'When Calls the Heart's Erin Krakow and Chris McNally Spill Details on Lucas and Elizabeth’s Engagement!

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WARNING: Spoilers ahead! Do not proceed if you haven’t watched Sunday’s season 9 finale of When Calls the Heart!

Elizabeth Thornton is officially off the market!

During Sunday’s season 9 finale of When Calls the Heart, hearties around the world watched Lucas Bouchard pop the question to our favorite school teacher, in a dreamy and intimate proposal that adorably included her son, little Jack. During a casual stroll, the youngster is busy collecting rocks before presenting his mom with the rock – prompting Lucas to ask for Elizabeth to be his wife.

ET spoke exclusively with series stars Erin Krakow and Chris McNally via video chat to learn all the behind-the-scenes details of the engagement scene, what it was like filming with little Jack (Hyland Goodrich), what’s next for the couple’s wedding plans and their evolving friendship with Mountie Nathan Grant.

Lucas Proposes to Elizabeth
Crown Media/ Hallmark Channel

“I think that everyone involved in a scene like this, cast and crew, understands the importance of it,” Krakow reflects of her character’s proposal. “There was a lot of care put into even just making sure that that road looked romantic and autumnal, and they decorated it with some beautiful leaves, and they just wanted to imbue it with that magical, romantic feeling. So there was a lot of care that went into it, and then, just so much time. It took a really long time,” she elaborates. Why? Well, the Juilliard School alum tells ET that it’s partially because they wanted to make the scene as enchanting as possible, and partially because “it was just the nature of working with a toddler.”

Of course, Krakow is referring to her on-screen son, little Jack, who plays a key role in Lucas’ proposal. McNally chimes in to explain that Goodrich was fascinated by the stunning scenery. “There were many distracting puddles along the way. It's really difficult not to float leaves as boats at every single puddle,” he says, affectionately, before adding, “I think that might have eaten up just a little bit of time.” 

Lucas, Elizabeth, Jack
Crown Media/ Hallmark Channel

But in all seriousness, McNally couldn’t be a bigger fan of the young actor, telling ET, “Hyland’s a really great kid, and despite the puddles, he's typically quite focused and he just seems to authentically enjoy being there and being a part of those scenes with us. So it really wasn't that difficult. That scene went by pretty smoothly.”

Fans of WCTH know that McNally’s character is never shy to deliver a grand gesture to impress his ladylove. However, one of Lucas’ teachable takeaways in season 9 was Elizabeth showing him that love comes in many forms – and doesn’t always need to be an opulent display. It seems Lucas internalized the note and channeled it into his proposal, which was simple and intimate, yet extremely heartfelt.

“I think that we were all on the same page in that regard, and I also feel like we all thought it would be great, and by all, I mean Erin and I and John [Tinker], I feel like we wanted to include little Jack in there somewhere as well. And especially since this season, Elizabeth, who's been helping Lucas grow as a person, and realize that not everything has to be done in a grand gesture,” McNally shares. “So this was his opportunity to acknowledge that that's resonated with him, and he's taken the biggest moment of his life so far and made it into the most intimate kind of special, personal and private way possible.”

Krakow echoes McNally’s sentiments, telling ET, “I think John and our writers did a really beautiful job creating a proposal that felt unique to this couple and this young family and quite frankly, different from the Jack and Elizabeth proposal, which was over the top in that way. I thought that the way it was handled was really understated and spoke to the more mature connection that these two people have together, and I was really happy with it.” The actress also praises her scene partner, and gushes over the “beautiful job” he did. “I didn't have a ton to say as he was going through his speech, and I didn't have to work that hard because you're just looking at his sweet face saying these beautiful words. And then he was like, ‘I think I want to twirl you. I think I'm going to just scoop you up and twirl you.’"

Lucas and Elizabeth Kiss
Crown Media/ Hallmark Channel

That moment, which comes just moments after Elizabeth joyfully agrees to marry Lucas, was an improvisation crafted by McNally. He says with a smile, “It felt like the moment deserved a twirl, so yes. You ever have those moments in your life where you're like, ‘This is a twirl moment?’ It was one of those.”

And for hearties who are still swooning over Lucas’ poetic words to his soon-to-be bride, the Vancouver native tells ET that they were written with a specific vision and intention. Before asking Elizabeth to be his wife, Lucas asks if she’ll allow him to be a father to her son. McNally says the order of Lucas’ questions was done by design.

“I think John definitely put that [question] first on purpose,” he muses. “I think that it's a priority that little Jack is taken care of and has a father figure. And of course, both being a husband and a father are important things, but I feel that John wanted to lay down that Lucas is very, very serious about being a role model and a father figure to Jack, so that's why it was prioritized.”

Lucas, Elizabeth and Jack
Crown Media/ Hallmark Channel

For Krakow, she admits she didn’t give “too much thought to the order of what he was saying.” However, after thinking it through, she concludes, “I suppose if it had been the reverse and Lucas had said, ‘Will you be my wife? Oh, by the way, I also want to be a father to your child,’ it doesn't really flow quite as well. So I think that makes sense. I agree with the way it was handled.”

Leaning into that father figure role is something fans saw a lot of in season 9, as Lucas’ bond with little Jack grew stronger. The pair even coined a sweet nickname for each other, “Buddy.” While the actors confirm that the term of affection was scripted, they share its adorable origin story. McNally reveals, “I'm fairly certain it came from [WCTH director] Peter DeLuise… it came from his past and a relationship he had with either his grandparent or father, and the word ‘buddy’ was used as a term of endearment. And that's how it made its way into the script.” Krakow adds, “I also thought that it was initiated by you calling Hyland ‘buddy’ just off the cuff one day. And then they wrote it in because it was meaningful to Peter and because it made sense for your characters.”

Elizabeth's Engagement Ring
Crown Media/ Hallmark Channel

Another element of the proposal that the actors influenced? Elizabeth’s engagement ring. Krakow shares that she and McNally collaborated on selecting the sparkler, telling ET, “It had to make sense as a piece of jewelry that Lucas would select for Elizabeth, and so I think we all did a nice job creating that together.” McNally agrees, explaining, “We were all on the same page. We all wanted something that was elegant and classy and kind of timeless, something that represented things that Lucas holds dear, and something that would suit Elizabeth as well, and it came together.”

As for what’s next, well, fans will have to continue crossing their fingers for a season 10 pickup from Hallmark Channel. Until that news is announced, we can only speculate about the future Mr. and Mrs. Bouchard, and what their wedding celebration could look like. 

Krakow marvels at the idea of filming a travel episode, where Elizabeth and Lucas tie the knot in Paris – a possibility that McNally is fully on board with. However, she elaborates that she could see the characters eloping or throwing a big Hope Valley affair.

“I can see it happening either way, really, and I don't want to get too attached to any version of it in my imagination because we've got some amazing writers who are going to come up with something wonderful, assuming of course we get married in a season 10,” Krakow says with a smile. “But yeah, I could see it going either way. I don't know if it would be in Jack's church, maybe somewhere else.” For McNally, he admits he hasn’t given the nuptials too much thought.  “I just take things one thing at a time, so if we get a [season] 10, then I'll consider it.”

And without getting too ahead of ourselves, the idea of Elizabeth and Lucas expanding their family presents an opportunity for even more exciting storylines. “I think that Elizabeth and Lucas are on the right track for a really beautiful love story, and they have little Jack to focus on,” Krakow explains. “Whether their family is complete, the three of them, or if it grows, there's just an awful lot of love there between them, and yeah, I'm excited to see where it could go.” When McNally is asked if he wants to have more kids on set, he sums it up by sweetly saying, “I’ll take more Hylands on set. Hyland’s a blast.”

Lucas, Nathan, Elizabeth
Crown Media/ Hallmark Channel

As Lucas and Elizabeth prepare for the next steps in their future, it seems Mountie Nathan Grant is moving on with his life, too. You’ll recall, the trio was embroiled in a seasons-long love triangle, with Elizabeth ultimately choosing to pursue a courtship with Lucas at the end of season 8. Throughout season 9, we watched Nathan gracefully pick up the pieces and get better acquainted with a few ladies in town, including Dr. Faith Carter and newcomer Mei Sou. All the while, he was able to strike up a friendship with Lucas and even playfully tease Elizabeth about her romance.
“I think I will forever enjoy the evolving dynamic that the three of us are still creating,” Krakow shares. “I'm really happy with where things ended in the dynamic at the end of season 9. I think that there's still a lot of care between those characters, all three of them, for each other. And that's just displayed in different ways. Nathan does a lot of poking fun of Elizabeth, but I guess Elizabeth kind of put him through it, so maybe she deserves it… I think it's a very natural, but still very caring dynamic.”

“I hoped that they would get there,” McNally says of Lucas and Nathan’s budding friendship. “It's happened, so if we do get a season 10, I'm looking forward to seeing how it progresses from there. It's a fun dynamic.”

“I sort of hope for everyone's sake that we're not on our way toward another triangle because I'm not sure I could take it!” Krakow exclaims. But, ultimately, she concludes, “It seems like Nathan is opening his heart again, and I imagine he will. He is a real catch, so I'm sure he will find love very soon.”

Meanwhile, life is about to become very busy for Rosemary and Lee Coulter, who discovered in the season 9 finale that they're expecting their first child together. To find out what Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith had to say about their characters' journey to parenthood, including how they'd like to see Rosemary's pregnancy and delivery play out, and if they prefer a baby boy or a girl, watch the video below.


‘WCTH’s Stars Tease ‘Twists and Turns’ for Rosemary's Pregnancy

‘When Calls the Heart’ Cast Teases Season 9 Romances and Challenges

'WCTH': See Elizabeth, Nathan and Lucas' Season 9 Posters