How Hope Valley Welcomed The Canfield Family to WHEN CALLS THE HEART
By Movieguide® Staff
Introduced in the most recent WHEN CALLS HEART season, the Canfield family has already brought joy to Hope Valley.
Joseph Canfield, his wife, Minnie, and their two kids, daughter Angela and son Cooper, all joined WHEN CALLS THE HEART on episode 4 of season 8. In a recent interview with ET, the new family confirmed that their journey is just beginning.
Stars Viv Leacock (Joseph), Natasha Burnett (Minnie), and Viv’s real-life children, Vienna Leacock (Angela) and Elias Leacock (Cooper), maintain a strong relationship on and off the screen.
“Things went pretty crazy, for sure,” Natasha told ET. “As an actor, you’re not really sure how your characters are going to be received. And, although we loved the story, you just didn’t really know how else everyone else would view it. So when we started getting messages through and tweets through that night, it was a little bit overwhelming, actually.”
Viv added: “The fanbase for the show is fierce. Everybody, they’re up on all the information, they know every storyline, every nuance, anything that’s ever happened and so welcoming, so warm, so giving and just supportive.”
Viv and Natasha noted that the cast also embraced them with open arms and even went out of their way to make the Leacocks feel welcome.
“Erin Krakow sent an amazing email, welcoming us to the show. She wanted to make sure that anything we needed, she was on it and so excited to have us, and just that little personal touch was so nice,” Viv recalled. “They were saying, ‘We’ve been asking for this, we’ve been pushing for this.'”
“Before we even got to set, we felt really comfortable with what was going to happen, and we felt like our opinions were heard, and they really listened to us. It really felt like a collaboration,” Natasha said.
Viv continued: “They wanted us to be dropped into this story. Again, Natasha mentioned [showrunner] John Tinker, and [director/producers] Peter DeLuise and Mike Rhol, everybody was really, really excited to hear what we had to say. And that’s not something that you really get a lot when you do other gigs.”
Both Natasha and Viv said their on-screen chemistry is rooted in their friendship off-screen. Viv added that even the children fell in love with acting alongside Natasha.
“Kids don’t have to like anybody. Kids are straight up, like, ‘I don’t like…’ They’re going to tell you straight up,” Viv says, laughing, before adding, “Everybody fell in love [with Natasha]. Thankfully, it all worked out. Just her ability to come in and just be herself, be easy… I thought I was cool, she’s so easy going!”
Fans can look forward to more of the Canfields as the characters continue to play a role in the Hope Vally community.