Hearties Family Reunion Friday Interview With Cast Members of When Calls the Heart

By Ruth on November 5, 2017 in Interview, movie, television

Recently, I had the phenomenal opportunity of attending the Third Hearties Family Reunion in Vancouver (Fort Langley), British Columbia, Canada. I cannot even tell you how many dreams were fulfilled during that short weekend, and I am forever grateful to everyone who worked to make this a weekend I shall never forget. While I had my misgivings about going (after all, I am traditionally not one who mixes well, nor makes friends easily), the thing I anticipated more than anything else was meeting the actors of the show When Calls the Heart, many of whom I had interviewed at least once. When I was informed by dear Bobbi Schutte that I would be allowed to interview the actors at different intervals during the weekend, I have to say that my uneasiness was instantly transformed into unbridled enthusiasm. I now felt as though I had a purpose for my excursion, and needless to say, this event exceeded my expectations on numerous levels.

Picture Credit: Ardra Morse

Friday night, October 20th, was the first time I had the extraordinary opportunity of interacting with a stupendous group of these lovely actors. That evening, after the regular “meet and greet” time with the fans, I had the supreme delight of speaking with two groups. The first of these groups comprised several of the adults of the cast:  Ben {Rosenbaum}, Aren {Buchholz}, Johannah {Newmarch} (whose much lengthier and informative interview I will be posting a little later on), Eva {Bourne}…and Hrothgar {Matthews} whom I had not met.

Hrothgar Matthews

So nice to finally meet everyone in person, {turning to Hrothgar} but I don’t believe I’ve ever met you. 

HM: Hello, Ruth, I’m Hrothgar.

Good to meet you. I am well aware of your character, Mr. Yost, but I just haven’t ever chatted with you. Of course, during our panel time, it was suggested that your character might have a love interest on the show or maybe even run for mayor of Hope Valley.

HM: Both of those things are not gonna happen. {laughs} I just want to let everyone know.

JN: But hope springs eternal.

HM: I’m in a town with a lot of beautiful, beautiful people. So why would any woman go after the old, bald dude?

Johannah Newmarch and Hrothgar Matthews

JN: And why can’t bald not be beautiful?

HM: Okay, let’s go with that.

After all, Johannah–Molly Sullivan–was flirting with you during the panel. Why can’t a younger woman have an older man?

HM: There ya go.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

HM: Okay, I’m all for it!

EB: So overall, you’re just a really great prize.

Hrothgar, is there anything you can tell us that might be happening with your character for season five?

HM: Nothing except that I do play the tuba.


Johannah Newmarch

JN: Spoiler alert! Yost plays the tuba! He plays the tuba while riding on a rickety cart pulled by horses. That is a skill not everybody has.

Wow! So was this a hidden talent?

HM: No, it’s out there.

So you knew how to play the tuba?

HM: Well, I didn’t actually play…

Oh, I see. You are just acting like you play the tuba. 

HM: I’m pretty good now.

Ben Rosenbaum

BR: I play the trumpet just as well as he plays the tuba.

HM: Well, sure.

JN: On a rickety wagon no less.

BR: We’re actually forming a bit of a band.

Really? Well, there ya go!

HM: Sure, we’re not professional, but…

BR: We have Rosemary also.

And now you have Paul Greene in there too. And, Aren, what are you playing?

Ben Rosenbaum and Aren Buchholz

AB: Oh, now you’re getting me in here too?

JN: You’re going to need some jazz ukelele or jazz flute. Just you wait; we’re not allowed to talk about that. But there is a flautist.

There was general discussion amongst the group as to whether the correct terminology was flautist or flutist. For the record, Johannah WAS correct, but as I pointed out, both the terms flautist and flutist are technically correct.

Aren Buchholz and Eva Bourne

So, Eva, when you were not here and Aren was talking about “Team Classe,” Aren spoke for you. 

EB: Oh, I see. {laughs}

When he was asked to describe your relationship in season five, he was supposed to use just one word, but he used more than one word. 

AB: I did use more than one word, that’s true.

He first used just one word, but then he came back and used another word on top of the first. I think he kind of broke the rules. I was paying attention. He said, Eva, that you would describe your relationship as interesting. Is that the correct term you would use?

EB: For describing our relationship? Yes, I would say this season, I would describe it as interesting.

Do you know what he said?

EB: He probably said “blooming”!

{laughing} Eva, you’re so close! It’s amazing! 

AB: I said blossoming.

Honestly, there was so much commotion and laughter after that I have no idea what was said…at least for a few moments. You should hear the recording. But then again, maybe it’s best that you don’t!

He then came back and said, “mysterious.” 

AB: That was the last one.

Evidently, Eva made some kind of face that told me she was not sanctioning the use of Aren’s second word. Or she was dubious at best.

Aren Buchholz

I don’t think she’s going for the mysterious bit.

HM: He {Aren} seems more romantic than you {Eva}.

EB: He is more romantic than me.

AB: Things strike me in the moment.

EB: I’m more of a realist. He’s more of a fantastical person.

AB: I am sort of like you. I’m a dreamer.

EB: That’s not a realist! {laughs}

AB: Well, I bring out the dreamer in you, I think.

EB: Oh, you bring that out of me, okay.

AB: Yes, we’re like “opposites attract.”

So are we going to see more of “Team Classe” this season?

EB: Can we say that?

You don’t have to say how much we’ll see of you or what will happen with your characters, but do you think we’ll see more of you?

EB: Yeah.

AB: Yes, more than last season.

I’m so glad. We didn’t see much of you last season. We were rather disappointed. I think there was maybe one kiss between you two during season four.

AB: I think the fans will enjoy getting to see more of us.

EB: Absolutely.

Photo Credit: Robin Plate

At this point, Aren and Eva had to leave for another interview with Marisa Serafina, so I was left with the two men and Johannah.

So, Ben, are we going to see more of Hickam this season? We were very disappointed last season. I had people tell me today that Hickam never does anything.

BR: That’s quite a criticism.

HM: Well, he helped last year during the Christmas movie.

BR: True, but yes, you will get to see a little more of Hickam. I can’t get into the specifics. Certainly more than last season.

Ben Rosenbaum

That’s good. Because we were VERY disappointed last season.

BR: Thank you for saying that. I felt that love on Twitter from the Hearties. It was nice for people to share that message that they missed having Hickam around. I missed being around too. So, yes, a little more Hickam this season. Maybe more Ned Yost as well?

HM: I don’t know. I don’t even know what I’m doing next on the show. I don’t even know what time it is right now.

Your character has a daughter too, right?

HM: Apparently I do, yes. A lovely girl. I met her the other day. She is very nice.

I was laughing so much at this because I have interviewed the actress who plays his daughter! Poor Larissa Albuquerque, i.e., Katie Yost!

HM: After all that hard work, apparently I have a very nice daughter. {laughs} A lovely girl. So what was your point?

I was just asking if there was any story between you and your daughter?

HM: {laughs} I guess I answered your question, didn’t I? Actually, when she’s working, I’m not, so we tend not to have any story together. There seems to be a lot of discord in the family. {laughs}

BR: The family seems to not be able to work together too well.

Hrothgar Matthews

HM: I am doing just fine with doing things the way I always have in the mercantile, but then she comes along with her new-fangled methods, and she leaves me in the dust.

Any love for Hickam this season?

At this point, Hrothgar jumped in…

HM: Oh, yeah, I love Hickam!

And the laughter began AGAIN!

HM: My apologies. I misunderstood.

BR: I can say that Hickam continues to search for love.

There are a lot of eligible young ladies in the town. 

BR: I know. That’s how I feel.

Actually, you and Ned Yost could fight over a gal.

BR: There ya go.

HM: I would not win that fight. However, I do have a lot of rakes.

BR: That’s right. Rakes for sale.

Come on, we know it’s not just about looks. Does Hickam even have a steady job?

BR: Yeah, it’s steady all over town. I steady work everywhere.

I was thinking that Mr. Yost has a mercantile, so Hrothgar, you have security.

HM: Yeah, I have security.

BR: Actually, Yost fired Hickam after season one.

HM: I really wonder about your work ethic.

BR: My backstory is not all that good, as you know. But did you fire Hickam because you were jealous about having another eligible bachelor working behind the counter?

HM: I just kept noticing all my whiskey was disappearing.

Oh, I hadn’t heard about the whiskey. I guess no one wants to talk about that.

BR: {laughing} No, they don’t want to talk about that. Actually, we just made that up as part of Hickam’s backstory.

Okay, well, I think it will be an interesting season. We’ll have to watch for both of you. 

Hrothgar Matthews

BR: I will continue my game on Twitter.

Well, Ben, yes, you are on Twitter. But Hrothgar, I don’t believe you are. 

HM: What’s this Twitter?

Exactly! That’s the whole point! You need to get with the program.

HM: Apparently I do. I’m gonna go buy me a Twitter soon.

JN: They’re free!

I do not know what happened after this, but there was a lot of loud talking and laughing which ended with…

Yes, you two (Ben and Hrothgar) are very entertaining. 

HM: We’ve got that going for us.

BR: We have a lot of fun on set.

Oh, I never would have guessed. I thought it would be pretty dull on set. I mean, you can’t stand each other, right?

BR: A lot of different personalities there.

I know. All those beautiful women you have to work with. 

HM: Tough, yes.

BR: It’s a tough life.

HM: But, hey, it’s all for the good of the show and our career.

Has the weather been an issue for you with filming?

HM: Never.

BR: Uh, just the other day. Every now and then it’s an issue. I always feel like we’re playing the season that it isn’t. When it’s really hot, we have winter coats on. When it’s rainy and cold, we dress and act like it’s a really nice spring day. It’s just the way it goes.

So you both are in the Christmas movie?

BR: We are.

Hrothgar just stared at me. And when Ben confirmed both of them were in the special, he looked at Ben strangely.

{laughing} Hrothgar, you looked at me like you didn’t know how to answer.

BR: He looked like stone face.

HM: I didn’t want anyone to get mad at me if I wasn’t supposed to say.

BR: Lori {Loughlin} has been live Instagramming everything.

We just wanted to know if we could look forward to seeing you in the Christmas movie.

HM: Yes, I’ll be there.

So we need to get on you, Hrothgar, to get a Twitter ’cause that would be fun for the fans.

HM: I’m going out to buy one now.

That’s great. I think Ben could help you with that.

HM: Sure he could.

BR: No, he’s way beyond that.

And laughter erupted again.

HM: I think I may be beyond all help. I have My Space.

BR: You know more than you think because you know to say you have a My Space.

Well, thank you both for your time.

BR: It was such a pleasure to meet you, Ruth.

Same here.

BR: See you on Twitter.

And it was great to meet you, Hrothgar. I will be contacting your agent so we can do a proper interview.

The adults left, and the Hope Valley kids who were there that night were ushered in for their interview with me: Ava {Grace Cooper}, Christian {Michael Cooper}, Genea {Charpentier}, Jaiven {Natt}, and Kadence {Kendall Roach}. With the exception of Genea and Kadence, I had met the others previously in 2016 at the Joey Awards.

As the kids came in…

Jaiven, you have grown up so much. And you’re going to keep growing too, right?

JN: Yes. {laughs}

And Christian, you’re growing up too. It’s like, “What is this?” All these little people growing up! {pause} Nice to see you guys back again. And I think all of you were nominated for a Joey Award, right?

All: Yes, for a group award.

I am so glad they nominated you! You can thank Nikolas Dukic‘s mother for continuing to ask about how to get you all nominated because she came to me more than once. So there was a lot going on in the background to ensure that the Hope Valley kids would get nominated. I was so happy the day the nominations were announced because you all deserve it! And I think some of you got nominated for individual ones too.

CMC: Yes, I was nominated for an individual one for Prison Break.

KKR: I was nominated for an individual one for When Calls the Heart.

AGC: Me too.

GC: And I was too.

JN: So was I.

Wow! Such a talented group! Lots of things happening for you with the awards coming up in November.

Kadence Kendall Roach

KKR: Did you know that Gracyn {Shinyei} and I are the only original kids from Season one?

Oh, you were one of the originals? See, I couldn’t remember. I’ve interviewed Gracyn a couple of times, but I haven’t interviewed you yet. Kadence, we will have to do an official interview for sure. {pause} So, first of all, are all of you guys gonna be in the Christmas movie?

All: Yes!

Oh good! So we’re gonna see all of you that are here tonight. Are basically all the kids in the Christmas movie?

All: Yes, I think so.

A discussion then ensued about Spencer {Drever} being the only one who didn’t come back. There were various theories as to why, but all the other kids are back.

Without giving anything away, can you tell us anything about the Christmas movie?

GC: It’s very festive.

Do you guys get to do any singing?

GC: Not singing, but there’s some fun stuff.

All: There’s going to be surprises.

So is this going to be better than last year’s Christmas movie?

All: Oh definitely!

Ava Grace Cooper

Do you guys have any other Christmas movies coming up?

AGC: Yeah, I have one! It’s called The Sweetest Christmas.

Do you guys have any other shows or movies coming up that you can mention?

JN: Yeah, I don’t know exactly when it’s coming out, but I had a small part in a movie called Summer of ’84.

And my voice rose several decibels at this point! This was Jaiven, and I knew about this movie!

Jaiven Natt

Really?! You’re in that?! Oh, Jaiven, that is so exciting! Isn’t this like your first movie?

JN: Yes, it is.

That’s what I thought! This is so exciting! That is going to be a big movie. When that one comes out, that’s going to be fantastic. 

JN: Yes, there’s a lot of people in that one.

I know! I have interviewed a couple of people connected with the film.

KKR: There’s a second season of a show that I can mention. I am not in the second season, but I was in the first season.

Which show were you in?

KKR: Riverdale. If you remember Betty’s sister, Polly, I played the younger version of her in season one.

{gasping} That was you?! I’m so sorry I didn’t recognize you! Now I feel really bad!

KKR: It was a small part.

I know you’re right. But my daughter and I are huge Riverdale fans. We don’t miss it. And of course, I see it now. That is awesome! 

KKR: It seems like such a long time ago that I was in that.

I know it may seem like a long time ago, but it really wasn’t that long ago. {pause} Here’s a question for all of you. Once season five kicks off, what is one thing you hope your character does? I don’t mean it has to happen, but something you’d like to see happen.

KKR: What if it’s already happened and it’s been filmed?

Well, don’t tell us too much and spoil the story, but tell us what you can.

Genea Charpentier

GC: I think I’d like to see one of the younger characters fall in love with one of the older characters. I think it would be cute if one of the younger kids falls in love with one of the older kids. Maybe like Ava, uh, Opal could fall in love. 

Laughter ensued, and Ava was not too amenable to this idea.

GC: What about Christian’s character?

Um, I would say Christian’s like, “no.” Now, Jaiven, maybe. You might be able to convince him if it’s the right girl. So Christian, what would you like to see happen for your character or the kids in general?

Christian Michael Cooper

CMC: More sports.

What about you Jaiven?

JN: I don’t know. Maybe something for all the kids in the school that would be new for them to do together. I really can’t even think of what it would be.

Maybe something like a program like you guys did together. Or they were talking about doing a circus. I think Rosemary wanted to do a circus. And they just mentioned that tonight that at some point they might do a circus. 

KKR: It would be great to have something that kids could be involved in.

What about you Kadence?

KKR: I want another dance. It’s happened in season one, season three, and now it would be great for it to be in season five.

And that would be a good way for what Genea was saying to happen.

Kadence Kendall Roach and Ava Grace Cooper

KKR: Yes, for someone to fall in love.

You could have the girls and boys mixing a little bit. 

KKR: Yeah, a Sadie Hawkins dance.

GC: Ava, what do you think you would like for us kids to do?

AGC: Opal should help Rosemary get them together.

Get who together?

AGC: Just get someone to fall in love.

GC: Oh, play matchmaker!

You know what? I could see Opal doing that. I think that would be something to see Opal and Rosemary matchmaking. 

And the girls all began to scheme about who Rosemary and Opal should match up. I am not sure exactly who they chose. We agreed it would be hilarious.

I think it would be great to see Opal and Rosemary working to match up the kids or even match up Mr. Yost with a young lady. 

Photo Credit: Robin Plate

JN: I could see Rosemary and Opal deciding who they wanted to put together and the two of them sneaking around the corner and following them everywhere.

And Opal could drop off flowers and say they were from the girl or the guy. It would be perfect!

Let’s get those writers in here!

You guys are so great. I talk about the kids in When Calls the Heart quite a bit. I always think so much of all of you and your parents.

All: Thank you!

You guys are so awesome, and I’m so glad this show gives you the opportunity to act. We Hearties are all blessed by it. Everyone always tells me how much they love it when I interview the kids. Okay, Ava, one question for you. Did they tell you what questions they were going to ask you tonight at the panel beforehand?

Ava Grace Cooper

Backstory: I had boasted that Ava was so smart that I’m sure she could answer the questions without seeing them ahead of time. Well, Ava proved me wrong by nodding, but the other girls were telling her, “You’re supposed to say no!”

Okay, so I was wrong because I told someone that I was sure they didn’t ’cause Ava’s so smart. And I still say she is, but if I was thinking, I would have realized they would want her to do well by telling her the questions beforehand.

KKR: She’s younger too. Putting her on the spot would be a little bit more difficult.

Well, I was wrong, but I understand. And, Ava, you did give very good answers. 

Then, the cutest thing happened. Ava began to follow the other girls’ lead by shaking her head and trying to make it appear she had answered the question wrong the first time. I played along, because after all, how can you not with sweet Ava?

Ava, you didn’t know the questions ahead of time?

I don’t know! {big smile}

{laughing} Okay, now I understand, Ava. What you meant to say was you didn’t know. You don’t know if they told you beforehand. Okay, we’ll go with that. Of course, I remember when Ava was much younger. All the way back to season three. I remember her first interview very well, and we’ll be sure to do one with her again very soon.

I am so glad I got to meet all of you. And, I tell you, Jaiven and Christian, you two need to stop growing. And you know, you’re both gonna be heartbreakers when you grow up. In another couple years, you’re gonna have girls thinking, “Oh, they’re cute.” And thankfully, you’re nice young men. 

{to the girls} I know you probably wouldn’t think about it, girls, but these are the kinds of guys you’ll want to look for when you and they grow up. 

In spite of the laughter that followed that statement, everyone in the room knew it was true.

My time with the kids was over, but a very special moment happened right before I left. Eva was in the other room, and I made it a point to go up to her before completely leaving the room.

Eva Bourne

Eva, I know we haven’t had a chance to do our official interview yet. I’m hoping we get to at some point. I don’t know if you have had a chance to read the reviews I wrote for all the Garage Sale Mystery movies from August, but I want to tell you in person that you have grown so much as an actress. I was always a fan of yours, but it has been wonderful to watch your journey.

EB: Thank you, Ruth. Yes, I really do feel that way. I feel like I have grown a lot as an actress and as a person. I feel much more confident, and I just love what I get to do for a living. Thank you always for your support, Ruth, and we must find some time to do a proper interview soon.


And so ended opening night of HFR3. I remember going back to my room, not even being able to process what had occurred that evening. I had more fun than I have ever had during an interview, and because of the relationships I had established with these wonderful people throughout the past couple of years, it was as though I was chatting with my friends. Because in so many ways, I see each of these professionals as friends. While some are closer than others, I value each one of them for the unique qualities they bring to their roles on the show. Notwithstanding, these actors are so much more than mere performers. They are people who deserve the respect, admiration, and support of all the Hearties. They have more than earned it by the joy they have brought us each time they step in front of the camera and breathe life into their characters. I may not know any of them on a deep level, but there is nothing better in my line of work than to see authentic artists succeed at this “calling” to which they have enthusiastically responded. They have made the sometimes difficult decision to reach for their dreams because there is nothing else they can do; indeed, they are compelled. They are drawn to this profession on a level that is somewhat incomprehensible to the outside world, and to pursue another career would not be nearly as fulfilling for each of them.

I can assure you there will be more interviews to come, but in the meantime, please enjoy the works of each of these individuals. And please check out all of their links below! Come on, we’re Hearties after all! And we support our actors, right??


Ben RosenbaumTwitter   IMDB

Aren Buchholz:  Twitter    Instagram    IMDB

Eva Bourne:  Twitter   Instagram   IMDB

Johannah Newmarch: Twitter    Instagram    IMDB

Hrothgar Matthews:  IMDB

Christian Michael Cooper:  Twitter    Instagram    IMDB

Ava Grace Cooper:  Twitter    Instagram    IMDB

Genea Charpentier:  Twitter    Instagram    IMDB

Kadence Kendall Roach:  Instagram    IMDB

Jaiven Natt:  Twitter    Instagram    IMDB



































































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. denise November 6, 2017 Reply

    what a wonderful experience!

    • Author
      Ruth November 6, 2017 Reply

      Absolutely! I’ll have plenty more to share!

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