Kavan Smith on Massive Sky River’s Magnificence and Refined Storytelling, Lee and Rosemary’s Subsequent Journey on WCTH

Kavan Smith strikes once more with one other red-hot film. He stars as Boone Taylor in Massive Sky River, a single father of two boys who’s attempting to supply the perfect life for his household.

He’s doing that every one alone with out criticism, however when Tara (Emmanuelle Vaugier) rents the home subsequent door for the summer time together with her stepdaughter, their two households develop nearer as Boone and Tara uncover that they may not must go it alone, in any case.

We caught up with Kavan in regards to the film (which you’ll adore) and for some When Calls the Coronary heart chitchat. Contemplate this dialog your prep work earlier than catching the premiere of Massive Sky River on Hallmark Films & Mysteries on Sunday, August 7 at 9/8c.

Massive Sky River is such a stupendous film, visually and emotionally. How did you get entangled with it?

Effectively, as a matter of reality, I used to be planning a trip. And anytime you propose a trip as an actor, you possibly can nearly assure that you’ll get a job provide.

Big Sky River Poster

I used to be truly on my laptop, nearly to pay for the flight, and I bought a name from my agent asking if I might be fascinated with taking a look at this venture.

We did not know who was connected first, and sometimes when that occurs, I simply assume that it should be Pascale Hutton who was connected to it. However on this case, they stated that wasn’t going to occur.

However then, after I came upon it was Emmanuelle [Vaugier], who I would labored with earlier than a number of years in the past on a venture known as Mistresses. I used to be tremendous excited as a result of we had a very good time collectively. She’s tremendous enjoyable. So I used to be actually enthusiastic about it.

After which I additionally came upon that the director, Peter Benson, is one other pal of mine. When he got here on board, I am like, “That is simply going to be enjoyable. It is similar to pals getting collectively.”

Like a trip.

Yeah. Precisely, I bought a trip out of it anyway. The one factor I used to be a bit bizarre about was the cowboy half as a result of I am not likely a lot of a cowboy. Though I come from Alberta, Canada, which is cowboy territory, and perhaps it is in my DNA someplace.

However I instructed my youngsters about it, they usually’re like, “Actually? You? A cowboy?” I used to be like, “Okay, nicely, thanks on your assist. However sure.” After I learn the script, one of many issues oftentimes with Hallmark scripts, there are some issues that bump, and also you’re unsure how it should play.

And this one the place there have been no bumps in any respect. And it had me involved, although. I used to be like, “Okay, the place’s the what is going on on right here?” And I noticed that it is not likely an image about boy meets lady, which a number of the Hallmark films are.

Kavan Smith of You Had Me at Aloha


It felt to me that this was extra like about two damaged households that have been getting a second probability. It wasn’t only one man and one lady. It was this man; he was attempting to maintain his household afloat with two boys combating the lack of their mom.

After which this different lady who involves city, and she or he’s attempting to piece collectively this relationship out of a divorce the place her step-daughter is nearer to her than she is to her father. I believed that is actually about two households coming collectively extra so than it’s in regards to the conventional Hallmark, one man, one lady.

I actually favored that. I believed that the film would both sink or swim on whether or not or not all people would have chemistry — if we might actually join as households.

If I might join with the boys and if Emmanuelle might join with the lady, after which if we might all join collectively, this may very well be a very candy and enjoyable, pure film. I have not seen it but myself. So I am hoping that is what we bought ultimately.

Emmanuelle Vaugier and Kavan Smith

Sure, positively. It was considered one of my favourite Hallmark films I’ve seen in ages. And I am not simply saying that as a result of I am speaking to you. At any time when I used to be carried out, I used to be like, “I actually loved this.” It did not appear to be a Hallmark film.

There was a number of that concerned. I actually do suppose they’re branching out a bit bit. So that they’re tackling some issues that they have not, or that they shied away from. the concept of divorce and stuff and coming collectively that means.

And since it was lots much less about simply boy meets lady, it was these two households, like I stated, coming collectively, that has not at all times been their factor. So this actually felt to me that this was going to permit Emmanuelle and I to essentially see if we might put some chops into this and make you’re feeling for these characters.

And I actually loved the scenes that I did with the boys. I imply, there have been a few scenes with every child the place… I’ve two boys myself.

Boone and Tara Hit the Dance Floor

I do know. How nice is that?

Yeah, it was actually thrilling.

You are that dad.

Yeah, I’m that dad. And I speak to them. I added some stuff that’s the means I speak to my youngsters. And like I stated, I have not seen it. So I do not know the way a lot of what I put in there was saved or not. However I do know I added a good bit of pop from my repertoire into it as a result of I hoped it could make it extra pure.

While you’re coping with youthful performers, typically it helps them loosen up within the scene and simply take heed to you. I believed that every one of many boys that performed my sons have been so good at various things, and it actually made it enjoyable and attention-grabbing for me.

So I used to be positively capable of sort out a few of that. And I have not had any of that in a Hallmark venture outdoors of this one. So I used to be actually excited to do this.

Kavan Smith on the Rogue Red Carpet

Yeah. It actually labored. Each households have been plausible, and also you felt for each. Good.

Additionally, from the boy meets lady perspective, you and Emmanuelle have been clearly snug with one another from having labored collectively earlier than. And it was a really grownup and candy assembly of two individuals who have been afraid of affection once more.

Yeah. It was within the script, however it was very delicate. It was actually form of, “We’re not going to beat this over the pinnacle.” That is going to sink or swim on whether or not or not Emmanuelle and I can discover a solution to join.

And one of many issues that she brings to the desk that’s nice, and it is also one of many issues I really like about Pascale, is that she does not take herself too critically. And typically, with actors, you have to do no matter it takes to do the efficiency that you are going for. I get that. However typically, it is exhausting.

Typically working with actors is exhausting, and that is coming from an actor. So she was so enjoyable and uncomplicated and within the second, and she or he’s a very nice actor, and she or he’s bought an amazing humorousness. And people issues actually converse to me as an individual.

Boone and Tara Pose for a Picture

So I prefer it after I present as much as work, and someone is enjoyable, dwelling within the second, does not take themselves too critically, and is an effective performer who can work with improvisation. She will roll with issues as a result of I prefer to try to change takes up and stuff.

She was nice with all of that. And I knew she could be as a result of I would labored together with her a very long time in the past. And I knew we bought alongside fairly nicely again then.

However on day one, we simply began making one another snigger straight away. I by no means noticed any of it on digital camera, so I do not know what it appears like on digital camera, however I felt in entrance of the digital camera that there was positively chemistry. So I imply, for those who say it is there, then I will take your phrase for it.

And there is one specific scene on the romantic aspect that blew me away for a Hallmark film.

Oh, nice.

Kavan Smith TCA Tour 2019 Closeup

It is when the 2 of you have been simply leaning your heads collectively. You might need had a bit kiss. It was very emotional. It wasn’t coy; it was so deep. I cherished it.

I keep in mind capturing that. I bought to offer a number of credit score to the director on that one as a result of he requested for a bodily transfer. I like the concept of coming collectively and being nonetheless, however he wished a digital camera angle on that. So he wished us to do this whereas we have been barely turning.

And I felt like, “Ugh, I do not know, turning whereas we’re attempting to have this form of tete-a-tete second.” But it surely actually labored. Additionally, one of many issues that you aren’t getting in a number of these films is time. We allowed that to develop.

It wasn’t simply head in, contact, suppose, kiss, carried out. It was actually form of sluggish and sanguine. And it was actually a stupendous second. I am glad you favored that. That was actually cool.

Kavan Smith TCA Tour 2018

And it nearly got here off like a dance.


You stated you did not know if it could work with the turning. It labored completely.

Oh, I am so glad. It felt a bit bizarre doing it. However as quickly as we landed from the flip, then all of it felt actually fairly pure. And I feel that for those who’re … It is not burned in love, as a result of he misplaced his spouse, she died, and Tara [Vaugier] was burned in love.

Typically the vulnerability of that second the place you open your self up, there aren’t any phrases. You needn’t say something. And also you lean your head and also you’re saying to the opposite individual, “I belief you. I am right here. Let’s examine the place this goes.”

A variety of Hallmark films do not do this. And I used to be glad that we took that point, and that’s all Peter. Peter Benson, who directed, that was all his thought. So I give him full credit score for that.

Kavan Smith TCA Tour 2018 Closeup

For those who present individuals what you feel, versus telling them, it goes lots additional.

It actually does. It is the identical factor in writing and issues like that. You’ll be able to inform them stuff, however you needn’t hit them over the pinnacle. The truth is, the much less you possibly can say, the extra impactful the second often is.

And it was the identical factor with each of you as dad and mom within the film, the best way that Boone was simply enjoying ball with them out within the yard. I imply, you do not see that fairly often.

No, no.

Kavan Smith at Rogue Premiere

And one thing so simple as an image, the little lady’s image was on Tara’s fridge, simply issues that talk volumes with out having to say a phrase.

Sure. I feel there was a number of that on this film. Not so apparent, however like delicate little issues that made it really feel a bit extra plausible and a bit extra actual.

Precisely. And you do not have to inform me that you simply’re good dad and mom as a result of I might see it.

That is precisely what we have been going for. No one needed to say, “Oh, nicely, he is a superb dad.” You’ll be able to see him the best way he talks with the youngsters that dads do not speak to youngsters like that except they love them except they really need the perfect for them.

You do not have to have someone within the background or in one other scene say, “Oh, he is such a superb dad.” We have already proven that. Or vice versa, “She’s an amazing stepmother,” as a result of she’s proven it. Yep. That is precisely proper.

Boone Taylor at the Dance

You stated you were not a superb cowboy. Had been you truly in these driving scenes?

I used to be. I did all of the driving scenes apart from the high-speed stuff. I am pretty snug on horses as a result of I’ve carried out a good bit of that on When Calls, and I’ve carried out some Westerns prior to now. However I am getting previous now. And my physique does not love banging round at excessive speeds.

Emmanuel is a critical rider. She is a present jumper and owns her horse, and she or he competes on a regular basis. So the director and the producers actually wished to make the most of having her on digital camera at these excessive speeds, performing some actually high-end stuff. So I am simply not adequate to comply with her in that.

Trotting round and doing issues on horses, I am good with all that. However the high-speed stuff, no. They introduced in an actual cowboy for that.

Hope Valley's Future Mayor? - When Calls the Heart Season 9 Episode 1

What’s humorous is, as I used to be watching it, I used to be considering, “That is one thing I at all times wished to do.” I had gone on path rides and that form of stuff rising up, however I at all times wished to have that flat-out run. And what went via my thoughts was, “Now, with my physique at this age, there is no means. I would be on the bottom.”

The primary cellphone name I bought from Peter was like, “Okay, trustworthy.” As a result of actors lie on a regular basis about what they will do. I have been requested ‘trigger I trip bikes, and I have been requested so many occasions. They’re like, “Actually? Actually? Do you actually drive a motorbike?” As a result of actors simply lie about something to get the half.

However Peter known as me, and he’s like, “Look, I want the reality. How good are you on a horse?” And I used to be like, “Hear, so long as it is simply trotting round and little galloping right here and there and scenes on horses, strolling with horses, no drawback.”

Actual hardcore driving? And I already knew that Emmanuel was an actual rider, and I knew they have been going to need to make the most of that. So I used to be like, “Hear, you are going to want to usher in a cowboy for those who actually need to go for it.”

They usually introduced in an amazing man. So he was terrific. And she or he was over the moon on that day. She was at all times glad and constructive on set, however boy, that day, she was over-the-moon on horse galloping day.

Kavan Smith as Lee Coulter - When Calls the Heart

And the way neat is that? As a result of that was what her character cherished to do as nicely.

Whoever forged her, whoever reached out to Emmanuelle, should have recognized that she was a rider as a result of it was an ideal match. And I feel that we had a very nice time collectively. I used to be tremendous proud of the best way this film took place.

Okay, granted, I did not do the hardcore driving, however I felt fairly good in regards to the stuff that I did do. So for a man who’s not a cowboy, I used to be pretty snug simply doing the cowboy stuff.

Yeah. Is smart to me. And have we ever seen scruffy Kavan on display earlier than?

Effectively, not on Hallmark. No, I’ve carried out a number of scruffy cabin stuff on different issues again after I was youthful.

Kavan Smith TCA Tour 2019

I am unable to even keep in mind you from different issues. You have been clean-shaven on Eureka. You have been clean-shaven-

Yeah, I used to be.

Yeah. There have been a number of clean-shaven roles, however I could not discover any scruffy.

There are a couple of on the market, however yeah, a number of the stuff is clean-shaven. And I’ve a ritual that after I was a child, I might undergo yearly as an actor as a result of you must look a sure means, and also you get uninterested in it after some time.

So each Christmas, I might develop a beard and shave my head. After which I might often, by February, my hair has grown again, after which I would shave my beard. And that was my little rebel.

When Calls the Heart's Lee Coulter

However on this one, I did not know he was a sheriff straight away, however I did … After I heard the cowboy stuff, I used to be like, “It is smart if he was a bit extra damaged down,” like not so fearful about his appears and never so fearful about shaving day-after-day.

So I used to be stunned once they okayed that as a result of it isn’t at all times been Hallmark’s factor. For me, they’ve at all times red-flagged it. However this one, I used to be form of glad. It is only a totally different look.

Yeah, I favored it. I favored it.


It is the one place apart from wrinkles as a result of I’ve a number of these, however I am not grey on my head but. However I’m fairly grey in my beard. So it is the one place that offers me away beside the wrinkles.

Lee In Blue - When Calls the Heart Season 8 Episode 12

However you recognize what? These sorts of salt and pepper beards look good.

Yeah. Effectively-

[laughs] I do not know that girls might pull them off, however males look actually good in them.

Yeah. Effectively, thanks. Thanks.

Have you ever ever performed a sheriff earlier than?

On Eureka, I performed Deputy Andy, and he wore primarily the identical outfit. So-

Ben Cliffside

I used to be going to say. However he is a robotic. So I did not actually consider him because the Sheriff. [laughs]

He is a robotic. Sure. Yeah, no, he was a robotic. I cherished Deputy Andy. He was considered one of my favourite characters that I’ve ever performed.

But it surely was humorous, after I placed on this sheriff’s outfit, I used to be like, “Oh, this takes me again.” As soon as they put the holster on me and all of the radio and all of the GAC, I used to be like, “Ah, this feels … ” Aside from the cowboy hat, this felt precisely like Andy.

Oh, enjoyable!

Yeah. It was enjoyable.

Lee and Rosemary Coulter on WCTH - When Calls the Heart

So going away from this film, I simply have a few questions on When Calls the Coronary heart for you. Lee and Rosemary are having a child. How excited are you guys for this story to play out?

Effectively, I’ve joked about this prior to now. I will take the credit score, and I will say, “Oh, that is all as a result of I pushed this ahead.” [laughs] I did not actually have something to do with this. That is all Pascale.

We each at all times wished these two to have a household. We did not know if there could be adoption or if it could be a start, however we each wished this within the earlier years. After which it form of felt to me like, “All proper, nicely, I am not younger anymore. So perhaps this isn’t the appropriate factor for these two anymore.” Pascale’s fairly a bit youthful than me.

However I used to be like, “Eh; I do not know.” However she actually, actually dug her heels in with the community and actually wished this. I nonetheless suppose it is the appropriate resolution, the appropriate alternative story-wise for these two. I did not suppose it was going to occur. I would given up hope, however she didn’t.

She was tenacious, and at the very least she bought her means. And I am truly actually glad as a result of the best way they did it’s they crimson herring-ed us elsewhere. They begin this newspaper, and we nearly overlook about it. There’s the odd reference right here and there, however they overlook about it.

After which, proper once they get actually busy doing different stuff, and their life takes a brand new path, impulsively, it occurs. I actually did like that. I believed that was a enjoyable solution to play it. And now we’ll see what occurs this 12 months, this season, after we get going right here, how that performs out. My fingers are crossed.

Making Good Use of That Camera - When Calls the Heart Season 9 Episode 8

Yeah. I cherished it in the course of the season once they just about stated out loud as they have been strolling to church that they have been okay with their lives and that the whole lot was all proper. Then, it was now not a fear. And I believed proper then, “Okay. It is not a fear anymore. They’re going to get pregnant.”

Do not you suppose that is an odd echo as a result of that is form of the way it occurs? It is not an issue, however for lots of people who undergo that, having a child is so seldom simply, “Hey, you are going to have a child. The primary time you get pregnant, and you’ve got a child.”

It is simply not many individuals’s story. Normally, it is extra difficult. And in that complication, it appears to me that once you lastly simply say, “You recognize what, let’s cease attempting so exhausting. Let’s simply go on with our lives,” that is when it typically occurs.

It’s. They usually have been so targeted elsewhere. And with out placing that strain on themselves, their our bodies gave into it.

Precisely. And I feel that it is actually attention-grabbing as a result of now we’re set as much as have this actually attention-grabbing state of affairs the place they’re getting a newspaper going, they’re nonetheless working the lumber mill or the sawmill. They’ve a child coming. So there’s being pregnant right here. They’re sharing this area at house and the workplace. You are simply arrange for craziness.

And that is what me and Rosemary, I feel, do greatest is that mixture of humor and craziness and coronary heart. That is what we have at all times gone via with these two. So I feel we’re arrange for an amazing story arc, and I hope that’ll occur.

The Coulters at the Wedding - When Calls the Heart

Was there ever a scene of you two sharing a mattress earlier than?

Yeah, we did do it as soon as earlier than. I feel it was two or three seasons in the past when she had Scarlet fever. I feel when Rosemary will get Scarlet fever.

Proper. I knew there have been scenes at or on the mattress at that time. I did not keep in mind for those who have been in mattress collectively.

No. And we had talked about that. There have been problems with the bed room stuff for Lee and Rosemary. Due to the property that we shoot on, we’re restricted within the variety of buildings we will have. So it must be a swing set. So, oddly sufficient, we used the church.

It is a lengthy, difficult means of organising our bed room within the church. That is why it isn’t one thing that is carried out fairly often. So we’re simply restricted by what number of buildings we will have on the bodily set.

All Their Strength - When Calls the Heart

Effectively, it labored out very well, I believed. That is the place she instructed him she was pregnant. It was such an intimate second.

Yeah, it was so enjoyable, man. We have been enjoying it form of humorous earlier than like he is falling asleep, and he thinks she’s alluding to one thing else. And when she tells him, and he simply jumps off the bed yelling, we each thought it was actually candy. However once more, you by no means know the way these issues will find yourself, how it should work.

I can soar off the bed yelling and hope it really works. And also you simply do not know ultimately. And one of many issues that occurred was that the crew was actually having fun with it. Crews very seldom get entangled in scenes whilst you’re capturing them. They’re doing their job.

They have their very own issues to do, however they have been actually having fun with it and laughing in between takes. And you could possibly inform that we have been getting someplace. I do not know. I have not seen it myself but, to be fairly trustworthy with you, but-

Stunning Surprise - When Calls the Heart Season 9 Episode 12

Oh, you are kidding? Kavan.

No, I have not seen it. I am a bit superstitious about watching myself. I will admit that my ego is large enough that I take a look at the fallacious issues.

Oh, I perceive that.

It is actually exhausting to look at your self. I will watch myself a bit bit right here and there, simply to ensure I am not means off, however my ego’s large enough that I are likely to typically fixate on the fallacious factor as a substitute of efficiency. So consider one thing silly. So I want to not. Pascale watches all of them, and she or he and her husband inform me the way it went.

Good, good. At the least you get an upfront there.


Caught Red Handed - When Calls the Heart Season 9 Episode 9

Effectively, my final query for you, is there any probability that Lee would possibly nonetheless be capable of take that editorial place from Hope Valley? I would like to see him do one thing bigger, however nonetheless with a smaller scope.

Yeah, you and me each. I feel that might be an amazing match for Lee. No one has talked to me but in regards to the story arc for this 12 months. I am hoping to have a dialog quickly, however I feel half of what is going to add to the dynamic of the infant is for them to every have their very own world pulling at them. We set it up this manner.

So now, proceed that and have him pulled in that path, have her pulled in a special path, all whereas being in one another’s area and never having the ability to get away from one another. And whereas she’s pregnant, I feel that it units itself up for that.

And I actually hope that’s the case if he does have that. As a result of I’ve felt personally for Lee within the final couple of seasons, he is been a bit directionless. I’ve struggled with that personally, as an actor. I’ve saved asking to have some path.

I did not need him to be flailing within the wind, and I am actually hoping that no matter it’s, it is one thing that manifests itself quickly and provides him a path in life.

The Big Moment Has Arrived - When Calls the Heart Season 9 Episode 2

And he was enthusiastic about being the mayor too. I actually thought that was going to be his factor. I actually did.

I did, too, I did too. I believed that is the place they have been going with it. No one tells the actors the place they are going with something. It is extremely seldom that we get any data earlier than we get the script. Typically your concepts are pretty much as good as mine. I do not know the place they are going from one second to the subsequent.

So I hope that we set up some form of internal path. As a result of we set it up for him to be on this path. He has been trying and on the lookout for a few seasons now, and he hasn’t discovered something. So I really feel he is simply flailing within the wind a bit bit as a person.

He is nonetheless a robust marriage, good husband. He will be a superb father, all that is there, however there’s one thing person that appears to be lacking from Lee that I am hoping we will rediscover quickly.

Some Advice Is Better Left Unsaid - When Calls the Heart Season 7 Episode 2

Proper. And his editorial tasks on the small paper have actually hit house with lots of people, so why not take it on an even bigger scale? It was dangled on the market.

Yeah, I feel so too. I imply, it is arrange for it. Let’s examine what occurs.

Effectively, fingers crossed. And I am unable to look ahead to individuals to see this film. I feel you are going to get nice suggestions on it.

Effectively, thanks a lot. I actually recognize it. I had a good time making it.

Remember to look at Massive Sky River on Hallmark Films and Mysteries on Sunday, August 7 at 9/8c!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a workers author and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Selection Affiliation, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of tv and movie with anybody who will hear. Observe her on Twitter and e-mail her right here at TV Fanatic.

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