I recently had the opportunity to chat with Erin Krakow, star of “When Calls the Heart.” Krakow is about to start filming Season 2 of the show, much to the delight of its fans, known as Hearties. She currently stars in “A Cookie Cutter Christmas,” one of Hallmark Channel’s 12 new movies premiering this holiday season. “A Cookie Cutter Christmas” premieres Sunday, November 9, 8/7C.
Are you packing, are you getting ready to go to Vancouver?
I will be very soon. I am a bit of a last minute packer, I guess. I have started thinking about, “Oh I’m going to bring that sweater and those gloves because it’s going to be freezing!!”
Was the first season of “When Calls the Heart” filmed during the winter?
We started in September, and it was lovely and warm and sunny, but we didn’t wrap until the end of February. So we had a nice little break over the holidays, but we really got to see a number of seasons in Vancouver. That was really nice. It’s beautiful every time of year. In the winter it does get pretty rainy and cold, so I’m trying to prepare myself for that.
We’ll get back to “When Calls the Heart.” Let’s talk about “Cookie Cutter Christmas.” Can you tell me more about the movie and your character in it?
I play a teacher and I have this bitter rivalry that I’ve had for years with a fellow teacher who I grew up with. I went to school with her. We’re always competing for everything. A new student comes to my class and she has a very handsome father and we start to compete for him.
We also start to compete in this cookie baking competition and you know, hilarity ensues! It’s very funny! There are a lot of fun bits between us and the rivalry. There’s a great romance and a lot of really touching scenes with such a sweet young actress who plays the new girl at the school and just of lot of fun holiday spirit, great baking scenes and things like that.
Do you cook, do you enjoy baking?
In real life?
Yes, in real life.
Oh yeah, I do! Actually, I just baked cookies two nights ago. A new recipe. I really like to bake. I’m more of a baker than a cook. I like to make sweet things. So, I’m not necessarily an Elizabeth Thatcher in the kitchen.
Are you as competitive as your character is in “A Cookie Cutter Christmas”?
I mean, look, I have my moments, but in general, I’d say I’m more of a supportive person than a competitive person. When I’m playing a game with friends or something, I can get into it. I come from a very supportive family and I’m sort of the one in a game, even saying to my competitors, “Ooh, good job. Good shot.” So it’s a little ridiculous, actually. Yeah, I’m not a super competitive person.
Did you have any holiday traditions growing up and do you continue to do any of them?
We would always come together as a family around the holidays. There are some special meals and things my mom would make. Growing up, I would always help her make an apple pie. That’s really special. Our traditions have sort of changed, there’s always something new and fun that we’re doing together. We like to play games together. Nothing super consistent. As far as holiday traditions of my own, I’m sort of still figuring that out and creating them. I’m new to Los Angeles so maybe there will be some new traditions that I can come up with here.
Who inspired you to go into acting?
Oh! I guess I would have to say my little brother, because I was 5 and a half when he was born and I had a lot of time just on my own. I got a lot of attention. Then this cute little baby came around and I had to share the attention. So I started singing songs and putting on little performances and I wanted to be in the school play. I guess it was my brother who pushed me into acting, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. What started as a need for more attention developed into a real passion and love for me, and I’m lucky enough that I can do it for a living.
What film or stage role are you dying to play? Or have you already played it?
I’ve been so lucky. I’ve played lots of roles that have been super meaningful to me and great challenges, but I’d like to think there are a lot of more interesting roles that I’ll get to play in my future. I don’t know that there’s one in particular that I’m dying to do. I feel super blessed to get to play Elizabeth! That’s just such a fun role for so many reasons, and I’m just really enjoying focusing on that right now. I guess that’s where my mind is since we’re about to head into Season 2. I like the idea of getting to play lots of different kinds of roles. Hopefully, you’ll get to see me in some different things in the future.
Any scoop on Season 2?
Any scoop? Can’t say I didn’t see this question coming! I don’t know exactly what I can share and also storylines are still developing, but there will be lots more Jack and Elizabeth and more storylines with Abigail. So we’ll be back and um … a lot of familiar faces.
Daniel (Lissing) had said there’s a possibility that Elizabeth and Jack are going to go to the city to meet her parents…
Mmm-hmm … Oh did he say that? You know what, there is a possibility that that could happen. I think there’s definitely a possibility that could happen. I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t seen a finalized script yet. I’ve just heard a lot of really great story ideas, so I hesitate to commit to this answer just because I would hate to tell you one thing and then have it be another. But I think there’s a strong possibility that Dan was right.
Is there a practical joker on set and who is it?
We didn’t have a ton of pranks, but Michael Landon, Jr. is a total joker. He can be very serious and super great at what he does and definitely is a professional, but he has a very silly side. He can tell you something with a straight face – I’m a slightly gullible person… We didn’t have any pranks that were too crazy.
I’m presuming you’ve read some, if not all, of the Janette Oke books. Do you have a favorite one?
“When Calls the Heart” is beautiful and kind of started it all. I really love that one, but her books have such a gorgeous voice and it’s hard for me to choose just one. We’re very lucky to have her stories and her books as inspiration for the show.
I’m sure you know she came out to visit us last season, and that was really special for all of us. Her books are so loved by so many people that it feels like a real honor to play these roles. Hopefully, we’re doing them justice and those who have loved her stories for a long time are happy with our portrayal. We’re just very lucky.
Are you planning on doing any more Hallmark movies?
That would be great! I’m always happy to work with the Hallmark Channel. They’re such a great company. I’ve loved everything that I’ve done with them so far, so hopefully there will be more of that in the future, yeah!
The fans want to know what you do for hobbies – what your interests are. You seem like a ‘crafty’ person. I’ve seen some of your pictures on Instagram.
I do enjoy crafts! I said I like baking. I like to make jewelry. I like shopping. I like being outside. I used to want to be a figure skater, so I really like to ice skate whenever I can and I like singing in the car … a lot. That’s kind of a random list!
Random Questions (Holiday Version)
Fresh tree or artificial?
Good question. I lived in New York for a really long time and I always really like the smell of fresh trees. I guess I like that smell.
White lights or multi-colored?
I have hanging outside of my apartment some really pretty white garden lights. I don’t discriminate – white or colored lights – I like them all! I like the idea of twinkly lights.
Cakes, cookies or pies?
I try to eat healthy, but … I’ll take one of each, please!
Favorite holiday song?
Anything my brother is singing. He has the most beautiful voice and he’s a brilliant musician. That would be my favorite song at any given moment, actually, is anything my brother is singing.
Favorite holiday movie?
Well, it’s sure to be … “A Cookie Cutter Christmas”! I have no idea – there are so many great holiday movies, but really … I am really excited for everyone to see this film. I actually haven’t seen it yet myself, but I got some taste of it when I was doing ADR – audio looping – after the fact. It was so much fun to work on, such a great cast, really fun to be in the holiday spirit in the middle of June.
Do you have a favorite holiday memory?
(She ponders for a moment.) Um, no. (Laughs.) That’s horrible! I have a lot of favorite memories around the holidays and I’m having a hard time deciding is the honest truth, so I will say I just always really appreciated the magic around the holidays and getting to spend that time with my family – it’s really special.
That’s the end of our interview. Anything you want to add?
Yeah, actually. I would like to add something. That is to give a special shoutout to the Hearties. Every day I’m so blown away by all the beautiful fan art, music videos, and sweet things they say. I just can’t tell you how good it makes us feel and we feel so supported and so loved by you guys. We’re really just as thrilled as you are, probably more, that we’re getting to go back and film the second season, and we really have you guys to thank for it! We will be sure to send lots of messages and pictures your way as we film, and thank you very much.
Awesome. I think the apple consumption has gone up since you posted that one picture…
(She laughs.) It’s a total fluke! I don’t know how it happened!