For nine years now, actress Erin Krakow has been the face of Hallmark Channel’s period drama When Calls the Heart. Her character, teacher Elizabeth Thornton (formerly Thatcher), has weathered highs and lows, from falling in love and marrying a mountie to becoming a widow and a single mother.
In Season 9 of the series, Elizabeth is in a good place, both in terms of her personal and professional life. Krakow said she is grateful that the show has continued to do so well.
“It’s been an amazing ride so far,” Krakow said in an interview with The Pop Culture Principle. “I am well aware that most shows don’t make it this far.”
Erin Krakow discusses Season 8 drama
Season 8 was a tough one for Elizabeth. A widow with a young son, she was trying to choose between two suitors. She also quarreled with her friend Rosemary (played by Pascale Hutton), something that was out of character for the pair.
“It was a challenge to play those scenes, and I was happy when we got over it,” she said. “I think it’s valuable because it shows that relationships and friendships aren’t always perfect, and that’s okay, and that doesn’t mean that they have to end.”
Krakow touched on the backlash she and other actors faced when Elizabeth finally chose Lucas over Nathan in the Season 8 finale. While she understood the disappointment some fans felt, it was difficult to deal with the criticism.
“I am very protective of Elizabeth, and I think she has had so many challenges along the way,” Krakow said. “Her losing Jack was a major loss in her life, but it would be really nice if we could celebrate the joy that she’s now getting to experience.”
When Calls the Heart Season 8 highlights
Her favorite scene in Season 8 was when the community came together to help a family new to Hope Family. The Canfields arrived in town at the start of the season. Their daughter, Angela, was blind, but Elizabeth was determined to have her attend school with the rest of the children. She received pushback from higher-ups in the district, but the town stood by her decision, coming together to walk Angela to the schoolhouse.
“That scene was a true Hope Valley moment in the sense that it was community coming together in support of one another to do what was right and that to me is what When Calls the Heart is really about,” she said.
Season 9, Episode 3 of When Calls the Heart will air on Hallmark Channel on Sunday, March 20 at 8/7c.