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

He is doing that each one alone with out grievance, however when Tara (Emmanuelle Vaugier) rents the home subsequent door for the summer time along with her stepdaughter, their two households develop nearer as Boone and Tara uncover that they won’t must 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 Heart chitchat. Consider this dialog your prep work earlier than catching the premiere of Big Sky River on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Sunday, August 7 at 9/8c.

Big Sky River is such a gorgeous film, visually and emotionally. How did you become involved with it?

Well, as a matter of truth, I used to be planning a trip. And anytime you propose a trip as an actor, you possibly can nearly assure that you will get a job provide.

I used to be really on my laptop, nearly to pay for the flight, and I bought a name from my agent asking if I’d be excited about this challenge.

We did not know who was hooked up first, and sometimes when that occurs, I simply assume that it will be Pascale Hutton who was hooked up to it. But on this case, they stated that wasn’t going to occur.

But then, once I came upon it was Emmanuelle [Vaugier], who I’d labored with earlier than a number of years in the past on a challenge referred to 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.

And then I additionally came upon that the director, Peter Benson, is one other buddy of mine. When he got here on board, I’m like, “This is just going to be fun. It’s just like friends getting together.”

Like a trip.

Yeah. Exactly, I bought a trip out of it anyway. The solely factor I used to be a little bit bizarre about was the cowboy half as a result of I’m not likely a lot of a cowboy. Even although I come from Alberta, Canada, which is cowboy territory, and possibly it is in my DNA someplace.

But I informed my children about it, they usually’re like, “Really? You? A cowboy?” I used to be like, “Okay, well, thanks for your support. But yes.” When 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 will 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, where’s the what’s going on here?” And I noticed that it is not likely an image about boy meets lady, which quite a lot of the Hallmark films 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 lady. It was this man; he was making an attempt to maintain his household afloat with two boys combating the lack of their mom.

And then this different lady who involves city, and he or she’s making an attempt 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 lady.

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 might actually join as households.

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

Yes, positively. It was considered one of my favourite Hallmark films I’ve seen in ages. And I’m not simply saying that as a result of I’m speaking to you. Whenever I used to be carried out, I used to be like, “I really enjoyed 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 little bit bit. So they’re tackling some issues that they have not, or that they shied away from. the thought of divorce and stuff and coming collectively that approach.

And as a result of it was so much much less about simply boy meets lady, it was these two households, like I stated, coming collectively, that has not at all times been their factor. So this actually felt to me that this was going to permit Emmanuelle and I to actually see if we might put some chops into this and make you are 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 discuss to them. I added some stuff that’s the approach I discuss to my children. And like I stated, I have never seen it. So I do not know the way a lot of what I put in there was stored or not. But I do know I added a good bit of pop from my repertoire into it as a result of I hoped it might make it extra pure.

When you are coping with youthful performers, typically 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 outdoors of this one. So I used to be actually excited to do this.

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

Also, from the boy meets lady perspective, you and Emmanuelle had been clearly snug 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, nevertheless it was very refined. It was actually form of, “We’re not going to beat this over the head.” This goes to sink or swim on whether or not or not Emmanuelle and I can discover a method 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 severely. And typically, with actors, you have to do no matter it takes to do the efficiency that you are going for. I get that. But typically, it is exhausting.

Sometimes 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 bought a terrific humorousness. And these issues actually converse to me as an individual.

So I prefer it once I present as much as work, and any individual is enjoyable, residing within the second, would not take themselves too severely, and is an efficient performer who can work with improvisation. She can roll with issues as a result of I wish 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’d labored along with her a very long time in the past. And I knew we bought alongside fairly nicely again then.

But on day one, we simply began making one another snicker straight away. 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’ll take your phrase for it.

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

Oh, nice.

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

I keep in mind taking pictures that. I bought 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 thought of coming collectively and being nonetheless, however he wished a digital camera angle on that. So he wished us to do this whereas we had been barely turning.

And I felt like, “Ugh, I don’t know, turning while we’re trying to have this sort of tete-a-tete moment.” But it actually labored. Also, one of many issues that you aren’t getting in quite a lot of these films is time. We allowed that to develop.

It wasn’t simply head in, contact, suppose, kiss, carried out. It was actually form of sluggish and sanguine. And it was actually a gorgeous second. I’m glad you appreciated that. That was actually cool.

And it nearly got here off like a dance.


You stated you did not know if it might work with the turning. It labored completely.

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

Sometimes the vulnerability of that second the place you open your self up, there are not any phrases. You need not say something. And you lean your head and also you’re saying to the opposite particular person, “I trust you. I’m here. Let’s see where this goes.”

A number of Hallmark films do not do 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.

If you present individuals what you feel, versus telling them, it goes so much additional.

It actually does. It’s the identical factor in writing and issues like that. You can inform them stuff, however you need not hit them over the top. In truth, 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 mother and father within the film, the way in which 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 lady’s image was on Tara’s fridge, simply issues that talk volumes with out having to say a phrase.

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

Exactly. And you do not have to inform me that you simply’re good mother and father as a result of I might see it.

That’s precisely what we had been going for. Nobody needed to say, “Oh, well, he’s a good dad.” You can see him the way in which he talks with the children that dads do not discuss to youngsters like that except they love them except they actually need one of the best for them.

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

You stated you were not a very good cowboy. Were you really in these driving scenes?

I used to be. I did all of the driving scenes apart from the high-speed stuff. I’m pretty snug on horses as a result of I’ve carried out a good bit of that on When Calls, and I’ve carried out some Westerns previously. But I’m 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’m simply not adequate to comply with her in that.

Trotting round and doing issues on horses, I’m good with all that. But 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 considering, “That’s something I always wanted to do.” I had gone on path rides and that form of stuff rising up, however I at all times wished to have that flat-out run. And what went via my thoughts was, “Now, with my body at this age, there’s no way. I’d be on the ground.”

The first cellphone name I bought from Peter was like, “Okay, honest.” Because actors lie on a regular basis about what they’ll do. I’ve been requested ‘trigger I experience bikes, and I’ve been requested so many occasions. They’re like, “Really? Really? Do you really drive a motorcycle?” Because actors simply lie about something to get the half.

But Peter referred to as me, and he’s like, “Look, I need the truth. How good are you on a horse?” And I used to be like, “Listen, as long as it’s just trotting around and little galloping here and there and scenes on horses, walking with horses, no problem.”

Real hardcore driving? And I already knew that Emmanuel was an actual rider, and I knew they had been going to wish to reap the benefits of that. So I used to be like, “Listen, you’re going to need to bring in a cowboy if you really want to go for it.”

And they introduced in a terrific man. So he was terrific. And she was over the moon on that day. She was at all times blissful and optimistic on set, however boy, that day, she was over-the-moon on horse galloping day.

And how neat is that? Because that was what her character beloved to do as nicely.

Whoever forged her, whoever reached out to Emmanuelle, will need to have recognized 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 proud of the way in which this film happened.

Okay, granted, I did not do the hardcore driving, 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 snug simply doing the cowboy stuff.

Yeah. Makes sense to me. And have we ever seen scruffy Kavan on display earlier than?

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

I am unable to even keep 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 had been quite a lot of clean-shaven roles, however I could not discover any scruffy.

There are a number 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 it’s a must to look a sure approach, and also you get bored with it after some time.

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

But on this one, I did not know he was a sheriff straight away, however I did … When I heard the cowboy stuff, I used to be like, “It makes sense if he was a little more broken down,” like not so apprehensive about his seems and never so apprehensive about shaving on daily basis.

So I used to be shocked after they okayed that as a result of it isn’t at all times been Hallmark’s factor. For me, they’ve at all times red-flagged it. But this one, I used to be form of glad. It’s only a completely different look.

Yeah, I appreciated it. I appreciated it.

Thank you.

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

But you already know what? Those sorts of salt and pepper beards look good.

Yeah. Well-

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

Yeah. Well, thanks. Thank you.

Have you 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. But he is a robotic. So I did not actually consider him because the Sheriff. [laughs]

He’s a robotic. Yes. Yeah, no, he was a robotic. I beloved Deputy Andy. He was considered one of my favourite characters that I’ve ever performed.

But it was humorous, once I placed on this sheriff’s outfit, I used to be like, “Oh, this takes me back.” Once they put the holster on me and all of the radio and all of the GAC, I used to be like, “Ah, this feels … ” Except for 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 Heart for you. Lee and Rosemary are having a child. How excited are you guys for this story to play out?

Well, I’ve joked about this previously. I’ll take the credit score, and I’ll say, “Oh, this is all because I pushed this forward.” [laughs] I did not actually have something to do with this. This is all Pascale.

We each at all times wished these two to have a household. We did not know if there could be adoption or if it might be a start, however we each wished this within the earlier years. And then it form of felt to me like, “All right, well, I’m not young anymore. So maybe this is not the right thing for these two anymore.” Pascale’s fairly a bit youthful than me.

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

She was tenacious, and at the least she bought her approach. And I’m really actually glad as a result of the way in which they did it’s they purple herring-ed us some place else. They begin this newspaper, and we nearly overlook about it. There’s the odd reference right here and there, however they overlook about it.

And then, proper after they get actually busy doing different stuff, and their life takes a brand new route, abruptly, it occurs. I actually did like that. I believed that was a enjoyable method to play it. And now we’ll see what occurs this yr, this season, after 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 stated out loud as they had been strolling to church that they had been okay with their lives and that every part was all proper. Then, it was not a fear. And I believed proper then, “Okay. It’s not a worry anymore. They are going to get pregnant.”

Don’t you suppose that is an odd echo as a result of that is kind of the way it occurs? It’s not an issue, however for lots of people who undergo that, having a child is so seldom simply, “Hey, you’re going to have a baby. The first time you get pregnant, and you have a baby.”

It’s simply not many individuals’s story. Usually, it’s miles extra difficult. And in that complication, it appears to me that if you lastly simply say, “You know what, let’s stop trying so hard. Let’s just go on with our lives,” that is when it typically occurs.

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

Exactly. 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 have a child coming. So there’s being pregnant right here. They’re sharing this area at dwelling and the workplace. You’re simply arrange for craziness.

And that is what me and Rosemary, I believe, do finest is that mixture of humor and craziness and coronary heart. That’s what we have at all times gone via with these two. So I believe we’re arrange for a terrific 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.

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

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

It’s a protracted, difficult strategy of organising our bed room within the church. That’s why it isn’t one thing that is carried out fairly often. So we’re simply restricted by what number of buildings we will have on the bodily set.

Well, it labored out very well, I believed. That’s the place she informed 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. But once more, you by no means know the way these issues will find yourself, how it will work.

I can soar away from bed yelling and hope it really works. And 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 when you’re taking pictures them. They’re doing their job.

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

Oh, you are kidding? Kavan.

No, I have never seen it. I’m a little bit superstitious about watching myself. I’ll admit that my ego is sufficiently big that I take a look at the improper issues.

Oh, I perceive that.

It’s actually onerous to look at your self. I’ll watch myself a little bit bit right here and there, simply to verify I’m not approach off, however my ego’s sufficiently big that I are likely to typically fixate on the improper factor as an alternative 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. At least you get an upfront there.


Well, my final query for you, is there any likelihood that Lee may nonetheless be capable of take that editorial place from Hope Valley? I’d like to see him do one thing bigger, however nonetheless with a smaller scope.

Yeah, you and me each. I believe that may be a terrific match for Lee. Nobody has talked to me but concerning the story arc for this yr. I’m hoping to have a dialog quickly, however I believe half of what’s 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 special route, all whereas being in one another’s area and never with 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. Because I’ve felt personally for Lee within the final couple of seasons, he is been a little bit directionless. I’ve struggled with that personally, as an actor. I’ve stored asking to have some route.

I did not need him to be flailing within the wind, and I’m 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. Nobody tells the actors the place they are going with something. It could be very seldom that we get any info earlier than we get the script. Sometimes your concepts are nearly as good as mine. I do not know the place they are going from one second to the following.

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

He’s nonetheless a robust marriage, good husband. He’s going to be a very good father, all that is there, however there’s one thing person that appears to be lacking from Lee that I’m hoping we will rediscover quickly.

Right. And his editorial obligations on the small paper have actually hit dwelling 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 see what occurs.

Well, fingers crossed. And I am unable to look forward to individuals to see this film. I believe you are going to get nice suggestions on it.

Well, thanks a lot. I actually recognize it. I had a good time making it.

Don’t overlook to look at Big Sky River on Hallmark Movies 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 Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of tv and movie with anybody who will pay attention. Follow her on Twitter and electronic mail her right here at TV Fanatic.

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