Kavan Smith on Large Sky River’s Magnificence and Delicate Storytelling, Lee and Rosemary’s Subsequent Journey on WCTH

Kavan Smith strikes once more with one other red-hot film. He stars as Boone Taylor in Large Sky River, a single father of two boys who’s attempting to offer the very best life for his household.

He’s doing that every one alone with out grievance, however when Tara (Emmanuelle Vaugier) rents the home subsequent door for the summer season along with her stepdaughter, their two households develop nearer as Boone and Tara uncover that they won’t should go it alone, in spite of everything.

We caught up with Kavan concerning the film (which you’ll adore) and for some When Calls the Coronary heart chitchat. Think about this dialog your prep work earlier than catching the premiere of Large Sky River on Hallmark Films & Mysteries on Sunday, August 7 at 9/8c.

Large Sky River is such an exquisite film, visually and emotionally. How did you become involved with it?

Effectively, as a matter of reality, I used to be planning a trip. And anytime you propose a trip as an actor, you possibly can virtually assure that you’ll get a job provide.

I used to be really on my pc, nearly to pay for the flight, and I acquired a name from my agent asking if I’d be focused on this challenge.

We did not know who was connected first, and sometimes when that occurs, I simply assume that it should be Pascale Hutton who was connected to it. However on this case, they mentioned that wasn’t going to occur.

However then, once I discovered it was Emmanuelle [Vaugier], who I would labored with earlier than a number of years in the past on a challenge known as Mistresses. I used to be tremendous excited as a result of we had a extremely good time collectively. She’s tremendous enjoyable. So I used to be actually enthusiastic about it.

After which I additionally discovered that the director, Peter Benson, is one other pal of mine. When he got here on board, I am like, “That is simply going to be enjoyable. It is identical to mates getting collectively.”

Like a trip.

Yeah. Precisely, I acquired a trip out of it anyway. The one factor I used to be a bit bizarre about was the cowboy half as a result of I am not likely a lot of a cowboy. Despite the fact that I come from Alberta, Canada, which is cowboy territory, and possibly it is in my DNA someplace.

However I advised my youngsters about it, and so they’re like, “Actually? You? A cowboy?” I used to be like, “Okay, nicely, thanks to your assist. However sure.” Once I learn the script, one of many issues oftentimes with Hallmark scripts, there are some issues that bump, and also you’re unsure how it should play.

And this one the place there have been no bumps in any respect. And it had me involved, although. I used to be like, “Okay, the place’s the what is going on on right here?” And I noticed that it is not likely an image about boy meets woman, which quite a lot of the Hallmark motion pictures are.


It felt to me that this was extra like about two damaged households that had been getting a second likelihood. It wasn’t only one man and one woman. It was this man; he was attempting to maintain his household afloat with two boys battling the lack of their mom.

After which this different woman who involves city, and he or she’s attempting to piece collectively this relationship out of a divorce the place her step-daughter is nearer to her than she is to her father. I believed that is actually about two households coming collectively extra so than it’s concerning the conventional Hallmark, one man, one woman.

I actually appreciated that. I believed that the film would both sink or swim on whether or not or not everyone would have chemistry — if we may actually join as households.

If I may join with the boys and if Emmanuelle may join with the woman, after which if we may all join collectively, this might be a extremely candy and enjoyable, pure film. I have never seen it but myself. So I am hoping that is what we acquired in the long run.

Sure, positively. It was one in all my favourite Hallmark motion pictures I’ve seen in ages. And I am not simply saying that as a result of I am speaking to you. Every time I used to be executed, I used to be like, “I actually loved this.” It did not appear to be a Hallmark film.

There was quite a lot of that concerned. I actually do suppose they’re branching out a bit bit. So that they’re tackling some issues that they have not, or that they shied away from. the concept of divorce and stuff and coming collectively that means.

And since it was rather a lot much less about simply boy meets woman, it was these two households, like I mentioned, coming collectively, that has not all the time been their factor. So this actually felt to me that this was going to permit Emmanuelle and I to actually see if we may put some chops into this and make you’re feeling for these characters.

And I actually loved the scenes that I did with the boys. I imply, there have been a few scenes with every child the place… I’ve two boys myself.

I do know. How nice is that?

Yeah, it was actually thrilling.

You are that dad.

Yeah, I’m that dad. And I speak to them. I added some stuff that’s the means I speak to my youngsters. And like I mentioned, I have never seen it. So I do not know the way a lot of what I put in there was saved or not. However I do know I added a good bit of pop from my repertoire into it as a result of I hoped it will make it extra pure.

Whenever you’re coping with youthful performers, generally it helps them chill out within the scene and simply hearken to you. I believed that every one of many boys that performed my sons had been so good at various things, and it actually made it enjoyable and attention-grabbing for me.

So I used to be positively in a position to sort out a few of that. And I have never had any of that in a Hallmark challenge exterior of this one. So I used to be actually excited to try this.

Yeah. It actually labored. Each households had been plausible, and also you felt for each. Good.

Additionally, from the boy meets woman perspective, you and Emmanuelle had been clearly comfy with one another from having labored collectively earlier than. And it was a really grownup and candy assembly of two individuals who had been afraid of affection once more.

Yeah. It was within the script, however it was very delicate. It was actually form of, “We’re not going to beat this over the top.” That is going to sink or swim on whether or not or not Emmanuelle and I can discover a solution to join.

And one of many issues that she brings to the desk that’s nice, and it is also one of many issues I really like about Pascale, is that she would not take herself too significantly. And generally, with actors, you have to do no matter it takes to do the efficiency that you are going for. I get that. However generally, it is exhausting.

Typically working with actors is exhausting, and that is coming from an actor. So she was so enjoyable and uncomplicated and within the second, and he or she’s a very nice actor, and he or she’s acquired an incredible humorousness. And people issues actually communicate to me as an individual.

So I prefer it once I present as much as work, and any person is enjoyable, dwelling within the second, would not take themselves too significantly, and is an effective performer who can work with improvisation. She will be able to roll with issues as a result of I prefer to attempt to change takes up and stuff.

She was nice with all of that. And I knew she could be as a result of I would labored along with her a very long time in the past. And I knew we acquired alongside fairly nicely again then.

However on day one, we simply began making one another giggle immediately. I by no means noticed any of it on digital camera, so I do not know what it seems like on digital camera, however I felt in entrance of the digital camera that there was positively chemistry. So I imply, when you say it is there, then I am going to take your phrase for it.

And there is one specific scene on the romantic facet that blew me away for a Hallmark film.

Oh, nice.

It is when the 2 of you had been simply leaning your heads collectively. You might need had a bit kiss. It was very emotional. It wasn’t coy; it was so deep. I beloved it.

I bear in mind taking pictures that. I acquired to provide quite a lot of credit score to the director on that one as a result of he requested for a bodily transfer. I like the concept of coming collectively and being nonetheless, however he wished a digital camera angle on that. So he wished us to try this whereas we had been barely turning.

And I felt like, “Ugh, I do not know, turning whereas we’re attempting to have this form of tete-a-tete second.” But it surely actually labored. Additionally, one of many issues that you aren’t getting in quite a lot of these motion pictures is time. We allowed that to develop.

It wasn’t simply head in, contact, suppose, kiss, executed. It was actually form of sluggish and sanguine. And it was actually an exquisite second. I am glad you appreciated that. That was actually cool.

And it virtually got here off like a dance.


You mentioned you did not know if it will work with the turning. It labored completely.

Oh, I am so glad. It felt a bit bizarre doing it. However as quickly as we landed from the flip, then all of it felt actually fairly pure. And I believe that when you’re … It isn’t burned in love, as a result of he misplaced his spouse, she died, and Tara [Vaugier] was burned in love.

Typically the vulnerability of that second the place you open your self up, there are not any phrases. You needn’t say something. And also you lean your head and also you’re saying to the opposite individual, “I belief you. I am right here. Let’s examine the place this goes.”

A whole lot of Hallmark motion pictures do not try this. And I used to be glad that we took that point, and that’s all Peter. Peter Benson, who directed, that was all his thought. So I give him full credit score for that.

In case you present folks what you feel, versus telling them, it goes rather a lot additional.

It actually does. It is the identical factor in writing and issues like that. You may inform them stuff, however you needn’t hit them over the top. Actually, the much less you possibly can say, the extra impactful the second normally is.

And it was the identical factor with each of you as dad and mom within the film, the best way that Boone was simply enjoying ball with them out within the yard. I imply, you do not see that fairly often.

No, no.

And one thing so simple as an image, the little woman’s image was on Tara’s fridge, simply issues that talk volumes with out having to say a phrase.

Sure. I believe there was quite a lot of that on this film. Not so apparent, however like delicate little issues that made it really feel a bit extra plausible and a bit extra actual.

Precisely. And you do not have to inform me that you just’re good dad and mom as a result of I may see it.

That is precisely what we had been going for. No person needed to say, “Oh, nicely, he is dad.” You may see him the best way he talks with the youngsters that dads do not speak to youngsters like that except they love them except they actually need the very best for them.

You do not have to have any person within the background or in one other scene say, “Oh, he is such dad.” We have already proven that. Or vice versa, “She’s an incredible stepmother,” as a result of she’s proven it. Yep. That is precisely proper.

You mentioned you were not cowboy. Had been you really in these using scenes?

I used to be. I did all of the using scenes apart from the high-speed stuff. I am pretty comfy on horses as a result of I’ve executed a good bit of that on When Calls, and I’ve executed some Westerns up to now. However I am getting outdated now. And my physique would not love banging round at excessive speeds.

Emmanuel is a critical rider. She is a present jumper and owns her horse, and he or she competes on a regular basis. So the director and the producers actually wished to reap the benefits of having her on digital camera at these excessive speeds, performing some actually high-end stuff. So I am simply not adequate to comply with her in that.

Trotting round and doing issues on horses, I am good with all that. However the high-speed stuff, no. They introduced in an actual cowboy for that.

What’s humorous is, as I used to be watching it, I used to be pondering, “That is one thing I all the time wished to do.” I had gone on path rides and that form of stuff rising up, however I all the time wished to have that flat-out run. And what went via my thoughts was, “Now, with my physique at this age, there is not any means. I would be on the bottom.”

The primary telephone name I acquired from Peter was like, “Okay, sincere.” As a result of actors lie on a regular basis about what they will do. I have been requested ‘trigger I journey bikes, and I have been requested so many occasions. They’re like, “Actually? Actually? Do you actually drive a motorbike?” As a result of actors simply lie about something to get the half.

However Peter known as me, and he’s like, “Look, I would like the reality. How good are you on a horse?” And I used to be like, “Pay attention, so long as it is simply trotting round and little galloping right here and there and scenes on horses, strolling with horses, no downside.”

Actual hardcore using? And I already knew that Emmanuel was an actual rider, and I knew they had been going to need to reap the benefits of that. So I used to be like, “Pay attention, you are going to want to herald a cowboy when you actually need to go for it.”

And so they introduced in an incredible man. So he was terrific. And she or he was over the moon on that day. She was all the time completely satisfied and constructive on set, however boy, that day, she was over-the-moon on horse galloping day.

And the way neat is that? As a result of that was what her character beloved to do as nicely.

Whoever forged her, whoever reached out to Emmanuelle, will need to have identified that she was a rider as a result of it was an ideal match. And I believe that we had a extremely nice time collectively. I used to be tremendous pleased with the best way this film took place.

Okay, granted, I did not do the hardcore using, however I felt fairly good concerning the stuff that I did do. So for a man who’s not a cowboy, I used to be pretty comfy simply doing the cowboy stuff.

Yeah. Is smart to me. And have we ever seen scruffy Kavan on display screen earlier than?

Effectively, not on Hallmark. No, I’ve executed quite a lot of scruffy cabin stuff on different issues again once I was youthful.

I can not even bear in mind you from different issues. You had been clean-shaven on Eureka. You had been clean-shaven-

Yeah, I used to be.

Yeah. There have been quite a lot of clean-shaven roles, however I could not discover any scruffy.

There are a couple of on the market, however yeah, quite a lot of the stuff is clean-shaven. And I’ve a ritual that once I was a child, I’d undergo yearly as an actor as a result of you must look a sure means, and also you get uninterested in it after some time.

So each Christmas, I’d develop a beard and shave my head. After which I’d normally, by February, my hair has grown again, after which I would shave my beard. And that was my little insurrection.

However on this one, I did not know he was a sheriff immediately, however I did … Once I heard the cowboy stuff, I used to be like, “It is smart if he was a bit extra damaged down,” like not so frightened about his seems and never so frightened about shaving day by day.

So I used to be stunned after they okayed that as a result of it is not all the time been Hallmark’s factor. For me, they’ve all the time red-flagged it. However this one, I used to be form of glad. It is only a completely different look.

Yeah, I appreciated it. I appreciated it.


It is the one place moreover wrinkles as a result of I’ve quite a lot of these, however I am not grey on my head but. However I’m fairly grey in my beard. So it is the one place that provides me away beside the wrinkles.

However you recognize what? These sorts of salt and pepper beards look good.

Yeah. Effectively-

[laughs] I do not know that girls may pull them off, however males look actually good in them.

Yeah. Effectively, thanks. Thanks.

Have you ever ever performed a sheriff earlier than?

On Eureka, I performed Deputy Andy, and he wore basically the identical outfit. So-

I used to be going to say. However he is a robotic. So I did not actually consider him because the Sheriff. [laughs]

He is a robotic. Sure. Yeah, no, he was a robotic. I beloved Deputy Andy. He was one in all my favourite characters that I’ve ever performed.

But it surely was humorous, once I placed on this sheriff’s outfit, I used to be like, “Oh, this takes me again.” As soon as they put the holster on me and all of the radio and all of the GAC, I used to be like, “Ah, this feels … ” Apart from the cowboy hat, this felt precisely like Andy.

Oh, enjoyable!

Yeah. It was enjoyable.

So going away from this film, I simply have a few questions on When Calls the Coronary heart for you. Lee and Rosemary are having a child. How excited are you guys for this story to play out?

Effectively, I’ve joked about this up to now. I am going to take the credit score, and I am going to say, “Oh, that is all as a result of I pushed this ahead.” [laughs] I did not actually have something to do with this. That is all Pascale.

We each all the time wished these two to have a household. We did not know if there could be adoption or if it will be a delivery, however we each wished this within the earlier years. After which it form of felt to me like, “All proper, nicely, I am not younger anymore. So possibly this isn’t the fitting factor for these two anymore.” Pascale’s fairly a bit youthful than me.

However I used to be like, “Eh; I do not know.” However she actually, actually dug her heels in with the community and actually wished this. I nonetheless suppose it is the fitting determination, the fitting selection story-wise for these two. I did not suppose it was going to occur. I would given up hope, however she didn’t.

She was tenacious, and at the very least she acquired her means. And I am really actually glad as a result of the best way they did it’s they purple herring-ed us someplace else. They begin this newspaper, and we virtually neglect about it. There’s the odd reference right here and there, however they neglect about it.

After which, proper after they get actually busy doing different stuff, and their life takes a brand new route, swiftly, it occurs. I actually did like that. I believed that was a enjoyable solution to play it. And now we’ll see what occurs this 12 months, this season, once we get going right here, how that performs out. My fingers are crossed.

Yeah. I beloved it in the midst of the season after they just about mentioned out loud as they had been strolling to church that they had been okay with their lives and that every thing was all proper. Then, it was not a fear. And I believed proper then, “Okay. It isn’t a fear anymore. They’ll get pregnant.”

Do not you suppose that is an odd echo as a result of that is form of the way it occurs? It isn’t an issue, however for lots of people who undergo that, having a child is so seldom simply, “Hey, you are going to have a child. The primary time you get pregnant, and you’ve got a child.”

It is simply not many individuals’s story. Normally, it’s miles extra sophisticated. And in that complication, it appears to me that while you lastly simply say, ” what, let’s cease attempting so laborious. Let’s simply go on with our lives,” that is when it usually occurs.

It’s. And so they had been so targeted elsewhere. And with out placing that stress on themselves, their our bodies gave into it.

Precisely. And I believe that it is actually attention-grabbing as a result of now we’re set as much as have this actually attention-grabbing situation the place they’re getting a newspaper going, they’re nonetheless working the lumber mill or the sawmill. They’ve a child coming. So there’s being pregnant right here. They’re sharing this area at house and the workplace. You are simply arrange for craziness.

And that is what me and Rosemary, I believe, do greatest is that mixture of humor and craziness and coronary heart. That is what we have all the time gone via with these two. So I believe we’re arrange for an incredible story arc, and I hope that’ll occur.

Was there ever a scene of you two sharing a mattress earlier than?

Yeah, we did do it as soon as earlier than. I believe it was two or three seasons in the past when she had Scarlet fever. I believe when Rosemary will get Scarlet fever.

Proper. I knew there have been scenes at or on the mattress at that time. I did not bear in mind when you had been in mattress collectively.

No. And we had talked about that. There have been issues with the bed room stuff for Lee and Rosemary. Due to the property that we shoot on, we’re restricted within the variety of buildings we are able to have. So it must be a swing set. So, oddly sufficient, we used the church.

It is a lengthy, sophisticated technique of establishing our bed room within the church. That is why it is not one thing that is executed fairly often. So we’re simply restricted by what number of buildings we are able to have on the bodily set.

Effectively, it labored out rather well, I believed. That is the place she advised him she was pregnant. It was such an intimate second.

Yeah, it was so enjoyable, man. We had been enjoying it form of humorous earlier than like he is falling asleep, and he thinks she’s alluding to one thing else. And when she tells him, and he simply jumps away from bed yelling, we each thought it was actually candy. However once more, you by no means know the way these issues will find yourself, how it should work.

I can bounce away from bed yelling and hope it really works. And also you simply do not know in the long run. And one of many issues that occurred was that the crew was actually having fun with it. Crews very seldom become involved in scenes whilst you’re taking pictures them. They’re doing their job.

They have their very own issues to do, however they had been actually having fun with it and laughing in between takes. And you can inform that we had been getting someplace. I do not know. I have never seen it myself but, to be fairly sincere with you, but-

Oh, you are kidding? Kavan.

No, I have never seen it. I am a bit superstitious about watching myself. I am going to admit that my ego is large enough that I have a look at the improper issues.

Oh, I perceive that.

It is actually laborious to look at your self. I am going to watch myself a bit bit right here and there, simply to ensure I am not means off, however my ego’s large enough that I are likely to generally fixate on the improper factor as a substitute of efficiency. So consider one thing silly. So I desire to not. Pascale watches all of them, and he or she and her husband inform me the way it went.

Good, good. A minimum of you get an upfront there.


Effectively, my final query for you, is there any likelihood that Lee may nonetheless have the ability to take that editorial place from Hope Valley? I would like to see him do one thing bigger, however nonetheless with a smaller scope.

Yeah, you and me each. I believe that may be an incredible match for Lee. No person has talked to me but concerning the story arc for this 12 months. I am hoping to have a dialog quickly, however I believe half of what is going to add to the dynamic of the infant is for them to every have their very own world pulling at them. We set it up this fashion.

So now, proceed that and have him pulled in that route, have her pulled in a unique route, all whereas being in one another’s area and never having the ability to get away from one another. And whereas she’s pregnant, I believe that it units itself up for that.

And I actually hope that’s the case if he does have that. As a result of I’ve felt personally for Lee within the final couple of seasons, he is been a bit directionless. I’ve struggled with that personally, as an actor. I’ve saved asking to have some route.

I did not need him to be flailing within the wind, and I am actually hoping that no matter it’s, it is one thing that manifests itself quickly and offers him a route in life.

And he was enthusiastic about being the mayor too. I actually thought that was going to be his factor. I actually did.

I did, too, I did too. I believed that is the place they had been going with it. No person tells the actors the place they are going with something. It is vitally seldom that we get any data earlier than we get the script. Typically your concepts are nearly as good as mine. I do not know the place they are going from one second to the subsequent.

So I hope that we set up some form of internal route. As a result of we set it up for him to be on this path. He has been wanting and searching for a few seasons now, and he hasn’t discovered something. So I really feel he is simply flailing within the wind a bit bit as a person.

He is nonetheless a robust marriage, good husband. He’ll be father, all that is there, however there’s one thing person that appears to be lacking from Lee that I am hoping we are able to rediscover quickly.

Proper. And his editorial obligations on the small paper have actually hit house with lots of people, so why not take it on a much bigger scale? It was dangled on the market.

Yeah, I believe so too. I imply, it is arrange for it. Let’s examine what occurs.

Effectively, fingers crossed. And I can not await folks to see this film. I believe you are going to get nice suggestions on it.

Effectively, thanks a lot. I actually respect it. I had a good time making it.

Remember to look at Large Sky River on Hallmark Films and Mysteries on Sunday, August 7 at 9/8c!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a workers author and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Alternative Affiliation, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of tv and movie with anybody who will hear. Observe her on Twitter and e mail her right here at TV Fanatic.

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