Interview With Actress Pascale Hutton, “When Calls the Heart”

By Ruth on April 16, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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From the moment the audaciously charismatic Rosemary LeVeaux paraded into what was then Coal Valley, I was fully enamored with the actress who created such a polarizing character. It seemed that either you liked Rosie, or you hated her; there was no in-between. As Pascale Hutton has continued with the cast, we have begun to witness the transformation of Rosemary, and from season two onward, I have declared Rosemary and Lee my most treasured couple. Pascale is truly one of my favorite actresses, and I was privileged to chat with her recently, and for me, it was a dream come true. (You should have heard the emotion and excitement that permeated my voice!)

RH: Pascale, it is so nice to finally be able to talk to you and make this connection. So many people have left comments for you and have been very excited about this interview.

PH: Oh, that’s so nice, Ruth. Nice to get to talk to you, too.

Honestly, I was one of the people even back in season one who liked Rosemary.

You’re one of the few. Hearties took some winning over when it came to Rosemary.

I got to interview Kavan {Smith} back in December, and like I told him, you two are my favorite couple on the show. While we love Jack and Elizabeth, I think a lot of people are saying how much Lee and Rosemary have added to the show. 

Oh, that’s really nice to hear. Honestly. That means so much to me and to Kavan to get that kind of feedback. The two of us really do have a good time together, shooting these scenes together and playing with these characters. It’s been really rewarding to have our characters so warmly received.

I’ve had the opportunity to interview so many people connected with the show. Almost every single person, including the kids, they say how much they love watching you and Kavan on set. 

{laughs} You know, it’s funny. Kavan and I didn’t know each other very well before we started filming. Normally when shows are going to pair people up, they do chemistry tests, but that was not the case with Kavan and I. I had no idea that when he was being introduced that his character was going to be a potential love interest for Rosemary. But right out of the gate, the two of us just hit it off–on screen and off. We’ve become very close friends. We’re actually shooting a movie together right now, and it’s really fun. It’s always a pleasure when the two of us get to hang out together ’cause we genuinely are friends.

That’s what Kavan told me. He said how much he enjoyed working with you and that you spend time together off camera as well. And that your families get together a lot. {pause} So why did you decide to become an actress?

I would say that I always came from a very theatrical household. When I was growing up, my mom was a drama teacher in school. And even before she was doing that, she was always…I grew up in a small town. In fact, I kind of grew up in the country of this small town. She would organize all the kids out in the country to come over at a certain time, say eleven o’clock, and she would help them organize a circus. The parents would be asked to show up at four o’clock, and she would have the kids put on a circus performance for them. That was just normal. That was just what happened in my house. And then she went on to be a drama teacher like I mentioned. So that part was very natural. We were always putting on plays. In school, I was always involved in all the plays.

The thing was that I grew up in a small town, so the idea that I would do this as a profession didn’t really enter my awareness at all. It did not seem like a plausible path to take. But I went to the university and got a BFA {Bachelor of Fine Arts} in acting. That was really a conservatory program where you were training to become a professional actor. It was not going to be just a hobby. You took no other classes except for acting classes, and so that’s what I did. And then when I came out, I thought I was going to be a theater actor ’cause that’s what all my training was in. It was just happenstance that an agent saw me perform and wanted to sign me. I was sent out on auditions, and I started getting work in film and TV. I think the style and format of film and TV suits my personality well.

That probably explains why…you also have a very beautiful singing voice. I was a music teacher, and voice was my major. 

Thank you. Yeah, that was one of the things that really attracted me to the role of Rosemary initially was the fact that I would get to sing. That was a real treat that I got to do that ’cause that does not come up that often in film and TV.

Arctic Air

As I perused your credits, I know you have many I recognize, and some I don’t. But I know you’ve done a lot of Canadian TV. I do know that before When Calls the Heart, you were in Arctic Air

Arctic Air was a wonderful show to work on, and there were some amazing people connected with that show. I felt like the show ended too soon, at least in my opinion. It had a really good group of people both in front of the camera and behind the camera. It was really a unique experience because we filmed it in Vancouver, but the setting of the show was way up in Northern Canada. So we would fly up there with the whole cast and crew–we’d fly up there about once a month–and film exteriors and the ice so that it was authentic. So there’s a closeness that comes with that when you are a traveling show together that you can’t really achieve any other way. It was a really tight group of people, and it was a very unique and special experience I think I’ll always hold close to my heart.

Arctic Air

That is what I’ve heard from others who were connected with the show. And in the U.S., we can only get it on DVD now. So it is on my radar as something I definitely want to purchase and watch.

I know it was on Canadian Netflix for a while, and I think it still might be, but in the U.S., DVD’s are the only way to watch it right now.

Interesting story about Arctic Air. We wrapped filming season three of Arctic Air, and we didn’t know if we were renewed for another season. But When Calls the Heart came along, and they wanted me to do the final two episodes of their first season. I was on hiatus, so I came on as a guest star, and I did those last two episodes of season one. In the interim before When Calls the Heart started filming season two, Arctic Air got canceled. CBC lost all its funding, and Arctic Air was an extremely expensive show to film. Literally, I got the call that Arctic Air was canceled one day, and the very next day, Brad Krevoy called me and said, “I’m just wanting to check and see what your availability is because we really want to bring you on as one of our regulars for When Calls the Heart. ” I was like, “Your timing couldn’t be better because my show was just canceled yesterday.”

Wow! That is really something! I don’t think I’ve ever heard a story like that. When Calls the Heart was the first thing you did with Hallmark, isn’t that right?

I would say When Calls the Heart was the first main thing I did with Hallmark.  I don’t think I did anything else with them before that show.

So when you originally went in for the audition for Rosemary, was it just a normal audition?

Yes, I got a call that they wanted me to come in and audition for When Calls the Heart for the role of Rosemary. I went in and auditioned in front of Neill Fearnley, who has directed many of the episodes, and also Michael Landon, Jr. Very shortly after that, they called and said they wanted to offer me the part. So that was great. But at that time, at least from my perspective, it was only intended to be two episodes ’cause I was still contracted to the other show. But from there, it took on a life of its own.

With Daniel Lissing When Calls the Heart

When you came in to the show at the end of season one, how were you received by the cast? 

You know, first seasons are always a little bit funny ’cause everybody in the first season of any show is trying to figure out their character. They’re trying to figure out what the tone of the show actually is. It’s a bit of a trial and error type of game that everybody’s working on together–actors, producers, and writers–they’re all trying to figure out the tone of the show. There’s no one to support the show when you’re filming season one. There’s no Hearties, no fans, nodbody had seen it. So there was no response yet which is what I mean by a bit of a trial and error.

That said, it was an incredibly welcoming set. I think you’ve spoken to most of the cast. You know how lovely they are. Everyone was very welcoming, supportive, and friendly, so it was a total delight. I had a great time.

And those first two episodes where Rosemary gets introduced, she’s a wild woman. She was so much fun. I was singing. I was shooting guns. I was jumping on horses. It was a very exciting, fun role to play.

When Rosemary came back for the second season, we started to see some changes in her. Did you have any input into the changes that were made in her character?

The changes were completely up to the writers. They decided to bring Rosemary into the town as more of a permanent fixture. They wanted to slowly change her role so that she wasn’t the antagonist to Erin {Krakow}, but instead a character that the fans loved and enjoyed on her own. And I think that’s why you saw the introduction of Lee, so there was that diversion so Rosemary wasn’t so focused on Jack. But I think that’s also why you saw her personality slowly warming up to Elizabeth and warming up to the town and becoming more grounded and calm in her place in the town. And I think that came from the writers’ and producers’ standpoints of wanting her to be a more permanent fixture that fans rooted for as well as Jack and Elizabeth and Abigail and the other main characters. I was happy to see that progression. I didn’t have any problem playing the role of the antagonist in season one, but I thought there was more longevity to the character and more interesting storylines that could have been explored if we saw that evolution of her personality.

From a viewer’s standpoint, I think you have done a very good job–and I know the Hearties would agree with me on this–of letting us see the gradual changes in Rosemary. I know you have an excellent script already to work with because the writers are phenomenal. But you have interpreted the script well, and we get to see those gradual changes, those little tiny things…the mannerisms, the way that Rosemary reacts. I think that’s really a tribute to you as an actress.

Oh, thank you. It is definitely something that when you see something in the script, you want not only to do it justice, but you really want to breathe life into it so that it’s not just words on a page, but it’s a fully-formed character that people can relate to and respond to and that resonates with an audience. So that’s really nice to get that feedback.

You and Kavan probably have most of the comedy scenes in the show. 

{laughs} Yeah, I would agree.

How difficult is that to try to get through some of those scenes without breaking character?

with Kavan

We are very unsuccessful with that many, many days. {laughs} Especially when Kavan and I get together ’cause the two of us try to make each other laugh. He is always laughing and thinking I’m totally ridiculous, which then makes me laugh. I don’t know if you remember, but there’s a scene in the bloopers of season three, I think,  when he has hurt his leg, and he’s laid up in bed. Rosemary comes blazing in and is like, “Oh my gosh, what happened to you?” We had to do that entrance of me walking in and seeing him for the first time so many times. Every time I would come in with my Rosemary flourish, and Kavan would burst out laughing every single time. I was like, “You can’t be doing that! How am I gonna do this scene?” So it’s very funny.

But another funny one was the scene this season with me and Erin, and I believe Lori {Loughlin} comes into it too. We start planning the carnival, the fundraiser for the school. Rosemary starts brainstorming, and she’s out of control with all her ideas. The way it always starts is we do a read-through. The actors just sit there, and we read through the lines once, then we go through the blocking. We’re sitting there, and all we’re doing is reading the lines with some personality and life, of course. And the crew was just keeling over laughing when we were just reading the lines. And I was thinking, “Oh, if everybody is laughing now, this is going to be a difficult scene for us all to get through.” {laughs}

I think one of the scenes people mentioned to me from this season was the one with Rosemary and Katie Yost–

Yes, and Murphy. Yes, I loved that scene. That was my idea. I thought, “This is great. I’ll come up behind him and move his arms like he is a puppet.” Neill was directing that, and I was so happy that he went with it ’cause I had so much fun. {laughs}

I have a thirteen-year-old daughter, and my parents are also here, so we watch the show together, and we were all just laughing so much over that scene. That came off so well, and a lot of the Hearties were telling me how much they loved that scene too. 

Oh good! Oh my gosh, I had a lot of fun coming up with that.

What do you think of these comparisons between Rosemary and Lee and Lucy and Ricky Ricardo?

I love that! That’s such a huge compliment. I am just beside myself. I think that’s so funny, and I’m just so tickled by that comparison. I got quite a kick out of the meme that was recently going around about that.

I think that’s how the Hearties are starting to think of you. I think they put you in that category.

Well, we’re happy to be slotted into that space.

You know, there will be those moments of high comedy, but then it will suddenly become so incredibly romantic. There have been those very romantic moments this season between Rosemary and Lee that are just so sweet. 

Well, that’s always been the appeal of it. I give full credit to the writers. And also to Hallmark, to Bill {Abbott} and Michelle {Vicary}. We didn’t want our characters to just be slapstick comedy. And everyone at Hallmark agreed. They wanted our characters to have depth and have these moments of genuine sincerity. Not that the comedic moments don’t have that, but it’s those moments where you see the vulnerable, intimate side of these two characters. And it’s wonderful that everyone at the network wants the same things we do for our characters.

With there being only two episodes left in the season, is there anything you can tell us without spoiling the storyline?

You know the answer. No absolutely not! {laughs}

I figured that, but I always ask. 

I know the Hearties are just hoping for any little tidbit, especially now. And I really have nothing to offer. All I will say is that it will not disappoint. I feel like the storylines in this season have really deepened and have become more heartfelt, profound and funny. And that will continue in these last two episodes, and I don’t think people will be disappointed. They will really love it.

Well, that’s good to know.

{laughs} How’s that for a non-answer?

I fully understand, and I think a response like that is perfectly fine under the circumstances. {pause} Can you tell us anything about the movie you and Kavan are doing now?

I can’t say much because Hallmark wants to make a big announcement about it within the next couple of weeks. {And right after our interview, Hallmark did announce it, and the name of the movie is Ready, Set, Bride.) It is for Hallmark, and it is pairing the two of us up. It’s a romantic comedy. We’re playing totally different characters, but the characters in this movie still have that fun back-and-forth banter that Kavan and I enjoy doing so much. I’m really excited to actually see how the Hearties respond to seeing the two of us in different roles in a totally different world.

We loved seeing you in Summer of Dreams.

I know, that was so much fun, and that’s kind of what propelled us to do this movie. That movie had done so well for Hallmark last summer, and Hallmark was like, “We really want to do another one, and we’d love for it to be with you and Kavan.” And that’s just perfect for us. Our director on the film is Martin Wood, who has directed a number of Hallmark movies, but also a number of When Calls the Heart episodes. Not this season, but in seasons two and three. That was always a dream for Kavan and me. We wanted to do a movie together and have Martin direct it. So now our dream scenario is coming true. It’s been a lot of fun.

 

If When Calls the Heart is renewed for season five, is there anything you’d like to see for your character?

I’d love to see more singing for my character. I really miss doing that. I didn’t do any of that this season.

The one thing I am always saying that I DO NOT want, at least not yet, is please don’t let Rosemary get pregnant yet. I feel like I spent all of season two being really pregnant in real life, and there was so much work with trying to hide the pregnancy. It was so difficult, so I am like, “Can you just let me enjoy being not pregnant and not trying to hide a pregnancy for just one more season?” Let me have a waist for one more season, and then we can proceed from there.

We’ll see, but if you listen to the Hearties, the Hearties are like, “We want those sticky babies!”

I was going to say the exact same thing! The Hearties are all like, “We want babies!”

Oh, I know. And even Kavan is like, “Come on, it would be so hilarious. Rosemary would be so funny pregnant.” I know, I know, but let’s try to hold off till season six.

She could get pregnant right at the end of season five, and at the beginning of season six, she could already have had the baby. 

Yes, exactly! She could have the baby already. That is a workable solution, isn’t it?

If I remember correctly, you have two kids, right?

Yes, I have a six-year-old and a two-year-old. Both boys.

So I’m assuming that must be somewhat of a challenge balancing your personal and professional life?

It is for me, as I’m sure it is for any working woman out there. It’s a challenge because you want to work. Hopefully, you enjoy your work., which I do. I feel quite passionate about my work. But obviously, your heart is always with your kids, and so I feel that tug. Fortunately for me, if we film When Calls the Heart five or six months out of the year, I usually have the rest of the time off where I’m home and a full-time mom. I’m doing pick-ups and drop-offs from school. I’m taking my kids to activities. I’m making their lunches. I’m doing everything.

That said, I have an incredible support network who helps maintain the balance of our household when things are crazy and I am working a lot. My husband is the most incredible man in the world, and my boys just love him to death. They think he is the best person who has ever walked the earth. And we also have a wonderful nanny who holds things together behind the scenes. I honestly couldn’t do it without the two of them.

That’s good to hear. I often hear similar stories from both men and women in the business, so I’m glad you’re able to make it work for you.

Yeah, it’s challenging when you’re doing it, but at the same time, it offers you a luxury of having extended periods of being home and being really involved and hands-on with your kids. It’s not what I grew up with. My parents were both schoolteachers, and so they had the same hours that I did. Basically we all left for school in the morning and we all came home at the same time. We all had our Christmas holidays together and our summer holidays together. So we’ve had to figure out our own definition of what balanced family looks like to us. But now we’re in the groove and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am so glad when I hear about strong families in entertainment that have made it work because what do we often hear in the tabloids? 

I know, it is true. And this business does pose a lot of challenges for families. But I’ve also made quite a conscious decision to try to keep all of my work local. In my earlier days, before kids, I would travel a lot more for work. Now if a job comes up that is in Vancouver, it’s automatically more appealing to me than one that is going to film elsewhere because your kids need you. They need YOU. There’s no substitute for you. There’s no substitute for your time, your presence, your love. There just isn’t. Being home and being present with them is the most important thing.

Besides what we have mentioned, is there anything else upcoming that you would like to mention?

No, those are the big ones that I’m excited about and excited about sharing.

What do you like about working for Hallmark? 

I think Hallmark has a strong sense of what their purpose is in the entertainment industry. It’s very clear to them what materials they are creating, promoting and putting out there for people to enjoy. I like working for a company that does that. And I think it’s a very important place in this world for there to be a network that’s creating content that is geared towards families.

Also, as a side note, I really appreciate a network that almost unanimously across the board has female leads in all of their movies and their shows. I know it is a hot topic now, but I really do prefer networks that make the decision to follow through on providing strong female leads in their works.

I agree with you completely. I appreciate it too because that is not the way it is in the entertainment business as a whole. Lots of times you don’t get those strong female leads.

It’s true. You’re seeing it change quite a bit now, and a lot more networks are starting to have shows with a female protagonist. That’s great, but it’s not across the board. It’s a slow transition. But with Hallmark, I really feel like they have taken the reigns on it and said, “There is an audience for this, and there are stories for this demographic and for these characters, and we want to tell them.” And that, I think, is really important.

Do you think you will ever write/direct/produce?

Oh, it’s always a dream for down the line. Right now, I feel like I’m scrambling for time to fit everything in, but you know, never rule anything out. Maybe some time down the line, that is a possibility. I would love that.

And the good thing about Hallmark is they have so many females in front of the camera as well as behind the camera.

Absolutely.

So maybe some time down the line when your kids are older–

I really hope so, Ruth. I would really love it.

With Kavan and Martin

As far as I’m concerned, after chatting with the one and only Pascale Hutton, I can die a happy person now (okay, I’m just kidding–really I’m NOT that bad when it comes to actors I admire). What I will say is this, though. Pascale is exactly the kind of person you would expect her to be. She is humble, kind, and pragmatic. More than any of that, however, from an interviewer’s perspective, in the midst of an interview, Pascale is truly “there in the moment.” Now, I’m not implying that the actors I interview are easily sidetracked or do not pay attention, but not all have the beneficial skill of being an active listener. One of the most difficult things as an interviewer is speaking through a cold phone line and attempting to make a connection and then being met with silence. In the case of Pascale, she not only responds in her own indomitable style to the questions she is asked, but she is an active participant in the discussion. Moreover, she makes it clear that for the time you are chatting with her, you are the most important thing in the world. Outside distractions are minimized or nonexistent, and she is incredibly focused on the here and now.

Additionally, Pascale is a warm, entertaining person with a delightful, engaging personality. While she may not be as animated and over-the-top as Rosie is (thank God!), she has a certain allurement about her that invites you into her world, and you are ecstatic to come along for the ride. While I’m sure she has strong opinions on things that she is not afraid to discuss at length if the situation calls for it, she is gracious and enthusiastic about her career, her family, and her life in general. I am convinced that Pascale is a champion for causes and ideas that are near and dear to her heart, and if she can effect a change by speaking out on someone’s behalf, there is no one better to have in your corner. No doubt, she could get fired up if necessary. Notwithstanding, I am convinced there’s not a mean bone in her body, and her confidence, fortitude, and practicality keep her grounded and giving.

I would invite any and all of my readers to tune into When Calls the Heart on the Hallmark Channel on April 16th and 23rd for the final two episodes of season four. I’m certain that Pascale’s character will add levity and sincerity to what may be an explosive finale,so keep your watchful eye upon her lest you miss her undeniable prowess. Furthermore, as we await the announcement of season five of When Calls the Heart and anticipate Ready, Set, Bride, I advise you to follow Pascale at all the links below and possibly look up some of her past works as well. One thing we can always count on with this dynamically beautiful and blissfully sweet woman is unswerving kindness as well as a few hilarious tales along the way. 

FOLLOW PASCALE

Website

Twitter

Instagram

IMDB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. Jessica Rouse April 16, 2017 Reply

    Wow! What a wonderful read. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Author
      Ruth April 16, 2017 Reply

      Thank you Jessica for your support!

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