Actor Kevin McGarry knew people would be upset about the Season 8 finale of When Calls the Heart. After all, viewers had watched for three seasons as his character, Nathan Grant, and another character, Lucas Bouchard, vied for the hand of widow Elizabeth Thornton.
He knew that viewers would have strong reactions when Elizabeth finally made her choice.
“It was three years in the making,” he said in an interview on the Hallmark Happenings podcast. “I knew that it was going to be a bang.”
Still, McGarry was surprised at how long the outcry lasted when Elizabeth (played by Erin Krakow) chose Lucas (played by Chris McNally) instead of Nathan in the final episode of Season 8.
“I wasn’t expecting the longevity,” he said.
Many fans expressed anger and disappointment with the decision, saying Elizabeth should have ended up with Nathan. But McGarry said he thinks it will all work out for the best.
“Change can be hard, don’t get me wrong, but change can also be good, and I think moving forward with the show, it’s going to be in a good place,” McGarry said.
Kevin McGarry talks accents, co-stars, and comedy
In the hour-long interview, McGarry also touched on his latest movies for Hallmark, his relationship with co-star Kayla Wallace, and his appreciation for the comedic antics of Bill Murray.
He said it was difficult to adopt a Boston accent for The Wedding Veil, and said that, at one point, he overdid it.
“The director said, ‘You’re sounding very much like a Kennedy right now. Let’s try to pull back a bit,’” he said.
He talked about meeting his girlfriend, who plays Fiona Miller on When Calls the Heart, when they joined the cast in Season 6.
“We spent a lot of time as friends before anything really kind of developed so that when they did, it just felt very right for both of us,” he said.
When Calls the Heart Season 9 and beyond
Though he couldn’t reveal much about what will happen to Nathan in Season 9, he did hint at some romantic possibilities. He brought up his character’s interactions with Hope Valley’s new arrival, Mei Suo, played by Amanda Wong, as well as his ongoing friendship with Faith, played by Andrea Brooks. And then there’s Fiona.
“Nathan has a mustache at the beginning of the season, and it’s not there at the end, so somebody had to shave it off, and Fiona is a barber,” he said.
McGarry said he thought Elizabeth choosing Lucas was ultimately the right choice for the series.
“Where we’re going with the show is new and exciting,” he said. “…In any kind of storytelling, things need to change.”
Season 9 of When Calls the Heart premieres on Sunday, March 6, on Hallmark Channel at 8/7c.