Heartland fans will instantly recognize Michelle Morgan as Lou Fleming – Amy’s older sister, who is opinionated, but yet always has her heart in the right place. As a fan, it has been interesting watching Michelle play Lou, as the character grows into her own.
1. Being on Heartland for 10 years now, what do you think playing Lou Fleming has taught you?
Being on Heartland has definitely taught me a lot about horses. I hadn’t ridden very much before the show and I have learned so much from the wranglers and trainers that we work with. Horses are such fascinating animals and I feel like they are a lot like people, each one so unique.
2. Tell us about the horse that you normally ride on Heartland; is it always the same one?
I wish it was. They often change the horses I ride. This season we will see Lou on a beautiful bay with a white mark on her forehead. The horse’s name on the show is Venus. They have to choose horses that are calm and used to being on set. It is very distracting and sometimes stressful for a horse to be around the camera, lights and large white flags that they use to diffuse the light. I love cantering and I used to want a horse with more “get up and go,” but I realized that there is a reason they choose calmer horses for the actors to ride.
3. What is your favourite thing about working on Heartland?
The cast and crew that I work with! After 10 years, they have become like family to me. I have known many of them since the first day we started filming.
4. Do you have any funny behind-the-scenes stories to share?
Too many to count. The times that are often the most fun are when we are all sitting around the table filming a dinner scene. We get bored and antsy so we start getting silly and laughing at ridiculous inside jokes. Also, Gabe Hogan (Peter) and I love joking around and doing accents. Sometimes to amuse the crew we will rehearse our scenes in a cockney accent. It makes the days go by faster.
5. What is one thing most people don’t know about Lou?
About Lou? Well as an actor I like to create an inside world for her, a backstory and secrets. But I can’t share them with you or else they wouldn’t be secrets anymore!
6. How are you similar to Lou, and how are you especially different?
We are similar in that we are mothers and sisters who care deeply about our family. We are also similar in that we are trying desperately to balance work and home life and that we both find it difficult sometimes. We are different in many, many ways. I love surfing, yoga, hiking and music. Lou is so business minded she doesn’t have time for things like that.
7. What has been your favourite scene/episode so far?
My favourite episode is number 409, “Local Hero,” where we herd cattle into Hudson town square. It was so fun. Any scene where we are herding cows, I love.
8. Which scene has been the most difficult?
The hardest episodes were in season nine when Lou and Peter were splitting up. It was challenging emotionally.
9. If you could travel back in time and give the Michelle from 10 years ago some advice, what would it be?
Seriously, I would tell myself to enjoy the ride more and stop stressing out about the next move all the time.
10. Do you have any other current projects to share?
I always have projects on the go, but I have to keep them hush hush for now. As soon as I am ready to share, Horse Canada will be the first to know!
Readers are also invited to meet Meet Madison Cheeatow, CBC Heartland’s Jade Virani and to meet Shaun Johnston, CBC Heartland’s Grandpa Jack, and meet Graham Wardle, CBC Heartland’s Ty Borden and meet Cindy Busby, CBC Heartland’s Ashley Stanton, and meet Miranda Frigon, CBC Heartland’s Janice Wayne, and meet Alisha Newton, CBC Heartland’s Georgie.