The highly anticipated season two premiere of When Calls the Heart is just around the corner and fans of the series have high hopes for the new season. Season two should definitely bring new challenges, new loves and most notably, new characters. One of the newest characters to the series is Clara Stanton played by Eva Bourne.
The up and coming actress has made a name for herself on television series such as Caprica, Motive, and Falling Skies and most recently as Princess Eva on Once Upon a Time. On the big screen, she received rave reviews for her haunting work in the film Beyond the Black Rainbow. She’s also appeared in the films The Big Year and Words and Pictures.
We sit down with Eva to talk about her work on the new season of When Calls the Heart, what it’s like to work with green screen and what she has planned for the future in Hollywood.
Pop Culture Principle – Were you aware of When Calls the Heart before you were approached about being part of the series?
Eva Bourne – I had heard about the series and I think I had auditioned for a role on the series before. It’s funny, one of the actors on the show Loretta Walsh who plays Florence; she was actually my acting coach for a while. So, when she booked it, I heard all about the show because the acting community in Vancouver is so tightknit. It was a very exciting project to read for.
Pop Culture Principle – Did you do any specific preparation for the role?
Eva Bourne – I just booked the job off tape. I went in and read with the casting director. I did the normal preparation that I usually do getting ready for a role. I knew that this particular character was grieving from a huge loss and held a bit of a secret.
Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us about your character Clara Stanton?
Eva Bourne – I play Clara Stanton and she is the widow of Abigail Stanton’s son Peter. You find that out on the first episode. She does have a secret and that comes out later on in the season. She is a very strong young woman which is really nice to play. She has a big heart even though she’s had a lot of downs in her life; she’s always looking on the bright side. She knows that if she can keep a positive mind, everything will work out.
Pop Culture Principle – What was it like when you first went to wardrobe and stepped on the set of When Calls the Heart?
Eva Bourne – The first time that I stepped on set was really funny. It was a very long day for everyone and I didn’t get on set until the very last shot of the day. I met Lori who I had already worked with on my last project with as her daughter and now I am playing her daughter-in-law on this project. It was pretty funny because Lori said, “I guess you are going to play my daughter again!”
Pop Culture Principle – When Calls the Heart has a very dedicated group of fans know as the Hearties. Have you had any interaction with the Hearties now that you are part of the series?
Eva Bourne – I remember some of the Hearties came to set one day. Since, I am a new character on the show; I don’t think they were that interested in me. They are really huge fans of Erin who is so nice! Overall, the cast is great and I have never worked on something where everyone is a team and is working together. I’ve never had a bad day on that set and there was no tension. We usually wrapped up shooting early which was great.
The Hearties came to set and it was so cool because they took their vacation time just to come to set which was amazing. They were all so lovely and such fans of the show which was just a thrill to see.
Pop Culture Principle – Why do you think shows like When Calls the Heart are resonating so much with its audience?
Eva Bourne – I enjoy dark and gritty television like a lot of people do, but at the same time, I think the show is doing so well because people want to be able to watch shows with their family. The show isn’t trying to shove religion down your throat in any way, but it does have a very large Christian following. It’s a very wholesome, good show and it makes you feel the love for those characters. I think the writers have done a fantastic job writing these great stories, characters and lives for them to live and I think the audience really relates to that.
Pop Culture Principle – You mention Clara Stanton is a strong woman. Is that something you look for when you pick your next project?
Eva Bourne – Yes, of course. Here’s the thing, there are a lot of roles where in the breakdown it says she’s materialistic or doesn’t have a thought in her head, but no matter what, you are going to bring an essence of yourself. I don’t think that anybody watching a show really is going to be that interested in someone who doesn’t have a thought in their head. If that character isn’t as bright as the next one, it’s your job as an actor to bring some substance to that character.
Pop Culture Principle – You had a standout performance in the film Beyond the Black Rainbow where you basically had no dialogue. Can you tell us about that film?
Eva Bourne – I loved working on that film and I was just thinking about the director Panos Cosmatos today. He is so awesome and one of the coolest directors I have ever worked with. He has such an original mind which is so nice because as soon as I read the script, I wanted the part. It was something so new and I had never read anything like that ever before.
As an actor, it was a great way to start out because I was able to be so emotionally connected to that storyline and the character Elena. It was the best experience that I will probably ever have as an actor because it was so different and so out there. It was such a sick project to work on and just a great time.
Pop Culture Principle – Giving a performance that was so powerful and so emotionally driven, where you able to leave all of that on the set once you were done filming for the day?
Eva Bourne – Yea, I was a lot younger so I think it was easier for me to be able to let it go. It was really draining, but at the same time it was therapy for me. I really understood and felt so deeply for what that character was going through. Everyone on the set was family and it was much harder leaving them after the film was over instead of leaving the set each day. Everybody was so supportive and if I was in a bad place or not in a good mood, I never felt that I didn’t have someone that I could talk to. I wouldn’t say that I brought anything home with me. I was able to leave it all there because it was specifically for that film and that character Elena.
Pop Culture Principle – You also had the chance to play Princess Eva on Once Upon a Time. What was your experience like working on that series?
Eva Bourne – It was great and totally different. Everything was green screen and in a studio. I think we shot one day outside, but most of it was in the studio. They would tell you that you would be hiding behind a pillar, but the pillar really isn’t there. It was a bit strange to film, but it’s great for building a good imagination. It was really cool to work with Rose McGowan because I grew up watching Charmed and was a fan of hers.
Pop Culture Principle – What put you on your path to becoming an actor?
Eva Bourne – Now when I think back about it, I think I always wanted to be in entertainment, but I didn’t think it was feasible. I never thought that was something that people did or decided to do. I remember growing up my dad would always play soundtracks to musicals and I would always sing along with them. I never thought about it until I was much older and I started a career which was good and I am sure would be great for some people, but for me I needed an artistic outlet and I just wasn’t getting that.
I remember when I was the happiest; I was doing plays, painting or whatever. So, I remember watching movie trailers in my dorm room and I just decided I was going to act. It was like a two second decision and I decided to be impulsive, drop out of school and pursue this career that I don’t know anything about.
Pop Culture Principle – Do you have any future aspirations to get into writing, directing and producing?
Eva Bourne – Yes, actually I am writing something with my sister right now who went to film school in Vancouver. It’s a really great story about a young girl and her relationship with her step-father. They come from completely different worlds and completely different cultures. She’s a little standoffish at first, but he kind of wins her over later on in the script.
I really think that it’s important to be creative in all aspects. I wouldn’t want to just act because I feel like it wouldn’t enable me to grow in different directions. As an actor, you want to have as many experiences as possible because you can bring that into your acting as well.
The 2 hour season two premiere of When Calls the Heart airs this Saturday, April 25th at 8/7c. We would like to thank Eva for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk with us. Eva is definitely someone you will want to keep tabs on. You can follow her via her official Twitter account here or follow her on her official Instagram @eva.bourne.
**When Calls the Heart photos: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter**