that Hallmark Channel is waiting for you with open arms. You will feel happy, cozy and wonderful. Hallmark Channel is like coming home!

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Pop Culture Principle – When Calls the Heart wrapped a very successful first season. Where you surprised at the success and popularity of the show?

Erin Krakow – I was surprised and I mean that in the best possible way. I felt from the beginning that When Calls the Heart was a very special project and I felt lucky and blessed to be a part of it. I knew there was something special about it but there is no way to predict that a show will be a hit. I was surprised at how quickly our fanbase grew. It was so lovely when the Hearties started coming out of the woodwork writing us messages and creating fan art, music videos and all the lovely things they have been sharing online. I think it shocked us all just how quickly it snowballed. Suddenly we had this team behind us who were supporting us and it felt so good. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are so appreciative of the Hearties and it’s been a very special thing. It’s funny seeing how protective the Hearties are and I know they want Jack and Elizabeth to work out. Thank you for being protective Hearties, I appreciate it!

Pop Culture Principle – The show has some very devoted fans. What would you say to those fans that have supported the show since day one?

Erin Krakow – I just want to say thank you so much and I am so happy that the show is resonating with everyone and that you are loving it, we love filming it. Thank you so much for your patience. I know it’s been a very long hiatus and I can say that we will start filming VERY soon. I promise that we will have lots of behind the scenes goodies that we will be able to send you while you wait for season two to air. Also, thanks for helping us to get a second season at all. We are so thrilled and can’t wait to get back.

Pop Culture Principle – Any tidbits you can tell us about the upcoming season?

Erin Krakow – Hmm, I am actually not sure what I am allowed to share. There will be a lot more Jack and Elizabeth and hopefully the show will get better and better and we can’t wait to share it!

We would like to thank Erin Krakow for taking the time to talk with us. Don't forget, A Cookie Cutter Christmas airs this coming Sunday, November 9 at 8/7c. If you would like to keep up with all the latest news about Erin, make sure you follow her on Twitter @erinkrakow.

***Photos courtesy of The Hallmark Channel***

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