Interview with Lori Loughlin of "When Calls the Heart" on Hallmark - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Lori Loughlin from When Calls the Heart on Hallmark

Interview with Lori Loughlin of "When Calls the Heart" on Hallmark 2/13/14

Much and House Public Relations
Moderator: Bryan deCastro, Lori Loughlin, & George Zaralidis
February 13, 2014
12:00 PM ET

Operator: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for waiting. Welcome to the "When Calls the Heart" conference call with Lori Loughlin. All lines have been placed on listen-only mode and the floor will be open for your questions and comments immediately following these brief remarks. Without further ado, it is my pleasure to turn the floor over your host, Mr. Bryan deCastro. Mr. deCastro, the floor is yours.

Bryan deCastro: Thank you, and thank you, everybody, for joining this morning and wanting to speak with Lori. As you know, "When Calls the Heart" airs on Saturdays at 9 p.m. on the Hallmark Channel and we look forward to your questions. So we'll go ahead and open it up to your questions now.

Operator: Certainly. The floor is now open for questions. If you do have a question, please press the number 7 on your telephone keypad. Questions will be taken in the order they are received. If at any point your question has been answered, you can press 7 again to disable your request. If you are using a speakerphone, we do ask that while asking your question you pick up your handset to provide favorable sound quality.

We have several in the queue; the first is from Jay Jacobs of Go ahead, Jay.

Jay Jacobs: Nice to talk to you, Lori.

Lori Loughlin: Hi, Jay.

Jay Jacobs: I'm really enjoying the show so far. I'm wondering when you're filming the show and you immerse yourself so much in the lifestyle of the old west, if you were living back then what do you think you'd miss the most? And what do you think you'd miss the least?

Lori Loughlin: I really would miss my washer and dryer (inaudible). And my dishwasher.

Jay Jacobs: Yeah.

Lori Loughlin: We had to do a scene where we were washing the clothing and Michael Landon, Jr. was directing that episode and he really had me scrubbing. He's like, no, you have to scrub like they did years ago.

Jay Jacobs: Right.

Lori Loughlin: And my hands were raw by the end of the afternoon. I just don't -- if I -- I miss like, you know, just the simple things, my washer and dryer.

Jay Jacobs: Yeah. Now Michael's dad is obviously sort of synonymous with this type of family friendly old west programming. What is it like working with Michael Jr.?

Lori Loughlin: Michael Landon, Jr. is an absolute dream to work with. He -- I can't say enough nice things about the guy. He's extremely talented. He's very, very kind. He's a great director, great with actors. Kind to the crew. Very soft-spoken. Loves to laugh, loves to, you know, be funny on set and have laughs during the day. He's fantastic.

Jay Jacobs: Terrific. I still remember first seeing you in a great old film comedy called Secret Admirer, which I was shocked to find while researching these questions that it is almost 30 years old. When you first got (inaudible).

Lori Loughlin: Is it really?

Jay Jacobs: Yeah. Did you ever imagine you'd still be working all these years later?

Lori Loughlin: Wow, you know, I tend to live my life one day at a time. But I really am very blessed and thankful that I've been able to work all these years. I know that I am fortunate and I am among a small percentage. For me, I feel like I wasn't trained to do anything else. I feel like I had nothing else to fall back on so I had to make it work for myself. And thankfully I've been able to.

Jay Jacobs: Great, thank you so much.

Lori Loughlin: Thank you.

Operator: Okay. Our next question is from April Neale of Monsters and Critics. Go ahead, April.

April Neale: Hi, it's Monsters and Critics. Hi, Lori.

Lori Loughlin: Hi, April.

April Neale: So Abigail, is she -- your character, is she going to have a bit of a Norma Rae type moment with the mine or is -- is your character going to be not so much a rabble rouser as far as like, you know, the safety of the women that are working in the mine and things like that. And I'm just wondering if your character too will find love this season.

Lori Loughlin: I think there, towards the end of the season, there is potential for a love interest for Abigail. As far as the Norma Rae component, you know, going and working in the mine was one specific episode. After that episode was over, once they achieved their goal, which was to save their homes, they took us out of the mine. So I think it's more about women coming together and community and helping each other. For me, what I like about Abigail is she is now on her -- she's on her own and she has to be independent and she doesn't have a man to rely on and I really like that. And she does open her own business halfway through the season to take care of herself and support herself and she definitely goes up against the character of Gowen, Martin Cummins' character, who he's the guy that runs the company that -- that basically, you know, for lack of a better word like owns the town. Like, you know, has -- he funds the town and the miners and pays the miners. And she definitely, she definitely stands up to him when nobody else in the town will do that. She's not -- she's afraid but not enough where she won't stand up for what she believes in.

April Neale: Right. Just a touch of Norma.

Lori Loughlin: Okay. A touch of Norma.

April Neale: Thank you.

Lori Loughlin: Thank you.

Operator: Okay. Our next question is from Melanie Votaw of Real Life with Jane.

Melanie Votaw: Thanks for talking to us today.

Lori Loughlin: Absolutely.

Melanie Votaw: I would think that it's been very moving for all of you to inhabit these characters who've endured so much. Can you talk a little about what you've learned and how it's affected you?

Lori Loughlin: Well, you know, I think what I've learned and what I think what I've always known in my own life is that in life we need other people. It's hard to go it alone. It takes a village and you need a support system. And what I love about When Calls the Heart is even though it's set in 1910 it feels contemporary to me in the sense that these women really need each other and they rely on each other. And together they forge ahead and they triumph. And I think thatís very -- really indicative of society today. You know -- and even -- and it's interesting because I see we can be so isolated nowadays because of the computer and the phone. You see everyone looking down at their phone. But I do think that we really do need each other. I know for me in my life with my friends, like they're very important to me and when times get tough, of course I rely on my husband but I really do rely on my girlfriends. And thatís what I like about When Calls the Heart. It's these women in this community that are coming together to make a better life for themselves and for their kids.

Melanie Votaw: Great. Thank you.

Lori Loughlin: Thank you.

Operator: Okay. Our next question is from Mandy Robinson of the Examiner. Go ahead, Mandy.

Mandy Robinson: Hi, Lori. Thanks for speaking to us today.

Lori Loughlin: Absolutely.

Mandy Robinson: I just had a couple of questions about When Calls the Heart, when you filmed the movie did you know that it was gonna be a series? Or did you just think you were doing a one-time shot?

Lori Loughlin: Well, no. They told me because I actually came on just to do the very last scene of the actual movie. And when the producers approached me they said, we are trying to -- this is a potential backdoor pilot. So if it does goes to series, we'd like you to be a part of the series so we would love to have you be in one scene at the very end, which sets up the character of Elizabeth coming to town to Cold Valley. So thatís how I ended up. And then through other circumstances the movie became very different from the series and they did a lot of re-casting. They re-casted two leads and it just shifted and it changed. But I did know that they were potentially trying to do it, you know, as a backdoor pilot for a series.

Mandy Robinson: Perfect. Would you be interested in doing season two if that does come about?

Lori Loughlin: Oh, absolutely.

Mandy Robinson: And do you let your -- do your girls watch the show considering that it's such family-friendly series? Or do they like -- ah, we don't wanna watch mom on TV.

Lori Loughlin: No, no, no. They actually like the show and that's one of the things I like about the show is that they can watch it. Every family member can watch it. And I think that a lot of the major networks and a lot of the cable stations while there's great programs on television, I don't think a lot are geared -- you know, not many are geared, scripted television is not geared for family viewing as much as it used to be.

Mandy Robinson: Right. Exactly. And one more thing, are you working on any other projects right now. Any new movies coming out? Anything (inaudible) .

Lori Loughlin: Well I did another project for the Hallmark channel called Garage Sale Mystery, which reminded me a lot of Murder She Wrote.

Mandy Robinson: Yes.

Lori Loughlin: And it did very well. It's already aired. It did very well. So we're talking about potentially doing some more of those and having that be sort of, not a series but like an ongoing --

Mandy Robinson: Like several movies.

Lori Loughlin: -- series of movies.

Mandy Robinson: Okay. Perfect. Okay. Thank you for your time.

Lori Loughlin: Thank you.

Operator: Okay. Our next question comes from Liz Henderson of Nice Girls T.V. Go ahead, Liz.

Liz Henderson: Hi, Lori. It's a pleasure to talk with you this afternoon.

Lori Loughlin: Thank you, likewise.

Liz Henderson: Were you familiar with the books by Janette Oke for which the show is based on?

Lori Loughlin: I actually was not but I had the pleasure of meeting Janette Oke. She came to set to visit us a few months back. And then I had dinner with her. And she's a lovely, lovely woman and she's very funny because she's so popular and these books are so popular, she said -- she made a comment about she's been trying to retire for years but they just won't let her. But, yeah, I know she has a huge, huge following and the books have a huge following.

Liz Henderson: Can you talk about any of the challenging scenes perhaps that have been filmed so far?

Lori Loughlin: You know, we have one coming up this Saturday night, which is the birth of a baby and I am instrumental in delivering the child. And, you know, those are scenes are tricky to film because you wanna be true but you can't be too graphic. So, you know, it's finding the balance, you know, of how to shoot that. You know, and make that scene as realistic as possible again within the confines of television.

Liz Henderson: All right, great. And then by contrast are there any funny, behind the scene stories that you might wanna share with us today?

Lori Loughlin: Funny behind the scene stories, I mean, gosh. I mean I can say that we always have fun all day long on the set. You know, I mean, I can't think of anything off the top of my head. I'm so sorry. I can tell you that it's a joyous place to work. We laugh a lot. We have a good time but I can't think of one thing -- doesnít pop into my head.

Liz Henderson: Thatís perfect. Thatís good enough for me. Thank you so much, Lori.

Lori Loughlin: Okay. Thank you.

Operator: Okay. Our next question is from Cheryl Hollar of Go ahead, Cheryl.

Cheryl Hollar: Hi, Lori.

Lori Loughlin: Hi, Cheryl.

Cheryl Hollar: I would like to ask you what you would change about Abigail?

Lori Loughlin: What I'd change about Abigail. You know maybe, maybe a nicer hairdo. She's pretty simple right now. Towards the end we start we start to evolve a little bit. I'd like her to a have a little -- I don't know, well we start going for a sort of a, I don't know how to say it, just a softer look more towards the end of the season. But other than that, I really love the character and she's so -- she's just being developed and I really like -- I like the direction that they're taking her. I like her strength. I can't think of anything I really would change about her.

Cheryl Hollar: Okay. Thank you.

Lori Loughlin: Thank you.

Operator: Again as a reminder, if you do have a question, please press the number 7 on your telephone keypad. We have another question from Jay Jacobs of Go ahead, Jay.

Jay Jacobs: You've obviously worked on network series in the past and now on cable, how is working on a cable series different than network? And why do you think that many of the sort of truly imaginative shows have been shifting to cable from the more traditional network model?

Lori Loughlin: Well, I can't speak for cable across the board. I mean, I think I can answer the question why I think actors are gravitating towards cable. I think actually whether it's network or it's cable, I think it comes down to the writing. (Unintelligible 00:14:00) more freedom on cable but I think it comes down to the writing and the project and there are a lot of good -- there are a lot of good projects on cable. Just -- there are a lot of good projects on network television. What I can say, what I can speak to is working for the people at Hallmark. And I can tell you that they are really some of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of working with and they're very -- they're very much in contact with you. You really have a relationship with them. And in the past while I've always had, you know, definitely been on friendly terms or, you know, everyone is very nice at the different networks, I've never -- you know, I'm able to call Bill Abbott, the President of Hallmark, at the drop of a hat and he picks up the phone. He gives me his cell phone number. I have his, you know, direct e-mail. You know, I have access to them and to all of the executives at Hallmark in a very different way and I have a relationship that feels more like a family than I've ever had before.

Jay Jacobs: Well, like you said, the show is definitely more family-oriented than most of them on television. Why do you think there aren't more shows out there that you can sit down with your kids and watch?

Lori Loughlin: You know, somewhere along the line something shifted and I'm not sure why, but somewhere somebody deemed that family programming wasn't popular and everyone seemed to shift and walk away from it, which I find funny because years ago family programming was huge.

Jay Jacobs: Right.

Lori Loughlin: And now I realize that you were -- you didn't have as many outlets, you didn't have all the cable stations but I know for me as a child, when I was growing up, television was a big -- we didn't have a lot of money. Television was a big part of entertainment for us and how, you know, and how we viewed entertainment. And we would sit down as a family. Loved those, Fantasy Island, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Brady Bunch, Partridge Family. I mean, I could go on and on TV shows that we could watch together. And I don't know how or why that shifted. I have to believe in my heart like our country is made up of a lot of families. I have to believe that people wanna watch television with their families. It's one of the reasons I think American Idol and The Voice and Dancing With The Stars are, besides being very good reality shows and great shows and great competition shows, I think they're shows that you can watch with your family. But as far as scripted television, you're right, there's not that many out there for families anymore and I don't know why. And I know Disney has carved out this whole niche for kids but I don't think a lot of adults wanna sit down and necessarily watch The Disney Channel. So it's trying to find the balance for everybody, which many years ago that was done very successfully.

Jay Jacobs: Now how has the series sort of made you appreciate the hardships of mine working and frontier --

Lori Loughlin: Well the truth is we only did one episode where we were working in the mine even though we're set in a coal mining town. But you know you just realize -- like we try to be as authentic as we can. Even our lighting. Like, yeah, they bring in lights but you know a lot of the time as much as they can do like candle light and shoot that way, they try to. The funniest thing is the wall sconces with the candles in them, I can't tell you, countless times that we've all banged into them, hit our heads, broken -- you know, knocked them down. And then also there's the -- so we have a lot of open flame on set because of that because we're trying to like, you know -- so you know it's working in that kind of environment, which is great but you realize wow, electricity was a great thing. And then just the fact that you don't even have a washer and dryer. You know we've done scenes where we're outside doing the laundry and you realize, wow, what a great luxury to have a washer and dryer. Or a dishwasher.

Jay Jacobs: And also back on the family friendly things, there's a bunch of Full House reunions and buzz lately. How exciting is it for to know that that show is still so special to so many people? And would you like to get involved in one of those kind of (unintelligible 00:18:04) at the show?

Lori Loughlin: You know it's really nice, it's very touching that the show has really stood the test of time. It's been so many years since we were in actual production. And yet, funny last night I flipped the TV on and there we all were. And they have marathons, you know, one after the other. But, you know -- and some occasionally (unintelligible 00:18:25) on so much I'll watch and it makes me smile because I look and I think, you know what? I'm proud of that show. It really served a purpose and it's a feel good show. And it makes people happy. And as far as the reunions, as far as the reunions I would love to be a part of whatever. I mean, if the cast is getting together and it's a good script, you know, I'm up for anything. I love all those people and I love working with them.

Jay Jacobs: All right, terrific. Thank you.

Lori Loughlin: Thank you.

Operator: Okay. Our next question is from Liz Henderson of Nice Girls T.V. Go ahead, Liz.

Lori Loughlin: Hi, Liz.

Liz Henderson: Hi. Will there be anymore back-story on Abigail and her late husband perhaps a flashback to their early days in Coal Valley?

Lori Loughlin: I don't know, thatís a good question. They haven't done that so far but I certainly don't see why they wouldnít.

Liz Henderson: The writing on the show is really so well done. I'm wondering, do you have any input. I mean, sometimes do -- is there something that they write and you're like, I don't know if Abigail would that or yeah, thatís great. Why don't we do that plus this.

Lori Loughlin: Yes, they're very collaborative and they do take our suggestions. And even, I don't know if we'll get to a second season but I have a story that I'm pitching -- that I've already pitched to one of the writers for my character next season that they really like. And I'm gonna sit down and pitch it to the other executive producers and possibly the people at the network. So they are very, very open to hearing, you know, ideas in the broad strokes of it all. And even if you're on-set and you're struggling with some dialogue or you're saying, I -- you know I don't think I -- it doesn't feel right that I would say that, they really take a look at it and go, you know what? I agree. Or you know what, this is why we wrote that and they'll explain why. So it's a very collaborative, you know, working environment.

Liz Henderson: Great. Okay, well I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.

Lori Loughlin: Thank you so much.

Operator: Again as a reminder, if you do have a question, please press the number 7 on your telephone keypad.

Bryan deCastro: Hi, if we don't have any more questions I think -- I want to thank everybody for joining us. Lori, thank you so much for being a part of the call.

Lori Loughlin: Absolutely.

Bryan deCastro: And I will want to remind everybody that ďWhen Calls the HeartĒ airs on Hallmark on Saturdays at 9 p.m.

Lori Loughlin: Great.

Bryan deCastro: Thank you so much.

Lori Loughlin: All right. Thank you, Bryan.

Bryan deCastro: You're welcome. Thank you.

Lori Loughlin: Bye.

Operator: Thank you. This does conclude today's teleconference. We thank you for your participation and you may disconnect your lines at this time.

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