'WCTH' star Andrea Brooks opens up to ET about expecting baby no. 2, from the sex to how her eldest, Viola, feels about it!
Paging Dr. Carter, there's a baby on the way!
Andrea Brooks, who plays the beloved Hope Valley doctor on When Calls the Heart, exclusively opens up to ET's Deidre Behar about expecting her second little one.
The Canadian actress gets candid about pregnancy the second time around, including when she's due, the sex of the baby and even a few behind-the-scenes secrets about using props to conceal her bump while filming the period drama's tenth season.
Plus, scroll below to see the stunning maternity images she snapped during a long break on set -- thanks to some help from the WCTH crew!
ET: Congrats on baby no. 2! How are you feeling? Any cravings?
Andrea Brooks: That's right! The cat’s officially out of the bag! All in all, I'm feeling great! It's definitely a lot different the second time around as I know what to expect. Surprisingly, I've had a lot less cravings with this pregnancy. Last time I was all about pickles, eggnog and Subway sandwiches. Erin Krakow still texts me pictures of subs to this day because it was such an integral part of my last pregnancy. Right now I'm finding myself eating veggies with hummus at all hours of the day, and I've also started drinking big cups of hot chocolate every time we do night shoots at work.
When are you due?
I'm due at the end of the year! It's going to be such a fantastic way to cap off 2022! I can't wait!
How does this pregnancy feel different from yours with your eldest, Viola?
I'd say this one has been easier in the sense that I'm not as riddled with fears. I've been keeping busy with work, and have been doing a lot less googling. Those internet wormholes can really keep a mom-to-be up at night! I'd say I'm much more relaxed and confident when it comes to my parenting abilities.
Do you know the sex of the baby?
It's a.... boy!!
Do you have names in mind? Drawing from any specific inspiration?
I'm at a bit of a loss right now when it comes to the name game. I have a working list on my phone at the moment but it changes frequently. I keep telling myself I'm going to sit down one of these weekends and finalize a name! Viola, on the other hand, has already named the baby! If we're not careful I'm afraid she might sign the birth certificate on our behalf. I must say, for a preschooler, she's quite coordinated with her writing utensils!
How is Viola feeling about becoming a big sister? How did you tell her the news?
She's very excited! A lot of her little friends have welcomed siblings over the past year, so I think she has a general idea of what to expect. She wasn't all that enthusiastic when I told her she would be a big sister, in fact, I remember she looked me square in the eyes and said, 'Yes mama, I know! I told you!' I'm assuming since she watched her friends become big brothers and sisters, she just figured that was in the cards for our family, too. It definitely was not an emotional TikTok-worthy moment.
You've been working throughout this pregnancy! What was that experience like? Were you getting creative with wardrobe and props?
It's been a wild ride! This is the second time I've shot a season of When Calls the Heart while pregnant (last time was season 7) and I am forever grateful to Hallmark Channel, our writers, showrunner, directors and producers for all of their continued support! I owe SO much credit to our talented costume designer, Barbara Gregusova, for her genius costume designs, and to our stellar camera department who always ensure I’m hitting the right angles in my scenes. My hair and makeup artists, Jill Tymos and Denean Dale, are also forever coming up with interesting hair and makeup strategies to distract the eye. For those planning to watch season 10 of When Calls the Heart, there is definitely some drinking game potential for any hearties wanting to play 'Watch Faith Carter hide her midsection.' I wish I could list all the creative ways we've hid the bump, but I don't want to give away any spoilers! At this point, I feel like I could almost write a book on how to hide a pregnancy on television.
What are you most excited about, when it comes to being a family of four?
I'm most excited for Viola to step into the big sister role. Four is such a nice, even number. I'm hoping the even parent-to-kid ratio works out for us. I'm in awe of any family where the kids outnumber the parents! How do you guys do it?!
What are you most nervous about, if anything?
Continuing to navigate the work-life/ home-life balance, but this time as a parent of two makes me a little nervous. I want my kids to grow up with a strong work ethic that they can hopefully learn from their parents, but I also want to be present and not miss any major milestones.
Have you received any special gifts, mementos or congratulations from your castmates? If so, please tell us who and what the gift was!
The major benefit of being a part of a show that's been on-air for nearly a decade is the tight-knit community we've formed as a cast and crew. It's been so exciting to see so many people from our show grow up, get engaged, get married, and start families. We also have a LOT of parents on our show. I've had so many meaningful conversations on set about preschool, babies, parenting and balancing it all. Pascale Hutton is always able to answer any question I have about raising kids and I'm always so appreciative of her advice. Also, the costume department left me an adorable crochet baby hat in my trailer the other day. Thanks, Cass! I’m definitely feeling the love.
Any other message you'd like to share?
The second half of the shooting season for When Calls the Heart has been busy for everyone. I had been discussing doing another maternity photo shoot with my most talented hair and makeup wizards, Denean and Jill, ever since the start of the season, but I was so reluctant to book anything on a weekend as everyone desperately needs their rest. I joked around about just bringing a dress to work and shooting in the fields of Hope Valley because it really is incredibly beautiful. Lo and behold, that's exactly what we did! I had a couple of scenes off one day, and during a particularly long camera set-up, Denean and Jill coordinated an entire maternity shoot for me right at sundown. They bumped up my hair and makeup and we ran out into the field and we shot everything in 15 minutes. We even got a few snaps with some horses that you might recognize if you watch the show. Denean, a content creator in her own right, took all the photos, and we even had Andrew Tran, When Calls the Heart's second assistant director, holding the bounce. This will forever be a core memory for me from this pregnancy, and it really speaks volumes to the community we've created on this show.
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