We all know talented actor Pascale Hutton for her portrayal of the character Rosemary Coulter on the long-running Hallmark television series When Calls the Heart, which will premiere its tenth season later this summer.
But now, fans of Hutton will get to see a new side of her acting chops as she stars alongside Javicia Leslie in the new action thriller Double Life which hits select theaters and digital today and VOD on March 19th.
The film follows a widow (Hutton) who finds out that her husband’s death was no accident and the person who tells her this information is her husband’s mistress (Leslie).
We had the chance to sit down with Pascale Hutton to talk about this new film, what it was like working with Javicia Leslie and what she enjoyed most about being a part of this project.
Pop Culture Principle – What was it about the script for Double Life that made you want to sign on to the project?
Pascale Hutton – It was all very last minute. There was another actor who was supposed to play my role and she was injured about a week before production was to start. Martin Wood whom I know very well and have worked with before directs this film. He phoned me and asked me if I was free in five days. He gave me the quick pitch about the film and the role I would be playing. When he was done, I told him that I was in and was very excited about the project.
I loved that it was a very different role for me personally, but as far as the bigger picture, I loved that it was a film with two female protagonists. A love interest storyline was not really a part of it at all. The love story is really these two women connecting and working together and building a real connection between the two of them against all odds. These two women should not like each other, but they end up figuring it out and coming together and I really loved that idea.
Pop Culture Principle – You mentioned these two women coming together despite their situation. Did you enjoy that aspect of these characters?
Pascale Hutton – I mean their relationship is not without tension. She had been having an affair with my husband and I only find out after he is dead. She doesn’t come out with the information right away because I think she didn’t want to hurt me anymore than I already am hurt being a grieving wife. However, the truth always comes out, it comes out, but does not come from her, and it is ugly. The two women talk it out and find a mutual respect about who each of them were in the dead husband’s life, but also who they are as women in their own right and they really respect each other.
Pop Culture Principle – When it comes to your character Sharon Setter, what is one similarity you personally have with her and one difference?
Pascale Hutton – Well, I think Sharon was more of a homemaker. Her life was devoted to her husband and building this affluent life together and I would not say that is me at all. I’ve always had my own thing going on and been very independent in my career and thoughts and what I’m driven to do in life and that’s definitely a difference. I think what Sharon discovers is that she has a real strength and purpose that is dependent on no one. I would like to think and hope that that is me, but even as a woman, I found that an inspiring journey finding that strength.
Pop Culture Principle – Did you get the chance to meet with your co-star Javicia Leslie before you started filming?
Pascale Hutton – Javicia was attached to the project early and was part of pre-production and I came on at the last minute. She also shadowed the director Martin Woods as well. We did not have a ton of time and there was a lot of ground to cover in terms of their relationship. We got on the phone a few times leading up to filming as well as texting and face timing so we could get to know each other.
I just think the world of her. She is such an immense talent. She is fierce and vulnerable which is a unique combination to have as an actor, but also as a human being. We really enjoyed each other’s company and got along really well.
Pop Culture Principle – What was it like working with Javicia Leslie during the filming of Double Life?
Pascale Hutton – First off, she is breathtakingly beautiful. She’s just very present and very intuitive, but she’s also very thorough in terms of let’s talk about what the scene is about and let’s talk about what we will do in the scene, but also once we are in the scene, she was quite happy to throw it all out and just go off of our instincts.
She had spent a lot more time with the script then I had and that was helpful. Her and Martin had talked out a lot of stuff in the script and she had very firm ideas, but was also very receptive to when my ideas differed from hers and how do we blend those ideas. I just found her to be an incredible scene partner.
Pascale Hutton – Martin Wood and I date back way before When Calls the Heart. He hired me for one of the first things I ever did, which was an episode of Stargate Atlantis. A couple of years later, he was doing a series called Sanctuary and he hired me when I was pregnant with my first child. We worked on that series for two years together. Then that finished and I was doing Arctic Air and Martin was a regular director on that series, so we worked together for another three years on Arctic Air. Then I went to When Calls the Heart and then he came to the show shortly afterwards.
So, we have been working together consistently for almost thirteen years. Martin and I have such a short hand together and I just love him dearly. He is such a practical joker and that is the same no matter what the material is or what the set is. He loves playing jokes, making it light, and having the set be very loose. He works very fast and I really love that. I like quick decision-making and not overshooting things.
He is also sensitive to when the material is heightened. He really allows space and protects the actors to make sure it is a conducive environment to sink your teeth into highly emotional material. I think the world of Martin and I hope for another thirteen years of working together. It is a treat to work with him every time.
Pop Culture Principle – Many viewers know you for your excellent work as Rosemary Coulter on the hit Hallmark series When Calls the Heart. This is a very different character and genre of film for you. Did you purposely seek out a project that was completely different from your character on When Calls the Heart?
Pascale Hutton – Absolutely. It was something different in terms of genre and in terms of character. I think a common description of Rosemary Coulter is that she is larger than life, she is very theatrical, she is very dramatic and she is very happy to take center stage and have all eyes on her. This character is the opposite of that. She is very quiet and a bit more reserved and not into having all eyes on her.
I do not think anyone becomes an actor to play the same character repeatedly; I certainly did not. Therefore, it was interesting living in that space and at times, I felt like I was not doing enough because this character was so restrained and pulled back compared to Rosemary Coulter who is so over the top sometimes. It can make you feel like you are not doing enough in the scene and I realized that is where the character lives. It helped that Martin knew the character so well and knew that was where the character lived which helped me.
Pascale Hutton – I think that something that actors who have played a single character for multiple seasons and have a very strong fan base that is really focused on that one particular show, I think that is always a concern. At the end of the day, I love my character on When Calls the Heart and I love that fans have responded so well to her, but I do not want to play exclusively Rosemary for the rest of my life. That is a personal decision for me regardless of how it is received by anybody else. I like a challenge and hopefully people see it and respond to it. I also hope new people see it and respond to it as well.
Pop Culture Principle – There is another When Calls the Heart connection with Double Life. Brad Krevoy who also produces When Calls the Heart produces the film.
Pascale Hutton – Brad and I have a great relationship. He is a big believer in me and we have done several projects together, and this is another one. You want to find people you enjoy working with and continue to do films and television shows with them.
Pop Culture Principle – Where you thinking about your character from When Calls the Heart while you were building this character for Double Life?
Pascale Hutton – The short answer is no. Rosemary Coulter is so compartmentalized in the world of When Calls the Heart for me that I do not find it bleeding into other things. But what I will say is that I felt like I had to do a lot of homework to build this character from the ground up in terms of me never playing this character before and she was so different than any character I have played.
I had to do a ton of script work and do a lot of really thinking about each scene and thinking about the emotional journey that she goes through in the movie and what has happened before the movie to flesh her out in a way I do not have to do with Rosemary. After you have played a character for ten seasons that character just lives in me very easily. I will read a scene and instantly know how that scene should be played as Rosemary. So, I had to think about what I do with this new character, what do I do with these scenes and where does this character live and move through the world. They were bigger discussions in my own head as to who this character was.
Pop Culture Principle – Watching the trailer, there seems to be some serious action and physicality involved in this film. Did you enjoy that aspect of the film and did you get to do any stunts?
Pascale Hutton – So, my character kind of gets on board to that and is following in Javicia’s character’s footsteps. Her character is the one who really is the bad ass. She knows how to use guns and knows hand-to-hand combat. My character kind of comes along and is a fish out of water. Javicia is the one who has the whole background in doing so many stunts on Batwoman.
It felt like a muscle that I had not worked in a long time. I used to do this type of stuff on Arctic Air and other projects. I used to live in this world a lot more and it’s only been in the last ten years that I haven’t really done projects that require that and it made me realize I am a bit rusty.
Pop Culture Principle – What did you enjoy most about filming Double Life?
Pascale Hutton – I will give you my top three. I loved getting to know and working with Javicia Leslie. That was a real gift. You never know how you are going to click or not click with someone you have never met before. I really loved meeting her, getting to know her and working with her.
I loved getting to reconnect with Martin Wood and Pieter Stathis, who was our DP. I have known Peter for a number of years. We worked on Arctic Air together when he was a camera operator and now he was the DP on this film. So, it was really great working with both of them again which was a blessing.
I also loved working on this project because it was something so different and it got me out of my comfort zone and it challenged me in ways that I had not been challenged in a long time and that felt good!
A huge thank you to the lovely Pascale Hutton for chatting with us about her new film Double Life. The film is available now in select theaters and digital today and will be released On Demand on May 19th.
**Double Life photos courtesy of Paramount Global Content Distribution**