Interview With Actress Andrea Brooks, “When Calls the Heart”

By Ruth on March 4, 2017 in Interview, movie, television

During season three of When Calls the Heart, I often say I interviewed most of the supporting cast, and Andrea Brooks was one of those gracious individuals who agreed almost the moment I asked her. This season, when I asked her for a second interview, the girl was so busy that we only had the opportunity this past week to finally have a wonderful chat about When Calls the HeartSupergirl, and more. I invite all Hearties to read this interview because when I say Andrea is exceptionally insightful about this beloved show, I’m not kidding. This interview covers more territory than Hope Valley and CatCo combined! Moreover, interviewing the amiable Andrea was just like sitting down and chatting with an old friend. 

RH: Andrea, it was such a surprise to see you were going to be on Supergirl. My daughter and I found the series this past summer, and then when the tweets showed up that you were going to be on the series, I was like, “What? Really?”

AB: I know what you mean. I had the same level of surprise when I found out I was going to be on it.

So I’m curious. How did you happen to join the cast of Supergirl?

There is a bit of a fun story tied to this. It was a regular audition, and originally I was asked to audition for the role of Maggie, a pretty big character this season. I didn’t really think that would be a match for me, but I went out for the role anyway. That obviously didn’t happen. But then a few weeks later, I was asked to come back in again, and they had this weird character description, and they said it would be the new CatCo assistant. There wasn’t much information, and her name was listed as Janice. I remember thinking, “Okay, this will be fun. It’s not a superhero. It’s not anybody notable, but that’s fine.” I auditioned, and I got the role right away.

When they sent me the first episode script, I started flipping through looking for my character Janice. I was really excited about it. I wanted to know what I was going to be doing. I went through the whole script, and there was nothing. No Janice! I was like, “Did they give me a role and cut me already?” Then I flipped over to the cast list, and I looked for Janice, and there was no Janice. So then I found my name–Andrea Brooks–and I followed the line over and it said, “Eve Teschmacher.” I was like, “Teschmacher–wait–Teschmacher. I know this name.” It’s a weird name. Who switches the name from Janice to Teschmacher? So I googled it, and I was like, ‘I know this character! I love Superman! Of course, I remember her.” So that’s how I found out I had a cooler role than I initially expected.

That’s neat. It was so fun to see you in something a little bit different.

Yeah, she was lots of fun to play and very different. Nurse Faith always thinks about her choices, but this role was a little bit more off-the-wall. Two very different characters to play with, but it’s been pretty fun. Last fall, I was shooting simultaneously. I would be on the Supergirl set and then the When Calls the Heart set and back to Supergirl. There were some days that we split and I’d do a night shoot on Supergirl and then go back to When Calls the Heart. So it got a little crazy sometimes.

Split personality, right?

A little bit. {laughs}

Then you got to do that big crossover episode. I know people were asking what it was like to do that crossover episode to The Flash

That was really exciting because, of course, all of those universes intersect now. I pretend to know that I understand it, but there are a lot of levels going on here. Basically, I’m just doing what I’m told. That was really neat, and I didn’t find out till close to shooting what I was going to be doing. They keep it kind of secretive, and everything is sort of last-minute. It didn’t really seem too different since we were on the CatCo set. There were these intruder characters, and of course, Eve wouldn’t have known who they were. I think it was intended to be kind of this dream-epiphany-weird sequence. And because it’s Eve and she’s so creative and kind of crazy in her own right, it was kind of appropriate that she was selected to be the target of this madness that was about to erupt. ‘Cause any other logical person might have called the cops or done something logical, and of course, she just hides behind the chair and stares at the situation.

Yeah, she’s kind of scared of her own shadow sometimes.

A little on edge, yeah.

Have all of your episodes aired yet? I’m not one hundred percent sure where things stand in the season.

The current season ends in May. I’m still on contract with them. It’s an open-ended situation. They call me in when they can fit me in. It’s been lovely. So there’s more of Eve to come. I just did book another project that is with Hallmark. I can’t give too many details yet even though I’m dying to. It shoots out of the country. I love these destination films Hallmark is doing now. I found out they did one in Paris last year, and when I saw that, I thought, “What do I have to do to make this happen?” So that’s next on my roster. So even if I do get called in for an episode, there could be a little bit of negotiating that may have to go on. But Eve is still very much a part of that universe.

Well, that’s good. Any news about season three?

We actually did get word about a month ago–quite early on–season three’s in the bag.

Oh, okay, I had not heard that. I must have missed that one. I try to keep up with everything, but–

Oh, I can imagine. You have the most masterful mind. You’re able to keep up with everyone, so good for you. I don’t blame you for not knowing. I almost missed that information myself.

Well, that’s good. From where I am, I couldn’t imagine them not renewing it for another season. We actually found it when they were re-running the first season, and then we started watching it on Netflix.

I’m so glad you both discovered it on Netflix because there was a bit of a shift with Supergirl. Initially, it was on CBS, and so season one was all shot in Los Angeles. Then they moved up to Vancouver and they restrategized, and they put it on the CW. CW was interested in connecting all the superhero universes. So that’s quite a major shift for a successful show. I think when shows are unsuccessful, they’ll be acquired by Hulu or someone else will pick it up. So it was an interesting shift. And I think even the tone has changed, but I think it’s for the better because it seems to be doing quite well.

I am just so excited for you. When I heard the news, I really got excited for you. I figured that could only help your career and help you get going. 

Oh, thank you.

You’re welcome. It honestly makes me so happy to see my actor friends doing well. I will read an update and start cheering for you I get so happy. 

And of course, we all know you. We’re like, “Oh, we love Ruth!” You have a very good reputation. Everybody speaks very highly of you, Ruth.

That’s what I understand. And it makes me feel so good because I think that I’m just doing what I do. I guess I used to do other things, but I don’t really remember that. {pause} Shifting gears here, some of my friends have expressed to me that this season of When Calls the Heart is not that exciting so far. My first thought was, “What?” All of this is being done offline, and they are not bashing the show. They love the show. I don’t know if the general public is feeling this way, but I do think there are some that might have been expecting all sorts of excitement from the first episode on. Now, I’m thinking that some of the Hearties might be missing some of the stuff going on behind-the-scenes. I mean, Gowen is sitting there in the background, and you have to know that something is going on. 

Oh, yes!! Ruth, you’re picking up on the nuances. You know.

And the railroad stuff. My family and I love that they have featured the kids so much. They have dealt with the issues of bullying and being honest. One of the things this show does so well is it also teaches values. It is great to have a show that is actually teaching about doing the right thing.

Absolutely! Well, I think I have a few things to say about this concern. First of all, I understand if the show seems slightly underwhelming when you’ve waited a year in high anticipation, and you’re watching the good bits, the dramatic bits…so I can kinda understand coming back to the show, and everybody is happy. The first couple of episodes, everything is playing out well. You have Rosemary and Lee, who are newlyweds. There’s no Faith and Jack problems. Everything is kind of smooth sailing. You’re dealing with the kids. But I can absolutely assure everyone that it’s gonna build into something. You’re absolutely right, Ruth. The nuances are there for a reason ’cause the drama does build. From here on out, I would say. Things start to escalate.

It’s hard because I know that our writers have been so responsive to the feedback from the fans. They know that in season two, with the love triangles, people complained. People said there was too much drama and that they wanted happiness. And they wanted to see the kids more. I know the writers and producers have responded to that. So I think the first couple of episodes consist of this sort of giving the audience what they think they want. But there absolutely will be some twists and turns to come this season. I know that I felt towards the end of the season that there were some twists and turns that even I couldn’t believe. So there is drama to come.

That’s what I thought. I didn’t want to jump in and say anything, but I figured I’d throw it out to you, and it looks like you have some great insight. It seems like some think it’s too happy or too nice during these first couple episodes. 

That’s really interesting. You know, I know there are some other shows where you run into difficulty with this multimedia platform where everyone has a voice, and we engage with fans so regularly. It’s hard to give everyone what they want, but you also need to push your fans a little bit. I know that was something that was definitely talked about with the writers. And I think it all works out. If they want their drama, they don’t have to worry.

I have heard that some of the problem is that the Christmas show set such a high bar with the emotion and drama, and some expected episode one to be on the same level. Just like that. I think some people forget that these episodes are only like forty minutes long. The Christmas show had twice that. For those fans who want constant drama, they need to turn to network TV. The thing I love most about this show is that is the one time when my entire family sits down and watches a show together. In fact, if one gets up and doesn’t make it back in time after the commercial break, we pause it and wait for them.

Awwww, that’s so nice! That makes me so happy!

In fact, my dad actually stays awake during this show. He doesn’t fall asleep like he does during other shows.

Yes! Then we’re doing our job! {laughs}

Speaking of your character, Faith–while I know you can’t answer anything about a potential love interest–it did look like there is the potential for there to be a love interest.

Yes, you’re right. While I cannot give the specific answers because we’ll watch those unfold, but I think what I have so much fun doing this season is getting to help Faith find her footing. She’s been living here for awhile. She’s starting to make connections, and she befriends Elizabeth–I absolutely love that! I have so much fun playing out the dynamics with Erin {Krakow} ’cause she’s so fabulous and lovely. Faith has helped establish the infirmary. She’s kind of in a position to chase some happiness, and that’s something that she hasn’t really done. She’s been too busy fighting issues with a fiancé or moving from one town to another. There’s always been something else in the way. So now I think it’s her time to shine, and she kind of freezes because she’s so used to throwing herself into her work. I think all season, you see other people nudging her like, “Come out, Faith, come over. Why don’t you come to the dance?” “Why don’t you get out of your comfort zone?” And that’s been something really fun to play ’cause I absolutely love and respect the way Faith is in the infirmary. You will see part of that. That is to come. You will see her in action in her place of work. But then having to shift away from that and find the fun side and trust that that’s an okay thing to do. So that’s kind of her dynamic this season that absolutely does play out. But who the love interest will be, how it will unfold, that will come!

It’s always funny when the Hearties start saying who Faith should be with. I noticed in last week’s episode that she is hesitant. And her friends are trying to nudge her.

Yeah, they’re trying to convince her that it’s okay. And the feedback on Ray Wyatt is split. Some people were like, “Yeah, go for it!” Others were like, “I don’t know.” What do we think about the railroad? Obviously, the town has to make some pretty big decisions about what’s good and what’s right and what’s wrong. So it was split, which was interesting. I like how Hallmark does that. I like that with our show, they introduce people in an unassuming way. Not really knowing what their motive is. And I like how our show gives all characters a chance to play out what it is that they want, what they need, what they’re there for. And that’s kind of like life. You meet people, and you need to make those decisions. As opposed to just coming in and being bad or coming in and being good, it gives us this chance to debate and to think about it and to give people a chance and sometimes a second chance.

I love my friends, and they are more than willing to give the show a chance. I’ve heard the horror stories about how some fans have stopped watching the show because Jack and Elizabeth are not engaged yet.

Oh, that’s a hard subject. You know, I think a lot of people love the show because they love the courting. They love the dynamic and that they’re taking their time and not rushing. Then you have to ask yourself, “If a couple gets engaged, then what?” Then the courting’s done, and it’s such a fun dynamic to explore on TV. I know this topic has been debated a lot all around.

Unfortunately, when you make a TV show, there is no way to satisfy everyone across the board. And I know that our show tries so hard to do that, but you can’t give people what they want to the point where it compromises your ability to make a story. I just can’t wait for the rest of the season to play out ’cause I think people will have some things to talk about!

When you mentioned the railroad, what was really good about that is that my daughter and the rest of my family discussed the railroad because she wanted to know what was up with the railroad. And so it was a chance for us to step in and talk about history a bit and tell her how the railroad affected towns. We were able to talk about the good points and the bad points.

Yeah, that is great. I think it’s something we don’t think about now because we’re all so connected in this day and age. Your best friend could be on the other side of the world, and you can send an instant message. I think it’s a nice reminder that on When Calls the Heart, the relationships and the characters are so close because they only had each other to rely on. You might have a family that lives far away, but there’s no accessible way to see them on a regular basis. We have to remember that this takes place in Canada where the grounds were frozen for part of the year. There were snowstorms in the winter. You could only sit in the horse and buggy for so long. You didn’t  have that instant ability to connect with your family or friends who might live outside of the town. You really came to rely upon every single person so intensely in a way that we kind of forget about today. And I think that’s the major worry with the railroad that it will disrupt these relationships and our way of life that everyone has worked so hard to preserve. There are good things of course, because that can bring about better jobs, but it’s one of those conversations worth having. I love how Lori {Loughlin} negotiates this throughout these episodes. She does such a wonderful job. When you watch her performance, you realize the stakes are really high. I like that theme this season. And it does develop in an interesting way.

It’s possible that some people came in after reading one of Dan’s {iel Lissing} interviews where he talked about the fact that there was more action this season, and maybe they expected that from episode one. 

You have to be careful how you play out action on the Hallmark Channel. You can’t just have action that makes no sense. You need to build it up, and maybe some don’t realize there is a crescendo that is happening there. We’re working up to some interesting things. Good old Dan. He loves action. He loves being on his horse. He loves anything that involves physicality. He’s always pushing for that. {laughs}

Another thing to remember is that we have some new Hearties too. Lots of them. Some have not seen the other three seasons. 

That’s a good point. The writers know that, and they often give us a couple of episodes to get acquainted or reacquainted with the characters. Each season has had a theme as well. Season two was Hamilton. Season three was Rosemary and Lee getting married. I think the railroad acts as the theme this season. Then that allows people to engage from the beginning of that particular season. I think you could presumably start watching now. You won’t have the background on everybody, but you can catch up on that afterwards. You can engage with our show from this point on.

Sometimes I forget certain characters and things, and I appreciate the recap and reminders.

Exactly. Even I forget certain things. I will come across something and think, “Wait, Faith has this answer. I know this has played out before.” You do have to jog your memory quite a bit because you have to go back in time quite a bit. It might have been two or sometimes three years ago that I played that part out, so I need to match this.

I particularly enjoyed the last episode. Jaiven {Natt} was one of the kids I got to meet at the Joey Awards. I had interviewed him, but after meeting him, I was like, “This kid–he’s a character.” 

Absolutely. He’s had some nice opportunities to showcase his work. And he has some more this season. And it’s so wonderful to watch the kids grow up on our show. I came in late during season two, but already seeing the kids grow and turn into such fantastic actors, and they are all such good friends. It’s really adorable. And they do such good work. They are so professional. All of their parents are lovely. Just like you said, I love the fact that our show focuses on the kids, especially this season. There’s a lot of in-the-classroom scenes, and I know people love that. A lot of shows deviate from featuring the kids so much because it’s hard to work with kids. They have a restricted time schedule. They have to go to school. Kids might not get along with one another. But I feel we’re quite lucky on our show ’cause that’s all been worked out. Some of these kids have been there from the very beginning.

You were in a Christmas movie, right? A Wish For Christmas.

Yes, with Lacey {Chabert} and Paul {Greene}.

Can you say whether you have any scenes with Paul Greene this season?

I have scenes with Paul Greene. {laughs}

The only reason I asked is that I think it’s neat that you worked with him on the Christmas film and now you’re both on When Calls the Heart.

Yes, Paul’s so wonderful. He’s really a fun guy. He keeps things super light-hearted on set. He’s always telling jokes. And it’s really funny because when we are on the set of A Wish for Christmas, I was mentioning to him that he should ask his agent to get him up for When Calls the Heart. I thought he’s be so perfect on the show. And he was like, “I would love to be on that show, are you kidding?! Set back in time, horses!” And we talked about it jokingly, and the next thing you know, Paul Greene’s on the schedule. I was like, “I just knew it!” I knew that he would perfect in Hope Valley!

I think once Paul shows up, people will be satisfied–people who are bored right now.

That’s what I tend to think. I figure he’s going to stir things up. I interviewed him, and he said enough to make me think that. Oh, and I interviewed Jack Wagner too.

Oh, you interviewed Jack! Isn’t he just lovely? But he can be a bit of a prankster, that guy.

{laughs} Yes, I know that firsthand. And I got to interview Erin. And AfterBuzz TV actually featured my interview with her which was so cool.

Oh, that is great! They are just so lovely. And Erin is just wonderful. I am so happy that everyone is communicating. That’s what I love about this show. It’s so neat to see this constant dialogue on twitter and social media and find out what everyone has to say. We’re going to have to have you on set, Ruth. We are going to have to have you as our honorary guest when we start shooting again.

That would be great! I would love to come up! Actually, you’ve worked with Christie Will, right?

Yes, on A Wish for Christmas. Funny story. She directed me on one of my first projects ever when I was fifteen. It was this tiny role in this short she was directing. It was this edgy thing, and I remember looking up to her and thinking, “Wow, she is such a cool director.” Then she hired me on A Wish for Christmas. Then I sent her an email that said, “How’s this for a ‘Throwback Thursday’?” And I sent her a little picture from her movie, and she was like, “Oh my gosh! I forgot that was you!”  {laughs} That’s what I love about our community, especially up here in Vancouver. Everyone up here is so connected, and everyone knows one another. Christie is phenomenal. She is doing such great work. She and Lacey are friends. They’ve worked together a number of times. I had a blast working with her, Lacey, and Paul. A Wish for Christmas was such a phenomenal movie. I had so much fun! It would be awesome to have you come up some time. You know everybody anyway.

I know what you mean. My problem sometimes is that I know the actor and forget their character’s name.

Oh, that’s a common problem on set. As an actor on set, you are two names. The crew’s supposed to refer to you by your real name, but then sometimes when you’re really going for it, especially the director, they’ll just call you by your character’s name ’cause they’re thinking in terms of the narrative. So at all times, you respond to two names.

Oh, I understand that. It’s mainly with my mother who cannot keep all my actor friends straight. But she does know you as Nurse Faith. 

Aw, that’s very sweet. You’ll have to give her a big “hello” from me.

I definitely will. In fact, I think when we watched A Wish For Christmas, I wasn’t looking right at the screen, and I think she recognized you before I did. 

Really? Wow! That’s hard to do because we’re all in period costumes. Whenever I see Erin in a leather jacket, it throws me for a loop.

Do you have anything else coming up (or that recently aired) that you are able to mention?

I will have to wait to talk about the Hallmark thing. They have been so good to me over the past few years. In between the shooting of When Calls the Heart, I’ve been able to do a number of Hallmark movies. which I have so much fun doing.

Supergirl is still on the go. I’m still an active character on that show.

It’s also pilot season right now, so I have been reading for some new shows. Nothing in the bag as of right now, but I’m also a little bit tied up with my schedule.

According to IMDB, you’re supposed to be in an episode of Bates Motel.

Oh my gosh, yes, thank you. I forgot about that. My episode aired this past Monday.

I do know that there are many Hallmark fans who also watch Bates Motel.

That’s true. I think that’s neat that you can’t just pigeonhole Hallmark fans as just watching one kind of show. I consider myself in that camp. I love all shows. I can watch some pretty dark things, but of course, I approach it from a different angle ’cause I’ve studied film ’cause I’m an actor. I don’t ever feel scared or threatened ’cause I’m always concerned with how they’re doing it, why they’re performing in that way, why it was directed in that way. So I can watch the full range, and a lot of other people can too.

Bates Motel was fantastic. The actors on that are phenomenal. It was really a treat to get to do that. It was somewhere around the time we were shooting episode two or three on When Calls the Heart when I got a bit of time off to go shoot Bates. So it overlapped with Supergirl too. It was a pretty stressful fall.

Freddie {Highmore}, who plays Norman Bates, is almost eerie. Psycho has been one of those films that really made me fall in love with cinema. It’s so scary and dark, but it was so foundational in setting a precedent in cinema and horror. Alfred Hitchcock was just so phenomenal. Getting to do scenes with Freddie and sitting across the table from Norman Bates was really mind-boggling because he’s really brought to life the character of Norman Bates. It’s really an experience when you’re sitting across from a character that has such historical value. It’s kind of the same way in Supergirl. I was sharing a trailer on that show with Superman. Yes, I was next door to Tyler {Hoechlin}, who was playing Superman. To walk around with characters who are so valuable and so integrated into our culture–it was like that with the Norman Bates character.

Since January, I have had a lot of time off, and I thought, “What am I gonna do with myself?” So I’ve been training. There’s a big 10K race that happens in Vancouver every spring, so I’m gonna be doing that. I’ve been running a lot and sort of relaxing. It’s been weird because for so many days, I was up at five in the morning and going here there and everywhere.

While I’ve been impressed with Andrea from the beginning, watching and listening to her take on the role of show advocate was an incredible thing to witness. She was not offended when I approached her about those who may have been disappointed in the show for various reasons. On the contrary, she welcomed the chance to not only sympathize with these potential dissidents, but she explained things in a such a way that if I was in need of a reason to watch or continue to watch When Calls the Heart, I would be flipping my channel with lightning speed to tune in this season! 

The other thing that impressed me beyond belief was the way in which Andrea highlighted so many of those in the cast and crew, and even chose to genuinely underscore my skill and importance in this community. In fact, as I was preparing this interview, I was thunderstruck yet again with the opportunities that have come my way in the past year, and there is nothing like hearing those words of praise from an actress and a person you admire in the business. Andrea NEVER elevated her importance in any of the shows and films we discussed. Her enthusiasm for recognizing was directed at the fans and her co-stars. There is no doubt that she loves what she does for a living, and it is totally obvious that she has her wits about her and her head in the right place. Her humility, kindness, and joie de vivre radiate from her innermost being, and spending a few moments with her is the best medicine for anyone who may be feeling down or wondering if anything good still exists in this world (see, she is a “nurse” after all!). It could be said that Andrea is “high on life,” and for her, every day is a whirlwind adventure. I’m sure difficulties come her way, but she has a massive support system and a sense of who she is as an actor and a person which adequately equip her to overcome any of those obstacles that attempt to bar the way to her dreams.

Please consider tuning in tomorrow (March 5) night and every Sunday night throughout the season to the Hallmark Channel to watch the show that is the very heart of TV–When Calls the Heart. Also, I would implore you to check out Andrea’s links below and follow her on social media (I promise you will NOT regret following her on social media–she posts the best stuff!) so that you are able to track her journey that continues its steady ascent to the stars. Because yes, if anyone deserves to have every single dream in her heart come true, it is Andrea! I hope that ten years from now, she has her own hit show that she has written, directed, produced and starred in! I promise I’ll be there (as long as I’m still on this earth).

























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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


  1. Lisa March 5, 2017 Reply

    Nice job, Ruth! Andrea seems like such a lovely lady and she seems so passionate about what she does. I appreciate her thoughts on the show and the writing. I noted the points you both made on Jack and Elizabeth. I think what the issue is, is that Mr. Bird has stated each season is a year of time and we wait an entire year to see some kind of movement. When you tune back in, after our lives have changed in that time frame and do not see any movement, people become bored. The audience is smart, too. They know after a lifetime of watching tv that tv shows and the industry in general do not like to get the “it” couple together for fear the show will end because they like the dating factor. The problem my friends, co-workers and I find is that the writers chose to have Lee and Rosie court for a handful of episodes and marry, while 4 years later J&E act like they are already married, but are STILL courting. They also write J&E so in love, it just doesn’t make sense to many of us that they are not married. 4 years of courting… it’s obvious its a stalling tactic. As many fans who read fanfiction will tell you, there are plenty of great story arcs in which those writers have J&E married, some with children and the entertainment factor is VERY much there. The fans eat it up! Great writers can do anything, with any story arc. While we forsee an engagement this season, my friends and I will not be shocked if they use another stalling tactic and it does not last for long. That’s tv for you! Always a pleasure to read your articles, Ruth. Keep up the good work!

    • Author
      Ruth March 5, 2017 Reply

      Thanks for sharing your insights Lindsay. Always glad to have a variety of views.

  2. Terry Poage March 5, 2017 Reply

    Great interview and full of information. Ruth Andrea seems like such a lovely lady and it sounded like you had a good time.

    • Author
      Ruth March 5, 2017 Reply

      Terry glad you liked it. Yes, we both had a blast with this interview. Indeed one of my new favorites!

  3. Andrea Williams March 5, 2017 Reply

    Great interview! I had never read about this actress before and I will look into both the shows to see more.

    • Author
      Ruth March 5, 2017 Reply

      I’m very glad Andrea. Enjoy!

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