Whoa, Nellie! A new face is trotting her way into Hope Valley.
Hearties, meet Amanda Wong, the actress playing Mei Sou on the upcoming season 9 of When Calls the Heart. The British Columbia native, who previously appeared on shows like ABC's drama A Million Little Things, boasts a seriously accomplished résumé. She speaks multiple languages, earned a masters in journalism from the University of Hong Kong and even holds a Guinness World Record for largest finger painting (an honor she scored while on a cruise with her family and about 2,000 others).
ET exclusively chatted with Wong via email ahead of her WCTH debut, where it seems her character is equally as impressive as she is. "She’s got courage of conviction," the actress gushes, which was certainly reflected in our first glimpse at Mei Sou, when she captivates Mountie Nathan Grant after arriving in town (more on that below)!
Wong, who is of Chinese descent, also proudly tells us why she's thrilled to see her heritage represented on the long-running series. "I’m excited that a strong, intelligent, Asian woman is arriving in Hope Valley," she shares. Read more below!
ET: Congratulations on joining the When Calls the Heart family! How did this opportunity come about?
Amanda Wong: Thank you for the warm welcome! I'd have to credit this opportunity to our showrunner, John Tinker, and actor, writer, director Peter DeLuise. They played a huge role in the creation of Mei Sou and have worked so hard to bring her to life!
Growing up, I’d never seen myself represented in English-speaking period films and shows, so being on WCTH is both surreal and life-changing. John and Peter really made me feel a part of the conversation with Mei and some of my real-life skills have been incorporated into her storyline. I’m excited that a strong, intelligent, Asian woman is arriving in Hope Valley, but I feel extra lucky that I get to be the one to play her.
Now that you’re a cast member, can you describe the experience of what it’s been like joining the show?
I remember my first day... I was so nervous; my stomach was full of knots! It’s always awkward being the new kid. I wanted to make my agent proud, I wanted to do a good job and represent Asian-Americans and I wanted to make friends. I remember seeing a post on Twitter or Instagram that said, "Being new at a job is so embarrassing for no reason.” Someone said, "It feels like you’re a new character on season 5 of a show.” Imagine being a new character in season 9!
But, fortunately for me, I get to work with a lot of truly amazing people. I was welcomed with open arms and immediately felt a part of the group. Hope Valley is exactly as wonderful as everyone imagines it to be. It’s absolutely idyllic, everyone is kind and the snacks are great!
Tell us about your character, Mei Sou: Who is she? What is she like? How does she wind up in Hope Valley?
Now, what is Mei like? Let’s just say Mei might or might not have ridden into town on a very fast brown quarter horse. Ha! But in all seriousness, Mei (meaning “beautiful”) is truly a spectacular woman. She’s got courage of conviction, she’s strong and intelligent, loves animals, and is super passionate. She’s not without flaws, but she’s got a lot of admirable qualities.
What are you most excited for fans to see with Mei Sou this season? Is there one scene you can tease that cannot be missed?
Mei truly is an amazing character and I’m excited for our fans to fall in love with her, as I have. As far as a scene that can’t be missed… the season is jam packed with them! I can’t pick a favorite, but I can say that Mei really makes an entrance. Fans will just have to watch and let me know which scene is their number one!
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'When Calls the Heart': Nathan Can't Take His Eyes Off Mei Suo When They First Meet
In the sneak peek clip we’ve seen, Nathan seems pretty taken with Mei Sou. What can you tease about their storyline this season? Can we expect some romance?
Ha! You know, the sneak peek was filmed only moments after Kevin McGarry and I met for the first time. Kevin is such a talented and charismatic guy, the chemistry translated so easily on screen. Now I don’t want to spoil the fun and give anything away, but it doesn’t end there.
Does Mei Sou become close with the women in Hope Valley? If so, whom does she bond with most?
Mei does become close with the women in Hope Valley. She gets to know Florence, Molly, and Faith quite well. I can’t say much, I know Hearties miss nothing!
Describe season 9 of WCTH in 3 adjectives!
Exciting, impactful, heartwarming!
Make sure to stick with ET throughout season 9 of When Calls the Heart, because we'll be sharing exclusives, clips and interviews with your favorite faces from Hope Valley. To catch up on the latest, watch the video below.