I was in Calgary earlier this year to catch up with some of the cast of Heartland; here is my interview with Michelle Morgan, who plays Lou Fleming.
1. What can fans look forward to in this season?
Fans can look forward to Lou going through a really big transition in her life. She’s really excited about her Maggie’s venture in New York. The one thing that fans will notice is that Lou is away more than they’re used to. That’s partially the story of the show, and it’s partially the story of my life. There’s just lots going on in my life that’s taking me away from set a little bit. I’m still very much here and Lou is trying to figure out what her place is at home, because she’s so busy in New York.
2. What’s your favourite Lou line or “ism”?
There’s a scene when Lou is planning Amy’s wedding and Georgie says, “Why don’t you take a break Lou?” and Lou say “I am just getting started.” That’s Lou right there.
3. What’s your favourite type of scene?
It depends on the mood, because I really love the scenes where we’re all on horseback. It just gives a really natural flow and energy to what we’re doing.
And they always end up beautiful in the show too. We tend to be in beautiful places when we’re on horseback; but also just the energy of being on an animal is calming to people. I find as an actor, it’s much more natural when I’m on a horse, because there’s the movement of the horse – it’s a living thing … there’s no set that you can create that is more real than being on a horse. So I love those scenes. But I also love the intimate one on one scenes when I’m talking to Amy in her room at night – now, of course, it would be the loft – or going to have a chat with Georgie early in the morning, and she’s just waking up. Those one on one intimate scenes, you can almost forget the camera is there.
4. You were saying that this season is a lot about Lou’s balance between work and family. Can you talk a little more about that?
That’s probably been the biggest journey for Lou, in all of the seasons, is the balance between work and family, and trying to find that balance which doesn’t really exist, so it’s a daily struggle. That’s so true to life for many people, especially women. There are high expectations from society in terms of us running the household, being the main parent and also working. It’s very challenging for women and it’s challenging for Lou too.
5. Which scene or episode resonated the most with you so far?
I loved the scene in Episode 5 season 11 when Lou and Mitch meet in the field and kiss. It was such a beautiful scene in a gorgeous setting – and it really captured Lou and Mitch’s relationship.
6. What unique quality do you, Michelle Morgan, bring to Lou?
I like comedy. I always have. I grew up doing improv theatre, sketch comedy, and so I really like to find the comical beats.
7. What storyline would you like to explore, that hasn’t been seen yet?
I want Lou to run for mayor of Hudson. Heather, the showrunner, doesn’t want to go into politics with the show, which makes total sense – but I still think I want Lou to run for mayor of Hudson.
8. Which line or scene has affected you the most – as in stuck in your head?
I think it would have to be some of the scenes with Peter and Lou, when they’re fighting, before they were divorced. I remember there was a scene – it must have been Season 7 – and Gabriel Hogan, who plays Peter, started to cry. He said, “I can’t do this any more.” I was so gutted, it was a very emotional scene and I’ll never forget that.
9. What’s your favourite thing about acting?
That it’s different every day. There’s something new every day, there’s challenges you’re dealing with. Also, the people that I get to work with … and craft services.
10. Looking back to Season 10, what would be your favourite episode?
My favourite scene was the Lou/Peter scene where I turn down his offer to invest in the Maggie’s Diner venture. It was a really subtle scene – on the surface it seemed like a cold thing, but we made it into this really beautiful touching moment. I loved the way it played out with Gabe. My second favourite scene was the final scene, we shot it with a drone – the one where I discover that Mitch is gone. That was a really intense scene and I enjoyed that one too.
Heartland returns to CBC on Jan. 7, 2018, at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. in Newfoundland).