Hope Valley has two new hunks in town!
Mountie Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry) and saloon owner Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally) are the handsome new characters making their debut in season 6 of When Calls the Heart, and rest assured, they’re just as charming and lovely as we had hoped.
ET was first to sit down with McGarry and McNally on the series’ Vancouver set, where both actors dished plenty of details about their roles and experience joining the beloved Hallmark Channel drama.
According to McGarry, he’s thrilled to be playing the new Mountie in town, who arrives following Jack Thornton’s death. “He is Jack Thornton's replacement as a Mountie, not in real life,” McGarry explained. “He is a bit shrouded in mystery. As of right now, he’s a pretty good guy.”
Similarly, McNally describes his character, Lucas Bouchard, as “very mysterious.”
“Lucas is a good guy, he's got good intentions, he loves the excitement of chance so he's big into gambling and playing poker. But he holds his cards really close to his chest because he doesn't want to give up too much information about himself just because he’s trying to protect himself from some troubles,” McNally said.
Another commonality? Both gentlemen seem to share a genuine affection for recently widowed Elizabeth Thornton (Erin Krakow).
“I don’t know how quickly things are going to unravel,” McGarry shared. “She’s newly on her own, widowed. She’s not looking to jump into anything, so these are just two new guys that are in the town that it might potentially lead to something down the road… there might be some chemistry!”
McNally added, “[Elizabeth] catches his eye immediately as a person of interest but she's very very reserved, so I think Lucas is trying to plant a seed.”
But according to McGarry, it’s not all sunshine and romance. “I know we've teased around this love triangle thing but there's some tension,” he shared. “Nathan and Lucas are kind of having a standoff right now where we did this last scene together where we were eye to eye… Oh, there was friction! It was the head to head [confrontation of], 'You're no good for this town,' and 'I'm not going anywhere.' So I think there might be something happening with that and then you throw Elizabeth in there as well and you have the recipe of something!”
Krakow previously told ET, "I don't think Elizabeth is thinking about dating just yet, but who knows? If the right guy comes along and sweeps her off her feet, anything is possible."
Elizabeth may take a minute to warm up to the new suitors, but in real life, the actors say Krakow was kind and hospitable right off the bat.
McGarry praised the brunette beauty for being “amazing” on and off screen. He gushed, “As a person, she’s just very warm and very lovely and really there too. She’s one of those people that, her mind is there with you, which is really nice. Then, as an actress, she’s just great… she’s very giving.”
McNally echoed similar sentiments. “Everyone [on WCTH] is super welcoming and makes you feel very at ease, especially Erin. She's been incredibly conscious of how I’m feeling and making sure that everything is all good and I feel comfortable. She’s wonderful.”
Another massive fan of Krakow’s? Daniel Lissing, the actor who portrayed Jack Thornton (Elizabeth’s late husband) for five seasons before the character’s untimely death. Though Lissing has moved on, he’s urging #hearties to support the new Mountie in town.
“[You can] miss Jack, but get on board!" Lissing exclaimed while speaking with ET last week. "If you love the show, support the show, you know? I think these guys are great actors, they are gonna bring something different than I brought to the show. It's gonna be one of those storylines that isn't the same as Jack and Elizabeth, but hopefully, the audience will get a lot of enjoyment out of it."
The Australian actor continued, "I think it's great for the show. Let's get a couple of leading men in there to replace the Jack character. I think it's gonna be great for the show, great for... Erin's character to just have a few options after such hardship."
Following Jack’s death, McGarry admits wearing the Red Serge came with a certain responsibility.
He explained, “There's a bit of pressure to be at that level that the show was last left at with season 5, but everyone has just been incredible on set. Both the cast and the crew are just amazing and they’re very welcoming and I'm having a great time. Both the characters Nathan and Jack, they’re very different, so no one is coming in trying to replace Jack's legacy. It’s just that Nathan is the new Mountie on the show, so these are the new adventures with this new character.”
“He’s well aware of Jack's character. [He’s] very respectful,” McGarry added. “They think the world of Jack and that’s kind of made clear in the first episode, that Jack is well-respected in the Mountie world.”
When Calls the Heart season 6 premieres Feb. 24 on Hallmark Channel.