Interview With Actress Loretta Walsh, “When Calls the Heart”

By Ruth on March 2, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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From the beginning of the Hallmark series When Calls the Heart, Florence Blakeley has provided humor in the form of a sort of town gossip who revels in sticking her nose in other people’s business and presenting commentary on the way in which everyone lives or should live his/her life. Although she does tend to meddle, her heart is always in the right place. And last year, I had the honor of interviewing Loretta Walsh, the woman who breathes life into this beloved character. Just this past week, Loretta took some time to answer some additional questions concerning “Feisty Flo” and season four of this record-breaking Hallmark series. But we discussed a bit more than the show…

RH: How has being a mother changed you professionally and personally? Has it been difficult to balance your personal and professional life now that you have a little one?

LW: Yes, it has been a very big change for me both personally and professionally. I’ve never been so tired…and also so happy. In both my work and my personal life, becoming a mother has opened up some deeper and more vulnerable and joyful places in me. I’m very lucky to have a wonderful support system in place that allows me to continue to work on my career full force and spend time with my little one. And my multitasking skills have increased immeasurably!

Is it difficult balancing all the diverse characters you play and speaking with an American accent?

I love diving into different roles; I find it stimulating and inspiring. It is one of the big reasons I became an actor. I’m fascinated by different people and the similarities in the human condition that connect us all. Using an American accent has its challenges (I would love to play an Aussie character one of these days!), but I don’t shy away from hard work, and making sure my accent is perfect matters to me.

Without giving away anything, what can we expect from Feisty Flo this season?

Feisty Flo continues to have strong opinions! A lot of the time, she represents the town and what they are thinking/how they are reacting to the comings and goings of Hope Valley. What you can count on is that Florence will always have loyalty to the people of Hope Valley. She’s got your back no matter what.

 How has being a part of this show influenced you professionally and personally? How has Flo affected you in your day-to-day life?

Professionally, Florence is my first recurring role on a series, and that is a very special experience for me. I come from a theatre background and have always had a love for the collaboration and “family” that comes with creating plays together. When Calls the Heart offers that same feeling to me, and I hope it’s something that continues for many seasons to come.

On a day-to-day basis, I’m most affected by the fans of the show. I’ve never been a part of a project that has such loyal and enthusiastic fans. The positivity and kindness that the Hearties give to me and everyone associated with the show is extraordinary. I try to take a moment to be very grateful for being a part of the “Heartie” movement, which represents so much goodwill and generosity. It’s a joy for me to be a part of.

 If the show extends beyond season four, what would you like to see in future seasons for Flo? Will we ever meet her children do you think? Will she ever find romance?

I think Flo is such a loyal character to her friends and Hope Valley. I’d love for some good thing to happen for her personally (love, a new purpose; Yes–I want to know more about her kids too!). Florence is a character that always has a lot to learn. I hope that she can learn to open her heart to find love again and allow herself to relax and enjoy the good things in life.

 Any other upcoming roles you can mention?

I am currently on a couple of shows on Netflix. I have a recurring role on A Series of Unfortunate Events, and I’m a guest star on No Tomorrow. Two very different roles…both comedic and very fun!

 What did you love most about HFR2 {Hearties Family Reunion 2}? 

Meeting the fans of When Calls the Heart is always an uplifting experience. To see and feel how much this show has impacted this group in person is beautiful. It’s so nice to meet some familiar faces from social media in person!

What is something you always wanted to do but haven’t had the opportunity to do as of yet? Any plans to eventually do whatever that is?

Hmmm….there are so many things! One thing I want to do in the next few years is spend a sabbatical in Australia for a few months with my family. Now that I have a daughter, it is so important to me that she be connected to and know my family and my home country. Plus, I miss it so much and would love to spend some time there longer than just a few weeks on vacation.

 If you could give Flo one piece of advice, what would you tell her? 

 “Everything is going to be OK. You don’t need to worry so much and attempt to control everyone around you. Relax…you’re going to get everything you want in the end.”

You can’t spend much time with Loretta before you realize and appreciate just how much she adores portraying Flo in this show. In so many ways, it is her vivacity and exemplary attention to detail that has resonated with the fans. So many of us Hearties continue to champion her cause and beg for more screen time for Flo, and on occasion, the powers that be appease us by featuring her in the story and divulging yet another layer to this complex and sometimes mysterious widow. Loretta has softened the prickles that Flo may have had in the beginning, and now we have that sublime opportunity to speculate about her backstory and what might ultimately be in store for her as her story unfolds. While the writers have created a truly intriguing character, it is Loretta’s masterful portrayal that has endeared Flo to us Hearties. Moreover, Loretta has a tranquil charm and quiet strength that shines forth from her innermost being, and it is the genuinely sweet nature of Loretta that truly draws us to her side. She interacts with her fans whenever her busy schedule permits, but she knows where her priorities lay. And the fans respect her even more for that fact. I sincerely hope that more will be unveiled in this season (and in the seasons to come, God willing) about Florence Blakely, and the Hearties will exult in every moment of the journey on which Loretta will take us through the eyes of Flo. Please be sure that you check out the links below and follow Loretta where you can, for there is no doubt that even as a supporting character in this cast, she is a vital part of what Hope Valley has become for so many of us devoted fans.  

FOLLOW LORETTA

Website

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IMDB

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher

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