‘When Calls The Heart’: Chris McNally on Whether Lucas Will Fight for Elizabeth’s Hand

When Calls The Heart, Chris McNally

Okay, Hearties, TV Insider recently had a preview of the new season of Hallmark’s hit drama, When Calls the Heart, from Kevin McGarry, who plays Nathan Grant and is one third of the love triangle involving charming Elizabeth Thornton (Erin Krakow) and her other suitor, Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally). So, it’s only fair to give McNally equal time!

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Plus, is his character, the dashing Mountie, the man Elizabeth chooses in Season 8 of Hallmark's swoon-worthy drama?

As any Heartie can tell you, the season finale featured an OMG moment where Elizabeth, distraught because she thought Nathan may have been killed in the line of duty, saw him very much alive and ran to him as Lucas watched. Does this mean Elizabeth is choosing Nathan? Or does Lucas still have a fighting chance…that is, if he even wants to fight for Elizabeth?

Who better to ask than McNally, who shares his thoughts on Season 8 (which premieres Sunday on the Hallmark Channel), Lucas’s mother, Helen (Teryl Rothery) coming to visit, and where the businessman’s head is at when we return to Hope Valley for another season of heartwarming and maybe heartbreaking stories.

Season 7 ended with Elizabeth in Nathan’s arms. Can you tease Lucas’ reaction in Season 8?

Chris McNally: Lucas takes off after the hug! He’s quite shaken by it and subsequently leaves Hope Valley to clear his head and gain some perspective. He also takes that time to grow a fairly decent beard, if I do say so myself — and I do.

Is Lucas is ready to fight for Elizabeth?

Lucas comes into Season 8 more grounded than when he left and with a more tangible sense of vulnerability. He isn’t looking to “fight” for Elizabeth, per se, but wants what’s best for her — for Elizabeth to be happy.

We get to meet Lucas’s mother in the season premiere. What’s their relationship like?

Lucas and his mother are close, though it’s been some time since they saw each other. Helen’s visit to see her son is long overdue and, as a bonus, her arrival in Hope Valley allows the audience a glimpse into Lucas’s semi-mysterious past.

Is Lucas concerned about what his mother will think of Elizabeth when they work together on her book?

No, I wouldn’t say Lucas is concerned in either a working or personal capacity. Lucas recognizes Elizabeth’s talent and knows Helen does, too — though Helen certainly puts Elizabeth to the test — and he also prides himself for being a great judge of character so he has no doubt his mother will respect and admire Elizabeth’s character.

Will she offering up any advice or commentary in terms of the Nathan-Lucas triangle?

Helen is as sharp as a tack and she picks up on the situation immediately. She most definitely has opinions, commentary, and cuts to the chase with her questions, putting Lucas in the hot seat.

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Will the widowed teacher in the Hallmark drama go with team Nathan, or team Lucas?

In terms of the oil company, has Lucas bitten off more than he can chew now that he bought Henry (Martin Cummins) out? And who will he turn to for guidance?

I wouldn’t want to give away any potential spoilers, so I won’t say if Lucas turns to anyone or not, but I will confirm that he has bit off more than he can chew. He senses it at the end of Season 7, and Season 8 sees those worries come to fruition.

What do you hear from Team Lucas fans who want to see him with Elizabeth?

It’s great to be a part of a show with such a passionate following! In terms of Team Lucas fans, I read a LOT of comments about how Nathan is too tall, too handsome, too empathetic and sensitive…all these great things, and at the end of the day it’s just too much to handle, so Elizabeth should go with Lucas instead. I’m kidding — though Nathan is certainly those things — but I do see Team Lucas support voicing how he’s adventurous, spontaneous, affectionate, and how he appreciates Elizabeth more than anything in the world, which I feel is very true.

Lucas and Nathan are always very cordial to each other, but could they ever be friends?

Season 8 ends in a place of authentic mutual respect towards one another, and I’d say this is an essential foundation along the journey to friendship. Is friendship now possible after the Season 8 finale? I think so. Will it happen? I don’t know. Hopefully we’ll get picked up for Season 9 and can find out!

When Calls the Heart, season premiere, February 21, 9/8c, Hallmark.