Lori Loughlin is a talented actor whose credits include Full House, Fuller House, 90210, and Summerland. She currently plays the character of Abigail Stanton on When Calls the Heart.
Kurt Manwaring: Welcome! Before we begin, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you first got involved with “When Calls the Heart”?
Lori Loughlin: Producer Brad Krevoy asked me to do one day of work on the WCTH movie. He said there was potential for it to get picked up as a series. So I guess the movie was a back door pilot so to speak. When they got the pick up he offered me the role as a series regular.
Kurt Manwaring: You began acting at a fairly young age. Did your parents encourage you to go to auditions or did you have to convince them?
Lori Loughlin: I wanted to be an actress since I was five years old. My folks thought it was just a kid talking and that I’d outgrow the desire. Needless to say I didn’t outgrow it. When I was 11 years old I attended an open call at a modeling agency and they took me on the spot. That was my gateway in to the entertainment business.
My parents were of course instrumental in those early years. Without their help I wouldn’t have realized my dream.
Kurt Manwaring: On a similar note, you have become famous in two generations of viewers. Not to give away my age, but I grew up watching you on “Full House.” Now my daughter thinks Full House is just a misspelling of “Fuller House” (Netflix) and adores you on “When Calls the Heart.” What is different about the reaction of fans today compared to when you initially hit your stride in the 1980s?
Lori Loughlin: I’ve always had a nice fan base throughout my career. I think now with social media you get to connect with your fans on a more personal level. It’s the one thing I love about Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.
Kurt Manwaring: “When Calls the Heart“ has a unique community of fans that call themselves Hearties. I had no idea how invested and connected this community was until I began doing research and marketing for this interview. What does the support of “#Hearties” mean to you?
Lori Loughlin: “When Calls the Heart” has an incredible fan base who created the hashtag #hearties during season one. Their support means the world to us. Without fans you don’t have viewers and without viewers you don’t have a show.
The Hearties have been instrumental in spreading the word to others about “When Calls the Heart.” We couldn’t ask for a better marketing/ publicity team to support us. They’re the best!
Kurt Manwaring: Do you ever get nervous when you start a new show or when you start working with new actors? Similarly, do other actors ever get nervous around you during your first days filming together?
Lori Loughlin: I don’t typically get nervous on set or when I’m working with people.
However, when I did a guest spot on Blue Bloods, I definitely had some butterflies working with Tom Selleck! He was fantastic and put me right at ease.
I’m not sure if people are nervous about working with me. If they are I’m sure it passes quickly. I’m very friendly and easygoing. Especially on set.
Kurt Manwaring: Some say this is a golden age of television — that there are an unprecedented amount of quality programs on the air. What is it about “When Calls the Heart” that resonates with so powerfully with so many people?
Lori Loughlin: It’s hard for me to put in to words why “When Calls the Heart” is so successful. I can only say that there is something about our show and its message that resonates so deeply with the fans. It’s moving to see and hear how much the show touches them.
Kurt Manwaring: In sports, great teams are sometimes noted for their exceptional locker room chemistry. They excel in part because they get along so well and have fun playing the game. In what ways does the cast and crew of “When Calls the Heart” exhibit this kind of locker room chemistry? Do you think the real-life friendships that are formed have an effect on the way viewers receive the show?
Lori Loughlin: One hundred percent. I believe the chemistry and love that a cast has for each other is palpable to the viewer.
And I think it definitely contributes to the success of a show. People at home pick up on the energy and they find themselves wanting to sit down and spend time with those characters.
Kurt Manwaring: Your character of Abigail on “When Calls the Heart” is such a strong woman. She has been through so much tragedy and yet continues to fight — all while maintaining an incredibly optimistic attitude. Do you think her character ever gets lonely when no one else is around — or do you think she carries the same ‘You can do it’ attitude with her even when she’s alone?
Lori Loughlin: I believe Abigail practices what she preaches. She feels blessed to have Cody and Becky in her life. And I think the greatest gift she’s been given is her friendship with Elizabeth.
If she ever feels lonely I think it passes quickly once she takes inventory of all the good that has come in to her life.
Kurt Manwaring: What is an aspect of Abigail’s character that you would love to better possess in your personal life?
Lori Loughlin: Patience. She has an endless amount of patience. I’m patient but not to the same degree 😉
Kurt Manwaring: The costumes on “When Calls the Heart” are extraordinary — and increasingly diverse as the seasons progress. Would you share a few thoughts about the costumes? Are they comfortable? Does wearing period dresses help you get into character? Is there a particular costume you wish could fall off the costume truck and into your car?
Lori Loughlin: I love the costumes on our show and Barbara (Gregusova) does a phenomenal job. Yes, putting on the costume definitely helps to transport you back in time. My costumes are comfortable because I don’t wear a corset.
The one thing I do miss from season one are the hats. I’d love it if we could add some back here and there.
Kurt Manwaring: One of the #Hearties won the chance to ask you a question. Julie Ridings (Texas, USA) asks, “What inspires you to continue acting and how do you feel about your children becoming an actor?”
Lori Loughlin: Quite simply I continue to act because I LOVE it!
As far as my children, I want them to be happy and find their passion. If that happens to be acting then so be it. I’ve certainly made them aware of the pitfalls and rejection.
But if that’s their destiny then they have my support.
Life is short, fight to make your dreams come true.
Selected quotes from this interview were used in a Feb. 13, 2018 article in the Deseret News.
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