Erin Krakow Finally Opens Up About Daniel Lissing’s Departure from WHEN CALLS THE HEART
By Movieguide® Staff
Season 8 of the beloved show WHEN CALLS THE HEART recently premiered on Feb. 21 with Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thatcher at the helm.
Though Elizabeth is now stuck in a love triangle with Lucas and Nathan, there was a time when her heart belonged to another – Mountie Jack Thornton.
In Season 5, fans of the show, aka “Hearties,” were shocked when Elizabeth’s love interest Jack Thornton, played by Daniel Lissing, was killed off from the show.
“Circumstances arose for me where I needed to leave When Calls the Heart for reasons that are very personal to me,” Lissing said in a Facebook Live, according to Entertainment Tonight. “I went to Hallmark and they were nothing but supportive of me. I went to the girls and they were nothing but supportive of me.”
Although Lissing and producer Brian Bird have discussed Hallmark’s decision in the past, Erin Krakow only recently offered her perspective on the matter.
Krakow revealed how she and her co-star had built their chemistry over the first five seasons.
“The chemistry, the connection, the sparks, whatever you want to call it between Jack and Elizabeth… I don’t think I realized how powerful it would be,” Krakow said during an interview on the Deck The Hallmark podcast. “How much it would affect our parties. I’m thrilled that it did, obviously. Dan and I were both having this new adventure together. We didn’t know each other very well. So we were sort of experiencing that adventure and getting to know each other as our characters were getting to know each other. It was, it was really pretty easy. Like, there was just something about working together. It was kind of like it just felt natural.”
Krakow said that Lissing broke the news to her in-person.
“When Dan came to me to share this news, it wasn’t, ‘I’m thinking I’d like to explore other options,’ It was ‘I’ve gone to the network, I’m leaving,'” Krakow recalled. “He wanted to tell me himself, which I appreciate because if I’d heard from anyone else, he would have been in serious trouble.
“I was really, really sad. I don’t know how else to put it,” Krakow continued. “He had become such a partner in crime. Our working together, it just worked so well. And it was like riding a bike every time we’d come back to set, it was just easy.”
Don’t let the day end without listening to our interview with @erinkrakow! We had a blast & asked the hard hitting questions like this one. Listen wherever or watch on @frndlytv!
📺: https://t.co/1NnDLiC14h#Hearties #WhenCallsTheHeart @hallmarkchannel pic.twitter.com/JP56XUSixi
— Deck The Hallmark Podcast (@hallmarkpodcast) February 25, 2021
Krakow also shared how Hallmark made the uncharacteristic decision to kill off the character and how the decision left the future of WHEN CALLS THE HEART up in the air.
“I was probably a little nervous about what that meant for the show,” Krakow explained. “I care deeply about WHEN CALLS THE HEART and all of the people whose livelihoods are wrapped up in it. So I’m sure there were moments where I wondered, ‘What does this mean for all of these people? Are we still going to have jobs? If Hallmark lets us continue with this show, will we continue to have the success that we’ve found without Daniel?’ Luckily we have been able to stay on the air and the ‘Hearties’ still seem very invested.”
Krakow continued: “I didn’t just read the script and go, ‘Oh, he’s gonna die.’ There was a lot of conversation about ‘How do we handle the fact that Dan is leaving the show?'”
Krakow had “Hearties” in mind but knew it would be difficult to make the change believable.
“I think everyone was in agreement that he would never just leave Elizabeth, that that sort of cheapened their love story,” Krakow said. “And so the only real way to make it make sense to make it believable would be for Jack to die.”
Krakow sees Lissing and her other co-stars as family offset, too.
Aside from Lissing, the lead actress also opened up about another former WHEN CALLS THE HEART star, Lori Laughlin.
Movieguide® previously reported:
WHEN CALLS THE HEART star Erin Krakow hopes that former co-star Lori Laughlin will return to Hope Valley. Hallmark dropped Laughlin in 2019 after the actress was convicted of paying bribes during the college admissions scandal.
“Well, I sure hope so,” Krakow told Fox News. “Real life Abigail is one of my dearest friends. Her name still hangs on a sign above the cafe. She will always be an incredibly important part of ‘When Calls the Heart.’ I would love to see her character back in Hope Valley again. We’ve got a lot more exciting stories that we could tell with her.”
Season 8 of WHEN CALLS THE HEART premiered this week and took viewers back to the coal mining, good-hearted town of Hope Valley.
“They’re some of my very best friends and I miss them when I’m not up there in Vancouver,” Krakow said. “As far as one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from the show, I think my takeaway is that you are stronger than you think. There will be unexpected challenges and surprises in life. When you think you are incapable of handling them alone, there’s always a hand to hold, someone to reach out to in Hope Valley who can help support you. I found that to be true in life, as well. You’re stronger than you think.”