Remember Ashley from Heartland? That’s Cindy Busby

Cindy Busby won the hearts of millions of viewers with her portrayal of Ashley Stanton on the family-friendly ‘Heartland.’

Cindy Busby won the hearts of viewers with her portrayal of Ashley Stanton on Heartland. And her role on the Mr. Darcy series has fans asking if Cindy Busby is married in real life. In this interview, the actress shares rare details from some of the best Cindy Busby movies and TV shows.

Who is Cindy Busby?

I’m a French Canadian actress originally from Montreal. I love making people laugh, traveling, animals, and cooking. I started acting in my elementary school plays when I was 10 and I have been a professional actor for 15 years. I’ve never wanted to do anything else.

“Marrying Mr. Darcy” is the sequel to “Unleashing Mr. Darcy,” based on the book written by Teri Wilson. It begins 6 months after the first movie when Elizabeth and Donavan get engaged. Throughout the movie, my character, Elizabeth Scott, is challenged by family wedding expectations and finding her voice during the wedding planning. She starts to question whether her and Donovan’s differences are too much to overcome.

What was Cindy Busby’s first professional audition?

My first professional audition was for an MTV show called “Undressed” and I had no idea what I was doing because I’d only ever auditioned for plays. Haha!

I remember being very nervous. When I walked out of the room, I was like “Ummm, what just happened?” I got a call two days later from my agent saying I’d gotten the part, but I couldn’t accept the job because it conflicted with my school exams, so they offered me a different role.

The part that surprised me the most is that an actor will put in hours of work on developing a character, memorizing lines and getting ready, but the audition itself is only about three minutes. Actors are always given call times, which is your scheduled audition time, but 90 percent of the time it runs late.

Does Cindy Busby see any dramatic differences in herself now compared to when she started acting?

To say I see a difference is an understatement, haha! I’ve grown so much as a person and a performer over the years. To this day, I still take on-going acting classes when I’m not working. It’s important to fine tune your instrument no matter what level you’re at.

The biggest difference I’ve noticed is my confidence. I’ve learned to trust my instincts on set and during auditions, and most of all, have fun doing it. It’s important to not take anything personally and know that the television and movie is a business, after all.

It’s also so important to treat everyone on a set with the utmost respect because whether you’re a background actor or the director everyone is just as important as the next in the making of any project.

What happened to Ashley on Heartland?

Being on a series for several years gives you the opportunity to create a character that evolves and grows as a person like anyone would in real life.

At the beginning of the “Heartland” series, Ashley was a competitive, bratty and spoiled rich girl, who wasn’t always so nice to those around her, which was a product of her environment.

Over time she fell in love and paved her own path no matter what her mother’s expectations were. I love creating characters that people can relate too.

We’re always so much more than meets the eye and I love understanding human behavior. Ashley is still one of my all time favorites.

Did Cindy Busby influence the writing of Ashley on Heartland?

The writers on “Heartland” were fantastic and wrote really well for me and how I interpreted the character. I didn’t really have much say in the writing, but they were always open to ideas and changes from any of the cast.

What does Cindy Busby remember about being on When Calls the Heart?

Marlise Bennett was such a fun character. I’d auditioned for “When Calls The Heart” a couple of times before, but I really connected to this one.

I love playing characters that seem hard on the outside and soft in the middle. I like to break down judgments and ideas that the audience might have the first time they meet someone. Dressing up in period costumes was something I really looked forward to.

Most of all, getting to act in a scene with Lori Loughlin was a dream come true. Growing up I was a huge “Full House” fan, and she did not disappoint. She’s as kind as she is talented.

Paul Green, Lori Loughlin, and Cindy Busby behind the scenes of “When Calls the Heart.’ Photo provided by Cindy Busby.

Is Cindy Busby’s co-star Ryan Paevey serious or silly behind the scenes?

Ryan can be really silly and never takes himself too seriously, while always remaining a consummate professional. He’s very engaging and always has fun stories to share. I’d say we’re both pretty well behaved, but I’d probably be more likely to get us into trouble. 🙂

What happened at the end of Unleashing Mr. Darcy?

At the end of “Unleashing Mr Darcy,” Elizabeth falls in love with Donovan and it’s insinuated that they will pursue a relationship with one another.

The biggest challenge Elizabeth will encounter during the sequel is balancing her hopes and dreams while still meeting the expectations of the New York Darcy family legacy.

Who is Teri Wilson?

Teri Wilson, the author and mastermind behind the Hallmark “Darcy” movies, has been so incredibly supportive and present from the beginning. The cast and crew got to meet her on the set of both movies when she came to visit to say hi. She also made a cameo in both movies so see if you can find her!

A question for Cindy Busby from Nicole Wheeler

Thanks for the awesome question, Nicole! If I hadn’t decided to become an actor I would have become a professional organizer/clutter specialist. I get excited about organizing my own things as well as other people’s. I’m a practical person when it comes to ‘stuff’ and finding a place for it. I’ve never been an advocate of just keeping things because ‘I might need it in 2 years from now’. Hahaha!

Who would Cindy Busby pick as a co-star and director for another Hallmark Channel movie?

That’s a good one! I think I’d pick Andrew Walker as my co-star because he’s also originally from Montreal and I met him recently at the Hallmark TCA’s and he was a really great guy.

I would choose Monika Mitchell as our director. I worked with her on “Date My Dad.” I loved how she challenged me to think outside the box and her calm confident energy.

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By Kurt Manwaring

Writer. History nerd. Latter-day Saint.

3 replies on “Remember Ashley from Heartland? That’s Cindy Busby”

I am a devoted fan of ” When calls the heart ” . I Love that show. I just watched. ” Unleashing Mr. Darcy ” and can’t wait to watch , ” Marrying Mr Darcy “. I love both characters. Donovan Darcy is so Handsome, he takes your breath away. Hallmark Movies are the best. They are inspiring, family oriented and uplifting movies.I am looking forward to all their Christmas movies as well..

I also enjoy Hallmark movies, particularly the seasonal ones. I especially like the family emphasis and strong spirituality woven into many of them.

One improvement or adjustment that is needed is the endings. They are all identical; introduce a romantic crisis between the two protagonists, then miraculously resolve it a few minutes later, immediately followed by the closing credits. Seriously, it’s like sitting down for a meal and always having the same exact thing every time.

Fortunately most of the plots are enjoyable and the Actors do really good jobs!

I love all the Hallmark movies.


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