Exclusive: ‘When Calls the Heart’ star Andrea Brooks fills us with love, romance, and adorable canines

Andrea Brooks and Marcus Rosner in Romance to the Rescue. Pic credit: Hallmark

When you watch Andrea Brooks helping to train a Border Collie in her latest Hallmark movie, Romance to the Rescue, it is clear she has a handle on canine training and helping us explore the beauty of love and romance.

The When Calls the Heart star says she loved working with the adorable dogs and being reunited with her longtime co-star Marcus Rosner, who is known for his role as Charles Kensington.

She started her career as an actress at the age of 15 when she applied to Disney’s open casting call for figure skaters for the film Ice Princess in 2005.

The Canadian actress and mother of 3-year-old Viola, is best known for her When Calls the Heart role of Faith Carter.

She also played Eve Teschmacher in The CW series Supergirl. She has also appeared in the Hallmark films A Wish for Christmas, and Destination Wedding.

“I truly adore family-friendly content. I love the fact that I now have a family that I can watch with my daughter and my grandma,” Brooks exclusively tells Monsters & Critics. “There’s just something so wholesome about it that I value, especially as I’m getting older.”

Please read on to hear more about Andrea Brook’s love for motherhood, the life lessons she wants to pass on to her young daughter, and why she loves Hallmark and its fiercely devoted fans, especially “The Hearties.”

Monsters and Critics: I definitely wanted to add a dog to my family before I saw the movie, and now I want one even more.

Andrea Brooks: Oh, my goodness, I am with you. I walked away being a huge fan of Border Collie mixes.

Do you have a dog?

I did for a number of years, but both of them passed on, they were quite old. I don’t have a dog right now, but I grew up with them and I adore them.  Definitely more of a dog person than a cat person.

Yes, cats tend to be overly independent.

They are. I can never judge what they’re going to do next, but dogs I understand.

In addition to the adorable dogs, what attracted you to this Hallmark movie?

Well, I think it goes without saying anytime there’s a dog involved, for a dog person like myself, that piques my interest early on. Secondly, when I heard that Marcus Rosner was attached, I was elated because we have quite a history going back to the early days of When Calls the Heart. We’ve been married on the Hallmark Channel before and we have a lot of the same friends in common. So that seemed like that pairing was destined to happen eventually. I was really excited when I heard Marcus was on board as well.

Did you learn enough about training dogs or agility if you got a dog in the future and wanted to use it?

Absolutely. I have picked up so many skills from this movie. That’s what I love about the Hallmark-style movie, is I love how it generally centers around a topic. So maybe your movie is about wine, fishing, baking, or boating, and this one of course is about dogs and agility training. So, I absolutely picked up several skills.

I’ve always been involved when I had dogs growing up. I remember going to training camp with them. But agility is a different level and you’re dealing with dogs with such a high frequency of intelligence. I feel like I learned how to give the commands with my hands and the signaling, and I loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of making this movie.

Photo Courtesy of Hallmark.
Pic credit: Hallmark

I’m glad you brought up When Calls the Heart. I don’t think I have ever heard of a group of fans, Hallmark in general fans included, as “The Hearties.” They are really devoted.

They are a force. I don’t even have the words to describe the fandom; they’re incredible.

Yes, and protective.

Very protective.  All of us on the show respect the fandom so much, and they’re always on the forefront of our minds when we’re constructing scenes. And we really want to make sure that we do our due diligence with our characters and we want things to stay consistent, and we always want to pay homage to the past.  Because we know that The Hearties look into every single detail, so that’s something that doesn’t slip past us when we’re filming. I think as a whole there are just genuine, quite lovely, and sincere.

With this being a romantic movie, are you a romantic type of person?

Not naturally, I don’t think I’m a romantic. But when it comes to my work, I would say absolutely. I’m a total sucker for the most romantic scenes. I love eye contact and I love the romantic moments that you get to play in movies. I don’t think I’m like that at all in my real life, but when it comes to working that, I adore it. I don’t know what that says about me.

What do you think attracted you to Hallmark, and what keeps you there?

Being a Vancouver-based actor around six or seven years ago, Hallmark was really pushing its way into the mainstream. It was a wonderful source of employment for so many creatives up in Canada. I got very lucky. I ended up booking movie after movie, and then When Calls the Heart came along, and so I just feel like it was good fortune. I grew up watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and Little House on the Prairie, so just this content kind of makes sense with what I was raised watching on TV.

Photo Courtesy of Hallmark.
Pic credit: Hallmark

I love the music in the Hallmark movies and when they get back together and they’re just about to kiss.

Totally. There’s something so powerful, and with the music too. That’s always a thing that surprises me, because I’ll watch scenes in the editing room, sometimes I’ll watch after the fact. Even while we’re shooting sometimes, I will go peek around the corner and just watch the replay to see how things are looking. But when it’s a finished product and the music is added, oh my goodness, that elevates love stories. You’re totally right about that.

How is your daughter?

She’s fantastic! She’s two and a half, and she’s a little maniac, but I love her to pieces.

That’s a nice age.  Very sweet.

Yes, It’s fun. Very chatty.

Has your daughter watched you on TV?

Yes, she has. She actually was with me when I first watched the trailer for Romance to the Rescue, funny enough.  And then she looked at me and she goes, “Well, that’s Momma.” And she goes, “Ah, Andrea Brooks, that’s you, Momma.” And so, watching her make that connection was quite funny, but she has watched a few episodes of When Calls the Heart as well. Of course, she knows all of those cast members as family friends, so you can see that her mind is working.  She’s like, “Oh, well, that’s Erin. There’s Momma.” And then she goes, “But, where’s Dada?” So, I don’t know if it fully clicks yet, but she’s definitely aware that momma does something on television.

Do you know what your next project is?

I’ve got a couple of things potentially in the works. I also just shot a pilot for NBC. I had a small part in the first episode, so that kind of kept me busy for most of March.  It stars Marsha Gay Harden and is called So Help Me, Todd. We’re basically just crossing our fingers and hoping to go forward with a season 10 for When Calls.

I know your daughter is very young, but are there life lessons that you got from your parents or grandparents or anybody that you really want your daughter to hold close to her heart?

Absolutely; a work ethic. That’s something that was instilled in my brother and me from my dad, I would say. I want her to understand that no matter what you do with your life, or what you become, as long as you work your absolute hardest and give it your best shot always, that will ultimately just lead to happiness. I would say the work ethic that I learned growing up has been very beneficial.

How do you watch the Hallmark Christmas movies? Where are you in your house, what are you wearing and what snacks are you enjoying?

Well, I invested in a very fancy comfy couch. As soon as I moved that was the number one thing, I wanted to get a massive comfortable couch for this reason exactly. I will have sweatpants on. I never got out of my COVID-19 fashion. I’ve stuck with it, so definitely into the matching sweat suits. I would probably order sushi and have salt and vinegar chips, and then curl up, and put the movie on. That sounds like the absolute ideal evening.

Photo Courtesy of Hallmark.
Pic credit: Hallmark

Why should my readers want to see this movie?

Well, first of all, we have the most photogenic dog of all time in this movie. He’s absolutely gorgeous and whip-smart and so cute. Secondly, it’s directed by Heather Hawthorn Doyle, who has quickly risen up the ranks in the Hallmark universe, and has directed so many Hallmark movies.  And she’s the absolutely crème de la crème when it comes to directing these projects.  I adore her and she was just so brilliant with the dog and just couldn’t speak more highly of Heather.

For the third reason, it’s kind of a fun Hallmark When Calls the Heart pairing. Considering you have Faith Carter and you have Charles back from the Hamilton days of Hope Valley. This is kind of a reimagining of those two characters put together in a new universe. We were talking about that quite a bit when we were filming, how this was an alternate reality of if Charles met Faith in 2022.

What do you love about Faith, your character in When Calls the Heart?

It’s such a gift to be able to play a character for going on a decade. But I love her growth. I love how we meet her as a very young nurse, and she grows with the show and she becomes a doctor and she learns so many life lessons along the way. I think I love her courage, her strength, and her growth.

Did you learn a lot from COVID-19 and the restrictions? 

Oh yes. I think what COVID[-19] did for me is it made me appreciate work all that much more. I feel that every moment on set, getting to create something special with other creative people who you enjoy being around. I didn’t take that for granted at all. When Calls the Heart came back very early on in the pandemic, it was scary because we never knew if we were going to be shut down or what might happen next. But I gained so much more of an appreciation for the friendships I have at work and for the amazing people that I get to work with.

Enjoy that sweet little girl of yours; it goes so fast.

Oh, thank you, I will! And you’re right, I can’t even believe she’s starting preschool in September… it blows my mind. I feel like I was just pregnant.

Romance to the Rescue premiers Saturday, May 21, on Hallmark Channel.

For more Hallmark romance, check out Exclusive: Why Hallmark’s Brittany Bristow wants all of us to ‘Spring into Love.’

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