Hearties were glued to their screens on August 20, 2023, as a new baby was born in Hope Valley on the newest season of Hallmark Channel‘s long-running series “When Calls The Heart.” During the fourth episode of season 10, main characters Rosemary and Lee Coulter, played by Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith, welcomed their first baby in dramatic fashion — but it didn’t all go as they expected.
In a 2021 Hallmark Channel promo for the movie “You Had Me At Aloha,” in which Hutton and Smith also co-starred, she called Smith “one of my best friends.” Because of that strong connection, they said they were able to make the labor and delivery scenes on “When Calls The Heart” particularly meaningful.
During their recent Facebook chat, first posted on August 25, the actors shared how filming that pivotal episode was “so emotional” but also full of surprises, from improvised moments with the cast to Smith having to change his approach on the fly to make the labor scenes work. Here’s what you need to know:
Pascale Hutton Reveals Her Labor Scenes Were Partially Improvised
Hutton said that the episode in which the Coulters’ baby is born was “so wonderful” to film, from start to finish.
She recalled, “It started out quite comedically, where Rosemary is really frustrated, wants to be done with the pregnancy, (wondering) ‘How can we make this happen?’ They’re walking, walking, walking and then she goes into labor in the middle of the street, and there’s so many of (members) of the cast involved in that moment.”
“And everybody just dove in and there’s lots of improvised moments,” Hutton continued. “That moment where like, everybody starts breathing together to try and, like, support Rosemary? That was all improvised!”
Hutton also said having the Hrothgar Matthews’ character, Ned Yost, at her side was not planned, either.
“All the stuff with Ned, Ned being involved? That was all improvised on the day (of filming) because Ned really wasn’t … he was written in the script, but it was very vague.”
“I mean, he was in it, but he didn’t really have any involvement,” she continued, laughing. “So we were joking around about, ‘Hrothgar, what are you doin’ here?’ And we just started, like, riffing and coming up with these ideas of him being involved and then Rosemary being, like, ‘Ned? What? Why are you here? Like, you’re not who I want!’ So it turned into this really funny thing and everybody just started kind of playing off each other, and it was just a really fun, beautiful moment.”
WCTH’s Kavan Smith Says He Followed Pascale Hutton’s Leads on the Delivery Scenes They Filmed
Meanwhile, Hutton said the delivery scenes of the Coulters’ baby girl were was “so emotional” to film, which Smith revealed he wasn’t expecting. He had to switch off his lighthearted side when he realized Hutton was going to deliver a very dramatic, emotional performance.
“We love to joke around and that’s a big part of who I am,” Smith said. “But every once in a while, there’s a moment when you … I mean, I wasn’t intending to play it that way. I was just gonna kind of go for the casual humor in it all and then I was like, ‘Oh, you’re really doing the whole labor thing. Okay, (my style) isn’t gonna work at all then. This is gonna look terrible!'”
Smith said he switched his gears to “just be real,” knowing that both he and Hutton have been through the labor and delivery experience in real life to draw from. Though both keep their personal lives very quiet, Hutton has two boys with her husband, fellow actor Danny Dorosh, whom she married in 2002, per Country Living. Smith, meanwhile, is married to casting director Corinne Clark and they also have two kids, according to Us Weekly.
“I just really felt like the stakes were so high,” Hutton said. “And what that moment really is for women … you’re in your most intense moment of your life, like, period. That’s the moment.”
“On the page, you could have interpreted (the script) a few different ways,” she continued. “It could have been done lightheartedly. It could have been done comedically. It could have been done heartfelt. We started into the scene and Kavan saw the direction I was going which was more real … and Kavan looks at me and goes, ‘Oh, okay, you’re going there. Okay, I’m gonna be there right with you.’ And he was, like, so open and available in that, like really present.”
Smith added, “As an actor, playing it with somebody that you’re really close to as a friend, you can kind of … it’s not just being there as an actor. It’s also kind of like, ‘Hey, I’m here with my buddy and we’re doing this and, you know, we’ve had so many ups and downs over the years and we’ve been pressing for this particular storyline for so long, and suddenly it’s happening.”
Smith also revealed that after they finished filming the baby’s birth, working with a two-week-old baby on-set, the cast gave them a round of applause, which meant the world and let them know their acting had hit the mark.
He said, “The crew at the end of a long, long day, they’re tired and they’re grumpy (but) they’re gonna take the time to appreciate what you’ve done? It’s like, ‘Okay, I think we did something good here today.'”
When Hutton appeared on the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz in May, she said the role of Rosemary was initially supposed to be a guest starring role during the first season, so it’s hard to believe she’s still with the series after 10 seasons — and that the show’s been so popular.
“At the time I just thought it was this tiny, little, strange period-genre TV show that I didn’t know would find an audience,” she recalled. “I didn’t see a place for it in the scope of TV land, and I think that actually should have been an indication that it probably was going to find a place because no one else was taking up that real estate. No one else was creating a show like it.”