Loretta Walsh can be seen appearing as fan-favorite Florence Blakeley throughout eight seasons of When Calls The Heart. Recently returning for new episodes of the hit Hallmark television series, Loretta chats with us to preview the emotional episodes to come and the transformation her character has endured. We also chat about her experience on a live stage, her theatre company, and her appearance in the upcoming film Picture Perfect Wedding.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Loretta Walsh below:
What would you say initially motivated you to pursue acting as a career? Was there anyone who influenced or inspired you?
I wanted to be a dancer and that lead me to musical theatre with my local community theatre group. I caught the acting bug and the rest is history!
You have an impressive history with theatre as well and even founded your own theatre company. How would you say the experience differs for you when comparing working on a television series or movie to the live stage?
There are no second takes in theatre which is both terrifying and exhilarating. I love both mediums equally and my favourite part is the creative collaboration – everyone working together to create a show. It’s a satisfying experience!
You are returning as Florence Blakeley in season 8 of the fan favorite series When Calls The Heart. For those who may be unfamiliar, can you talk a little about your character and what viewers can expect from them?
When we first met Florence 8 seasons ago she was in a lot of emotional pain – grieving the loss of her husband. She was very prickly, judgmental and set in her ways. Over the years we have seen her go on a journey of healing and this season (season 8) we will have the chance to see some deeper and more vulnerable sides to Florence. And we also get to see her more joyful than we have ever seen her… It’s an exciting and transformative season for Florence!
What originally attracted you to this role? What do you love most about your character?
I wanted to do an ensemble tv show that was about the importance of female friendships. When Calls The Heart was it! I love that Florence is always learning, makes mistakes and evolves from them. She is not perfect and that is fun to play.
Season 8 is said to bring about a transformation in Florence’s character. What can you tease about what Florence may be going through in the new season? What are your hopes for your character moving forward?
I can’t say too much without giving spoilers, but I will say that we are going to see Florence in situations she has not been in before and I think the fans are going to be rooting for her every step of the way!
Can you tease a little about what viewers can look forward to in these upcoming episodes? What are you most excited for them to see?
Again…I can’t spoil it. But Florence is completing a very important story arc for her. What I can say is her future looks bright!
You are also slated to appear in the upcoming film Picture Perfect Wedding. What can you tell us about this role and what viewers can expect from the movie?
A romantic comedy in which I play the lead’s nemesis who makes a lot of mistakes and ultimately learns some important things about working together and being more gentle with herself and others.
Life has certainly changed a lot in the past year due to the pandemic. Can you talk a little about how the experience has changed for you and your co-workers? What is your favorite way to pass the time when you may be social distancing at home?
I felt very safe working on When Calls The Heart – testing and very stringent protocols kept everyone safe. And we care very deeply about the show and each other – we wanted things to go well and they did. My favourite pastime is to read (I love memoirs!) and watch fabulous shows (have you seen queen’s gambit?!)! Also dance parties in my house with my young daughter