'WCTH's Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith on Why Rosemary and Lee Didn't Start a Family in Season 8 (Exclusive)

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Rosemary and Lee Coulter worked on their careers in season 8, and now, actors Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smithsay it’s time to work on their family.
Ever since the pair tied the knot in season 3, fans of When Calls the Heart have been eagerly waiting for the Coulters to expand their brood. While many hearties had their fingers crossed that a Coulter cutie would appear in season 8, we instead saw the couple focus on their individual careers: Lee announced his run for mayor while Rosemary started the town newspaper. 
ET spoke with series stars Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith about their characters’ plans for starting a family (whether naturally or through adoption), why they’re “definitely championing” this potential storyline in season 9 and what it would take to make it happen. Plus, the actors react to the season 8 finale bombshell: Elizabeth’s decision to set Nathan free and pursue a romance with Lucas.

Rosemary and Lee
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“It’s been a constant conversation. We haven’t dropped the ball… We're being tenacious and we're trying to make that happen,” Smith passionately tells ET of his wish to see the Coulters become mom and dad. “We'll see where it ends up. We're doing our best,” he assures the fans. 
When it comes to why the couple has yet to add a little one to their family, Smith explains the technical challenges that came with filming season 8 amid the pandemic. “I think if there is any reason, I think it's logistics. We have one set of twins on the show and it is challenging working with little ones,” the Alberta, Canada, native shares. “Even if there was an adoption, even if that was the choice, that's still a younger child that's going to be coming in, [we’d] probably need twins, or definitely need twins… and whether you like it or not, you get gold from twins, but it does slow production down… but creatively speaking, I don't think it's ever been an impediment. I think that everybody does want this to happen. It's just a matter of how and when, and now that that triangle is out of the way and it's taken some of the weight out of that, maybe this is a good logical place to go next.”
Hutton, who has collaborated with Smith on several projects in addition to their work on WCTH, echoes his sentiments and agrees that Rosemary and Lee should become parents. However, the pair admits they differ when it comes to how the family would welcome their first child. While speaking with ET in 2020, Smith said he’d prefer to adopt while Hutton wants to see her character, Rosemary, pregnant. But as it stands today, the duo seems to be focused less on the details and instead just want to see their characters experience this magical milestone.

Lee and Rosemary
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“For Lee and Rosemary, with the two quirky characters that they are to go through [a pregnancy] together? It's just a gold mine of fun to be had… but I understand the pull towards adopting because obviously, in real life, everybody needs a home.” For Hutton, she too sees “value in both options,” telling ET, “I think it would be hilarious to see Rosemary pregnant. I think if I were to line up all the women in Hope Valley and go, ‘Who would I like to see play out pregnancy?’ I would pick Rosemary, and not just because I get to play her, but because I actually think it would be so hilarious to see Rosemary pregnant.” She continues, “I can see the comedy in that very easily, but our show has also always been about hope, and what's more hopeful than a child finding a home and finding two loving parents?” 
As for that fan theory floating around the internet, suggesting how fun it would be to see Rosemary and her best friend, Elizabeth Thornton, pregnant together at the same time, Hutton laughs and offers a frank response. “I think our producers and writers would have a nightmare. I think their heads would literally explode,” she shares, still laughing. The British Columbia, Canada, native calls that idea “a logistical nightmare” because babies on television are typically played by twins, and if they had to add two more sets of twins in addition to the Taylor twins (who play little Jack), that’s six young children the production schedule would have to work around. Smith interjects to playfully tease Hutton before she jokes with a smile, “We don’t have room for more divas!” 

Speaking of Elizabeth, who reunited with Lucas Bouchard in the season 8 finale on a bridge surrounded by nature to reveal her feelings and share their first kiss, Hutton and Smith reveal their reactions to this pivotal moment. The actress gushes that she “loved it” and adds, “The whole way along I said, ‘Whenever the time comes for Elizabeth to actually choose her man, choose who she's meant to be with, it needs to feel passionate.’ I think they succeeded.” Hutton says, regardless of whomever is the last suitor standing, she encouraged the powers that be to create a scene that felt “cathartic, this huge overwhelming overflow of emotion.”
Smith says his reaction is rooted in relief. “About time!” he exclaims, before explaining, “I am so tired of answering the question of what team I'm on and what team I'm not on. It's hard picking, not that I really did much picking, but they're always asking, ‘Who would you choose between these two great guys that we both love so much?’... I think that moment on the bridge is a great way to start it because it's a Notebook kind of moment. Big-time passion, big rain, big wet kissing, hair, all that stuff. It's a great place to start the new journey and how we move forward from there from that little love triangle. We don't ever have to mention that again. Now it's a love line between one dot and another dot.”
Hutton goes on to call Elizabeth’s new chapter with Lucas “a beautiful thing” while Smith sums up his thoughts by saying, “I thought it was a show about a lady and a Mountie. I still think it's a show about a lady and a Mountie, who then moved on, and now I think it was the right choice for the story, I think, for the show. I really think that now we can explore an entirely different chapter.”

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While Elizabeth followed her heart in season 8, the Coulters followed their professional paths. Rosemary, who hilariously exclaimed “I’ve got a nose for news” in the finale, appropriately leaned into her inquisitive nature and started the town newspaper, The Valley Voice. “I think it's really exciting,” Hutton marvels. “I think it utilizes a lot of Rosemary's skills, but also her maturity as a human being from where she was in seasons 1 and 2, which was a little bit flighty. I think she's just got more substance now. I think there's more grounding to her as a character. She's ready and able to take on a bigger project like this. I think that that's exciting and I think trying to juggle it all on her own, I think that that's a huge endeavor and could lead to many interesting storylines of her trying to build this business on her own.”

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As Rosemary taps into her inner journalist, Lee is forging his career forward in politics. After revealing he wants to feel stronger in his life’s purpose, he tells Rosemary he’s decided to run for mayor -- a position Smith thinks Lee is more than qualified for. “He's that kind of guy, you come to him in a crazy situation and he's always calm, he's always balanced, he's always equitable and fair and decent,” he explains. “He likes being that voice. He likes being a bit of a leader, and I don't know if he necessarily knew that when he was younger, but as it's progressed and we built this character that way, it seems like a real logical fit. So, when they proposed this to me, that they were thinking about Lee running for mayor, I thought, ‘What a great option…’  So when we're trying to explore where he wants to go and why he feels like he's just supplying the wood that other people use to build things, he wants to build something, and I think that, that's a lot of fun. I feel that myself, I want to do something in my life and with my life that means something to me… I don't know if he's going to end up mayor, but I'm certainly along for the ride.”
The season 8 finale brought about several pieces of news to celebrate, including the announcement of WCTH returning to Hallmark Channel for a season 9 in 2022. Both Smith and Hutton are elated to continue working on the beloved drama series, and couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to praise one another and reveal just how much they love collaborating together.
“I love working with this one. She's one of my best friends,” Smith says of his longtime co-star, Hutton. “We don't say that to each other very often, so I'm happy wherever this goes, as long as we get to keep doing this together.” Hutton returns the compliment, telling ET, “Kavan and I, we just work. We work off-camera. We work on-camera. We've got such a shorthand. You can't plan for that, that chemistry, it's intangible… Kavan and I work very similarly, our styles. Although we approach work very differently, what happens on-camera, the two of us, we like the spontaneity… That's just such a deep-rooted trust in our relationship, and it's magic. It's magic.”
When Calls the Heart returns to Hallmark Channel for season 9 in 2022, but to hold you over until then, Smith and Hutton are co-starring in the summer flick You Had Me at Aloha, premiering June 5. Watch the video below to learn more about the project they conceptualized and co-star in, which was filmed on location in Hawaii!


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