In a podcast interview with Paul Greene, Chris McNally shared how he was cast to play Lucas on Hallmark’s hit series, “When Calls the Heart.” As it turns out, he almost ended up playing Nathan instead.
He Auditioned for Nathan After an ‘Awful’ Audition for Lucas
Greene, who portrays Carson on the show, talked with McNally about how he got the part of Lucas for the show, and what went wrong in the interview process
You can watch the full podcast below.
In the podcast, McNally revealed that getting the role of Lucas wasn’t easy for him, and at one point he even auditioned for Nathan too.
The first time he read for Lucas, he was running late and the audition went poorly, he shared.
The first I ever read or Lucas … I’d moved to Los Angeles; I was living down there. … I went for the audition and I was a little late and it was a very hot day… I made some wrong turns… I got super flustered and I walk in there finally after finding a parking spot, sprint a block and half down to the room, I’m sweating and just a mess of nerves, and I go in and just totally like wreck this audition. It was awful. It’s really bad. … I was not setting myself up for success. … I was pretty mad at myself.
He explained that he would have been more forgiving of himself if he had done his best and didn’t get the role, but he knew he had made some mistakes that day.
“If you’re prepared … [You do] what you wanted to do and you don’t get a job, that’s not on you…” he shared. “But if you go and you wreck it because you weren’t prepared or you caused yourself to be a mess of nerves, that’s your fault. So I was pretty mad at myself for screwing up that opportunity.”
Later that week, he got a call to audition for Nathan and he took it.
I think later than same week, I got a call from my Canadian rep saying, ‘Canada casting would like to see a tape of yours for this role of Nathan.’ So I thought, OK, this gives me another opportunity to read for this show in a more controlled environment… And I took extra time to prep that one, and I feel like I did a good job… I was happy with that tape… I didn’t hear anything for a while, maybe three weeks. And then all of a sudden I got a call saying, ‘You’re pinned for Nathan.’ And they want to do a chemistry read with you and Erin, and it was in LA.
This time around, he said he made up for his mistakes the first time. He did a warm-up routine and relaxation exercise to prepare, and left with a lot of extra time so he wouldn’t be running late. The audition went well. When he was about to leave, he was asked to stick around for a few minutes.
“They said, ‘We’d like you to read for Lucas. We just think you might be good for both of these guys,'” he said.
So he took about 15 to 20 minutes to review the script again and immerse himself right back into those scenes. He said the scene he read for was one they wrote for the audition, but wasn’t actually in the show itself.
“I had an opportunity to basically redo and fix what I had screwed up the month before with the same scenes…” he said. “I was feeling great. I was relaxed and prepped.”
McNally Said He Was About to Run Out of Money & Have to Move Back Home When He Got the Job
McNally told Greene that he was almost out of money when the job with “When Calls the Heart” came through.
I was looking at my bank account and doing some math and realized I didn’t have enough money and I was gonna have to go back home… I think I had enough money to pay two months more rent… I started freaking out… I’ve worked 10 years to get to this point, finally got my visa… and I’m gonna have to go back with my tail between my legs after eight months because I ran out of cash.
Right after he was panicking, he realized he had missed seven calls from his reps. And those calls were congratulating him because he had been given the role of Lucas.
McNally told Greene that he would have been happy to play Lucas or Nathan, but a small part of him had been hoping for the Lucas role.