Photo courtesy Pascale Hutton

EXCLUSIVE: Pascale Hutton talks ‘When Calls The Heart’ and her new movie

Pascale Hutton discusses "When Calls The Heart," her new movie and her time as Raya on "Smallville."

12 mins read

Growing up in a home where her Mother was very creative and theatrical, the journey to acting for Pascale Hutton was a natural one. 

“When I was a child, it was not uncommon for us to put on skits in the backyard,” she said. “We had an old barn and it was not uncommon for my parents to turn the barn into almost like a circus tent. My Mom would gather all the kids in the neighborhood and we would put on a circus for all of them.”

Hutton explained that performance was always very common for her.

“I was always singing and I was in dance lessons, but I was growing up in a very small town so the idea that this could be a profession for the rest of my life honestly never occurred to me,” she stated. “That didn’t even seem within the realm of possibility.”

Hutton said all of her equivocation fizzled when her high school drama teacher encouraged her, stating acting was what she should be pursuing.

“She kind of helped line things up and open my mind to the idea of studying acting,” Hutton said. “So I went to University with the idea of pursuing a career in theater, which is what I did and where I thought I was going to end up, but then as soon as I graduated with my theater or acting degree, I got an agent. The agent saw me in something and asked if she could represent me and I started working some in television right away. It just seemed like that was where I was meant to be so from that I ended up moving to Vancouver where there’s lots and lots of film and television work.”

Unlike some actors who grow up in the industry working when they are young, Pascale didn’t have that early learning curve.

I didn’t care how small a part was, I was just so happy to be on set because I was learning so much

“I started out small with like day player roles, but I was learning so much! I hadn’t grown up on film sets like a lot of actors who start acting in their childhood or even in their teen years. I was in my early 20’s. I didn’t care how small a part was, I was just so happy to be on set because I was learning so much. Then the parts started getting bigger and more challenging and it just kind of went from there,” She explained.

In 2006, Pascale appeared in the WB/CW tv series “Smallville,” which follows the story of a young “Clark Kent” before he becomes Superman. Playing a character from Superman’s home planet of Krypton turned out to be a lot of fun for the actress.

“I loved playing the role of Raya because she had all the same powers that Superman had,” she said. “I just got to do so much fun stuff! There was a really cool fight scene that was kind of in slow motion. There was the speed running that her and Clark (Tom Welling) did. I just really had a blast! It was so fun to play this character with all these superpowers and I hadn’t done that before so I loved my time playing Raya.”

Pascale Hutton as Raya and Tom Welling as Clark Kent on “Smallville.” Photo courtesy of the CW Network

Coming into the role, her knowledge of the Superman mythos wasn’t very extensive.

“I was superficially aware of Superman. I knew the gist of the Superman lore and of Krypton and some of the basics. I had seen some of the ‘Superman’ movies, like the original ones. I had seen some of ‘Smallville’ also and I really liked the whole premise of it, so I knew a little but I was by no means a Superman lore expert.” She said.

In 2014, Pascale was cast as Rosemary LeVeaux near the end of season 1 of Hallmark channel’s “When Calls The Heart.” Her character came in as the former fiancé of Daniel Lissing’s character, Jack Thornton. She was there to create some angst between Thornton and his new love interest on the series, Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow).

The character of Rosemary was immediately larger than life and very dramatic. In the beginning, some fans didn’t take to her character right away due to her story arc but as the seasons have gone on, she is now a fan favorite. The progression and growth of the role has been exciting for Pascale.

Pascale Hutton as Rosemary and Kavan Smith as Leland Coulter on “when Calls the Heart.” Photo courtesy of Crown Media

“It’s been such a gift because we’re into season 8 and I think if the writer’s, producers and network had wanted my character to stay pegged as one thing, for 8 seasons, that would have become very boring, repetitive and mundane,” Hutton stated. “Instead, they took this character that was larger than life, with so much energy, excitement and enthusiasm and the theatrics and drama to this character, then they allowed her to slowly transform and evolve into a much more grounded, community oriented, generous human being from where she started.”

Hutton said that she loved her character, Rosemary, right from the start.

“I thought she was such a fun character, but it’s been nice and exciting to play her evolution and still holding on to that core element of who she is, which is the larger than life, enthusiastic, joie de vivre type of woman,” she commented. “Holding onto all that but evolving into a  woman who is more secure in herself, generous and grounded in her community as well. That has kept this character alive and interesting for me.”

Coming onto the show, Pascale did not know this role would end up being a series regular.

“I was on another TV series where I was the series lead and I was on hiatus from the show when I came on to do a two episode guest spot on ‘When Calls The Heart,'” she said. “I thought that was it but when I got the script and as we now all know in episode 12 of season 1, Rosemary walks off and Elizabeth says basically to have a nice life and ‘Rosemary’ says ‘oh, I’m not going anywhere, I’m staying right here.'”

Pascale remembers phoning her agent saying that this character didn’t seem to be going anywhere and questioned what was happening.

“He told me he didn’t know and he hadn’t heard anything,” she explained. “So those episodes aired and I was getting set to go back to my other TV show then that show was canceled. I was very said it was canceled because I loved working on it but then literally, and I’m not kidding, literally the very next day, Brad Krevoy, who is an Executive Producer on ‘When Calls The Heart’, called me and said they wanted to keep my character around. He said they wanted ‘Rosemary’ to be one of the series leads on ‘When Calls The Heart’ and he asked what my availability was like, could we make it happen? I said ‘well your timing couldn’t be better because my show was canceled yesterday so I got all the time in the world!’ and then the rest was history!”

The character has had so many special moments in the series, picking a favorite for fans or for Pascale wouldn’t be easy at all, although she can recall some that she did particularly enjoy.

“I have so many favorites moments! There’s a scene from season 2 where ‘Rosemary has bulled her way into the Cafe and offered to help ‘Abigail’ (Lori Loughlin) run the cafe much to ‘Abigail’s chagrin and ‘Abigail’ is discussing how she’s developed feelings for ‘Bill Avery’ (Jack Wagner) and she had found out he had a wife and she’s very upset about that. ‘Rosemary’ tells her never to give your heart unless there’s jewelry involved and she tells a story where a Director was wooing her but also had a wife and when [Rosemary] found out she gave him a black eye.

Sometimes fans will still send Pascale a small clip of the scene, which makes her laugh.

“I just feel like that’s so indicative of who Rosemary was and is,” she said. “I also love the scene in season 3 where ‘Lee’ (Kavan Smith) is sick and Rosemary comes to take care of him and she’s trying to feed him soup and he doesn’t want any. Faith (Andrea Brooks) has shown up to take care of Lee and Rosemary is kind of competing with her on who will be the best nurse for him.”

That particular scene is one of the performers favorites.

“it felt like Kavan and I were really honing in on what the special dynamic is between Lee and Rosemary with her being a bit overbearing and over enthusiastic, and Lee kind of rolling his eyes,” she stated. “Also, the dynamic of the two of us offscreen because of us trying to keep each other on our toes in scenes and throwing little curveballs at each other. It was not written that I was supposed to keep insistently feeding him soup, but I just thought it would be so funny to keep trying to feed him soup and then it made me laugh because I could see in Kavan’s eyes he was getting more and more annoyed with it! I love the episode where ‘Lee’ loses his voice and ‘Rosemary’ has to speak for him. In 8 seasons there’s been so many wonderful moments. I really love working on this show. There’s so many people I love and respect. They make me laugh all the time and it’s a joy to work on this show.”

One of the things that sets “When Calls The Heart” apart from other current TV series is the fact that it’s family friendly.

“We hear over and over again from fans that they appreciate having programming that they can sit down and have collective entertainment with multiple generations of a family,” she said. “That’s a beautiful thing to have that collective experience. Nowadays, so many people scuttle off to their own corner of the house and their various devices and they aren’t having that collective experience. There’s just something so beautiful about families having that with our show. It’s very fulfilling and satisfying for us knowing that we’re putting a show out there that’s bringing families together.”

With season 8 having recently concluded, many are looking forward to season 9, the actors included.

“I’d like to see Rosemary have some more scenes with Allie (Jaeda Lily Miller),” Hutton admitted. “I don’t know what sort of storyline would bring ‘Rosemary’ and ‘Allie’ together, but they are both quite feisty and I think it would be funny seeing the two of them work together on a project. I also think ‘Rosemary’ and ‘Lucas’ [Chris McNally] would be an interesting pairing because ‘Lucas’ is quite composed. He’s pulled together and under control all the time and ‘Rosemary’ is very emotional and things fly out of her mouth before she has time to totally think them through and I think when you get opposites like that together it’s always entertaining.”

Loyal, devoted fans of the show, self named “Hearties,” would love to see Rosemary and Lee start a family.

“I feel like I’ve been asked this in every interview I’ve done the past 8 years but it’s a really important question. People are so invested in Rosemary and Lee and their happiness so that’s where it comes from,” she stated. “People know the characters want to have a baby and they want that wish fulfilled for them. So I never mind answering the question. What I will say is that I don’t have a definitive answer. I have always been a huge proponent of wanting Rosemary and Lee to create their own family in any way that may be from adoption to having their own child. I’ve just always felt like that should happen and our show has always been about first and foremost, hope. I just think there’s nothing more hopeful than a child and I would love to see that happen for Rosemary and Lee in any capacity so all I can say is, I’m with the fans! I want it to happen as well! I’m not in control of my storyline. I can offer ideas but ultimately the writers write their own vision. I can’t promise anything but I’m right with all the fans in wanting, wishing and hoping Rosemary and Lee start a family in season 9.”

Pascale shares fantastic work chemistry with her onscreen husband Kavan Smith. One of the reasons behind this is their friendship.

“It’s absolutely pure joy working with Kavan. He’s one of my best friends and he makes me laugh all day long on camera and off camera. We have such a short-hand together, meaning when a scene is working we are happy to throw out ideas for each other. We throw around ideas all the time and that’s just such a wonderful collaborative experience when you can get that communication and dialog that just flows between two people but more importantly than anything else, I just trust Kavan so much. I trust his perspective, I trust his sensibilities and I just know he always has my back. It’s the best working relationship I’ve ever had in my whole career. I’ve just been thankful for it everyday,” she explained.

One story arc to watch for in season 9 will be the race for Mayor for Hope Valley. With Lee Coulter running for Mayor and his wife, Rosemary, running the town newspaper, things could get interesting.

“There’s red flags everywhere! Conflict of interest!” Hutton exclaimed. “Especially with Rosemary running the paper out of Lee’s office! What we were always talking about, Kavan and I with John Tinker [Showrunner], when you get this far into a series, you’ve got to figure out ways to find new channels to explore in a relationship that’s been established for so long. ‘Lee’ and ‘Rosemary’ have been a unit since season 2, so we need to kind of create new situations or a new dynamic so that relationship doesn’t become stale. We thought it would be interesting to have a situation where their relationship wasn’t just personal, but there was a professional overlap as well. That’s when we started throwing around ideas about the newspaper and what type of dynamic shift we could see. You got a hint of that in season 8 where ‘Rosemary’ is kind of taking over the whole office and ‘Lee’ is looking around wondering what happened to his quiet, cozy office space because now it’s a zoo. People coming and going out of every door and it’s very funny. So we’ll have more of that to come.”

Fans will also see other storylines moving forward in season 9 of “When Calls The Heart.”

“You will see Lucas, Nathan and Elizabeth, although Elizabeth has chosen Lucas, Nathan isn’t going anywhere,” she said. “He’s a beloved character and is going to stay in Hope Valley. We will see how those three move forward and work out what their dynamic now is. The stories will continue to be about community, about love and about hope just as it’s always been. Some people were upset that Elizabeth picked Lucas. I understand being upset. They were rooting for something else. The core of what this show is and the show is about, is not about one particular romance or one particular love triangle, this show is really about community. It’s about love, it’s about community, it’s about support and that’s the heart of the show. That won’t change. Season 9 will be all those things still.”

Two co-hosts of a travel show set in Hawaii clash over their ideas for production but realize they must grapple with the fact that not only do they need each other to further their careers, but they also balance each other on and off the screen. Photo courtesy of Crown Media

While fans are anxiously awaiting season 9, there is a movie coming out June 5, 2021 called “You Had Me At Aloha” on Hallmark channel. This movie stars Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith.

“Filming in Hawaii was magical,” Hutton stated. “I loved every second of it. It’s paradise and one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We had an amazing crew that made the filming in Hawaii so smooth and seamless. Everybody was so funny and so collaborative. I went in knowing I’d be getting to film a movie in Hawaii which was amazing, with my best friend which was extra amazing but I had no idea there would be all these extra added layers of joy! This project started 2 years ago. Kavan and I came up with the idea for this movie and we developed it and we’ve been brainstorming and collaborating on this for a long time. This has really been a labor of love for a long time.”

According to Hutton, the movie was supposed to film in April 2020 but was postponed due to the world-wide pandemic.

“I wanted to play a character that was very different from Rosemary, so I came up with this idea for a character that was basically adventure of work,” she explained. “She was a travel producer and she loved researching travel and loved knowing everything about exotic locations but never wanted to go to any of them herself. So Kavan said he thought that was funny and a great premise so he said he would be the opposite of that. So he came up with this character who doesn’t like to research anything, only likes to adventure and only likes to spontaneously go off the beaten path. So when you put these two together what happens, happens? They are oil and water so how do those two mix? That’s basically the premise of the movie”

In an age where there’s so little on TV for families to watch together, “When Calls The Heart” remains a staple for family-friendly programming. With actors like Pascale Hutton gracing Hope Valley, here’s to another 9 seasons to continue experiencing the magic of love and the joy of hope.

Jimmy Reno

Jimmy Reno has always had a passion for the creative arts. Singing and writing have been at the forefront of his career. A professional Christian country singer and songwriter, he discovered his love for writing and journalism later on. Working as a freelance journalist in addition to his music, he contributes to the Daily Planet. An avid, life-long Superman fan, discovering the Daily Planet and contributing to it, was a dream come true.


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