When Calls the Heart has become a powerhouse for the Hallmark Channel. The series consistently performs well in the ratings and has sparked one of the most loyal fanbases in the Hearties. One would think that the next logical step would be a spinoff, well, that is happening.
On August 30th, Hallmark will launch its streaming service Hallmark Movies Now and the anchor to the streaming service will be the When Calls the Heart spinoff When Hope Calls.
The main characters of When Hope Calls, sisters Lillian and Grace were introduced to the Hallmark universe during the 2018 When Calls the Heart holiday movie The Great Christmas Blessing.
We had the opportunity to sit down with actor Jocelyn Hudon, who places Grace and ask her about landing the role of Grace, if she feels any pressure being a spinoff of When Calls the Heart and what it will be like being a part of the Hallmark family.
Pop Culture Principle – Before landing the role of Grace in When Hope Calls, how much did you know about the series When Calls the Heart?
Jocelyn Hudon – Hi! I actually had never watched it but I do always pass the big WCTH billboard at Crown Media so it definitely sounded familiar to me when I got the audition.
Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us about how you landed the role of Grace?
Jocelyn Hudon – Yes! I sent in a self-tape and heard pretty quickly that I got it! It was a very smooth audition process which isn’t always the norm- I was very grateful.
Pop Culture Principle – Did the producers tell you from the start that your character would be spun off into a new Hallmark series?
Jocelyn Hudon – Yes in the audition breakdown it said that I was auditioning for two episodes, a movie and a POTENTIALLLL spin-off.
Pop Culture Principle – Your character Grace was first introduced in the most recent Christmas episode of When Calls the Heart. Can you tell us what it was like working with the cast and crew of that series?
Jocelyn Hudon – It was amazing. The first thing that stood out to me was the makeup trailer actually.. It was one of the most welcoming, bright and decorated trailers I’ve ever been in. The ladies had flowers and memes printed out everywhere.. it was very cool. The town itself is epic and the whole production is a very well oiled machine. The cast was very kind and welcoming as well.
Pop Culture Principle – What can you tell us about your character Grace and the basic plot to When Hope Calls?
Jocelyn Hudon – When Hope Calls is about two sisters who have been separated for most of their lives and finally get reconnected. Lillian comes to find Grace and we build a life together in Brookfield where we have an orphanage of our own. Grace is bright, sunny, happy and spunky. Even though she’s been through a lot she has a positive outlook and really fights for what she loves.
Pop Culture Principle – Being a spinoff of Hallmark’s signature series When Calls the Heart can be both a blessing and a curse so to speak. Are you concerned about living up to the success of When Calls the Heart?
Jocelyn Hudon – I was at first. The outpouring of support and love from the Hearties has really changed that though. I think we will be an excellent addition to the WCTH world.
Pop Culture Principle – Will we get to see more crossover episodes between When Hope Calls and When Calls the Heart?
Jocelyn Hudon – There has been three crossovers already on WHC! I hope we get to come back to WCTH later this year. I’m pretty sure we will.
Pop Culture Principle – What is one thing that you think will separate When Hope Calls from When Calls the Heart?
Jocelyn Hudon – I think the story being centered around two sisters separates us. Our storyline is very different but with similar values as WCTH. I believe it will also have some comedy.. we have some excellent comedic actors. Neil Crone who plays Ronnie is hilarious and hopefully, Grace will make the audience laugh as well.
Pop Culture Principle – When Hope Calls is also the first streaming series for Hallmark. Any added pressure knowing that you are the first streaming series?
Jocelyn Hudon – YES!
Pop Culture Principle – Have you received any advice from the cast members of When Calls the Heart as far as working on When Hope Calls?
Jocelyn Hudon – Yes. Pascale Hutton gave me some advice when she came to visit Brookfield 🙂 It’s very helpful because they’ve been doing WCTH for so long so I really value what she has to say.
Pop Culture Principle – When Calls the Heart fans, aka the Hearties, are a very vocal and supportive group. Does it help to go into this new show knowing that there is that kind of support from the jump?
Jocelyn Hudon – YES! They’ve already created a team “Chace” (Chuck and Grace). I cant believe the Tweets and Instagram messages. I honestly was doing a scene yesterday and was like “wow the hearties are going to love this”. I hope we all did them proud.
Pop Culture Principle – Why do you think shows like When Calls the Heart and now When Hope Calls resonate so much with their audiences?
Jocelyn Hudon – I think having shows with good values and morals is essential. There are that you can watch with your kids and you can go to sleep without having nightmares haha. I personally am a huge Gilmore Girls addict. I watch it every night before falling asleep because it makes me happy and calm before going to bed. That beautiful fantasy world is just so relaxing and peaceful to me.
Pop Culture Principle – What can fans look forward to with the first season of When Hope Calls?
Jocelyn Hudon – I think the fans will love the drama, humor, and romance of WHC. I think they will fall in love with the orphan children just as I have. The love stories too will be a big hit, not just romantic ones but the love that Lillian and Grace have for each other really grows and evolves throughout the first season.
We’d like to send a huge thank you to Jocelyn Hudon for answering our questions! When Hope Calls is exclusively available on Hallmark Movies Now beginning August 30.
**Photos courtesy of Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Shane Mahood**