Kavan Smith strikes once more with one other red-hot film. He stars as Boone Taylor in Massive Sky River, a single father of two boys who’s making an attempt to offer the very best life for his household.
He’s doing that each one alone with out grievance, however when Tara (Emmanuelle Vaugier) rents the home subsequent door for the summer season together with her stepdaughter, their two households develop nearer as Boone and Tara uncover that they won’t should go it alone, in any case.
We caught up with Kavan concerning the film (which you’ll adore) and for some When Calls the Coronary heart chitchat. Take into account this dialog your prep work earlier than catching the premiere of Massive Sky River on Hallmark Films & Mysteries on Sunday, August 7 at 9/8c.
Massive Sky River is such a phenomenal film, visually and emotionally. How did you become involved with it?
Properly, 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’ll get a job supply.
I used to be truly on my pc, nearly to pay for the flight, and I acquired a name from my agent asking if I’d be curious about this venture.
We did not know who was connected first, and infrequently when that occurs, I simply assume that it is going to be Pascale Hutton who was connected to it. However on this case, they stated that wasn’t going to occur.
However then, once I discovered it was Emmanuelle [Vaugier], who I might labored with earlier than a number of years in the past on a venture referred to as Mistresses. I used to be tremendous excited as a result of we had a very good time collectively. She’s tremendous enjoyable. So I used to be actually enthusiastic about it.
After which I additionally discovered that the director, Peter Benson, is one other pal of mine. When he got here on board, I am like, “That is simply going to be enjoyable. It is identical to buddies getting collectively.”
Like a trip.
Yeah. Precisely, I acquired a trip out of it anyway. The one factor I used to be somewhat bizarre about was the cowboy half as a result of I am not likely a lot of a cowboy. Though I come from Alberta, Canada, which is cowboy territory, and perhaps it is in my DNA someplace.
However I instructed my children about it, and so they’re like, “Actually? You? A cowboy?” I used to be like, “Okay, nicely, thanks in your assist. However sure.” After I learn the script, one of many issues oftentimes with Hallmark scripts, there are some issues that bump, and also you’re undecided how it is going to 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, the place’s the what is going on on right here?” And I noticed that it is not likely an image about boy meets lady, which lots of the Hallmark motion pictures are.
It felt to me that this was extra like about two damaged households that have been getting a second probability. 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.
After which this different lady who involves city, and she or he’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 assumed that is actually about two households coming collectively extra so than it’s concerning the conventional Hallmark, one man, one lady.
I actually favored that. I assumed that the film would both sink or swim on whether or not or not everyone would have chemistry — if we may actually join as households.
If I may join with the boys and if Emmanuelle may join with the lady, after which if we may all join collectively, this may very well be a very candy and enjoyable, pure film. I have not seen it but myself. So I am hoping that is what we acquired ultimately.
Sure, undoubtedly. It was considered one of my favourite Hallmark motion pictures I’ve seen in ages. And I am not simply saying that as a result of I am speaking to you. At any time when I used to be performed, I used to be like, “I actually loved this.” It did not seem to be a Hallmark film.
There was lots of that concerned. I actually do suppose they’re branching out somewhat bit. So that 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 means.
And since it was quite a bit 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 essentially see if we may 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 speak to them. I added some stuff that’s the means I speak to my children. And like I stated, I have not seen it. So I do not understand how a lot of what I put in there was saved or not. However I do know I added a good bit of pop from my repertoire into it as a result of I hoped it will make it extra pure.
If you’re coping with youthful performers, typically it helps them loosen up within the scene and simply hearken to you. I assumed that every one of many boys that performed my sons have been so good at various things, and it actually made it enjoyable and fascinating for me.
So I used to be undoubtedly capable of sort out a few of that. And I have not had any of that in a Hallmark venture outdoors of this one. So I used to be actually excited to try this.
Yeah. It actually labored. Each households have been plausible, and also you felt for each. Good.
Additionally, from the boy meets lady perspective, you and Emmanuelle have been clearly comfy with one another from having labored collectively earlier than. And it was a really grownup and candy assembly of two individuals who have been afraid of affection once more.
Yeah. It was within the script, however it was very delicate. It was actually sort of, “We’re not going to beat this over the pinnacle.” That is going 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 does not take herself too critically. And typically, with actors, you have to do no matter it takes to do the efficiency that you are going for. I get that. However typically, it is exhausting.
Typically working with actors is exhausting, and that is coming from an actor. So she was so enjoyable and uncomplicated and within the second, and she or he’s a very nice actor, and she or he’s acquired an awesome humorousness. And people issues actually communicate to me as an individual.
So I prefer it once I present as much as work, and someone is enjoyable, dwelling within the second, does not take themselves too critically, and is an efficient performer who can work with improvisation. She will be able to roll with issues as a result of I prefer to try to change takes up and stuff.
She was nice with all of that. And I knew she could be as a result of I might labored together with her a very long time in the past. And I knew we acquired alongside fairly nicely again then.
However on day one, we simply began making one another snicker instantly. I by no means noticed any of it on digicam, so I do not know what it seems like on digicam, however I felt in entrance of the digicam that there was undoubtedly chemistry. So I imply, when you say it is there, then I will take your phrase for it.
And there is one specific scene on the romantic aspect that blew me away for a Hallmark film.
It is when the 2 of you have been simply leaning your heads collectively. You might need had somewhat kiss. It was very emotional. It wasn’t coy; it was so deep. I cherished it.
I bear in mind taking pictures that. I acquired to provide lots 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 digicam angle on that. So he wished us to try this whereas we have been barely turning.
And I felt like, “Ugh, I do not know, turning whereas we’re making an attempt to have this type of tete-a-tete second.” But it surely actually labored. Additionally, one of many issues that you aren’t getting in lots of these motion pictures is time. We allowed that to develop.
It wasn’t simply head in, contact, suppose, kiss, performed. It was actually sort of sluggish and sanguine. And it was actually a phenomenal second. I am glad you favored that. That was actually cool.
And it nearly got here off like a dance.
You stated you did not know if it will work with the turning. It labored completely.
Oh, I am so glad. It felt somewhat bizarre doing it. However as quickly as we landed from the flip, then all of it felt actually fairly pure. And I feel that when you’re … It is not burned in love, as a result of he misplaced his spouse, she died, and Tara [Vaugier] was burned in love.
Typically the vulnerability of that second the place you open your self up, there are not any phrases. You need not say something. And also you lean your head and also you’re saying to the opposite particular person, “I belief you. I am right here. Let’s have a look at the place this goes.”
A variety of Hallmark motion pictures 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 concept. So I give him full credit score for that.
Should you present individuals what you feel, versus telling them, it goes quite a bit additional.
It actually does. It is the identical factor in writing and issues like that. You possibly can inform them stuff, however you need not hit them over the pinnacle. In reality, the much less you possibly can say, the extra impactful the second often is.
And it was the identical factor with each of you as mother and father within the film, the best way that Boone was simply taking part in ball with them out within the yard. I imply, you do not see that fairly often.
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.
Sure. I feel there was lots of that on this film. Not so apparent, however like delicate little issues that made it really feel somewhat extra plausible and somewhat extra actual.
Precisely. And you do not have to inform me that you simply’re good mother and father as a result of I may see it.
That is precisely what we have been going for. No person needed to say, “Oh, nicely, he is a great dad.” You possibly can see him the best way he talks with the children that dads do not speak to kids like that until they love them until they actually need the very best for them.
You do not have to have someone within the background or in one other scene say, “Oh, he is such a great dad.” We have already proven that. Or vice versa, “She’s an awesome stepmother,” as a result of she’s proven it. Yep. That is precisely proper.
You stated you were not a great cowboy. Have been you truly in these using scenes?
I used to be. I did all of the using scenes apart from the high-speed stuff. I am pretty comfy on horses as a result of I’ve performed a good bit of that on When Calls, and I’ve performed some Westerns previously. However I am getting outdated now. And my physique does not love banging round at excessive speeds.
Emmanuel is a severe rider. She is a present jumper and owns her horse, and she or he competes on a regular basis. So the director and the producers actually wished to benefit from having her on digicam at these excessive speeds, performing some actually high-end stuff. So I am simply not ok to observe her in that.
Trotting round and doing issues on horses, I am good with all that. However 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 is one thing I at all times wished to do.” I had gone on path rides and that sort of stuff rising up, however I at all times wished to have that flat-out run. And what went by means of my thoughts was, “Now, with my physique at this age, there isn’t any means. I might be on the bottom.”
The primary cellphone name I acquired from Peter was like, “Okay, sincere.” As a result of actors lie on a regular basis about what they will do. I have been requested ‘trigger I journey bikes, and I have been requested so many occasions. They’re like, “Actually? Actually? Do you actually drive a bike?” As a result of actors simply lie about something to get the half.
However Peter referred to as me, and he’s like, “Look, I would like the reality. How good are you on a horse?” And I used to be like, “Hear, so long as it is simply trotting round and little galloping right here and there and scenes on horses, strolling with horses, no downside.”
Actual hardcore using? And I already knew that Emmanuel was an actual rider, and I knew they have been going to wish to benefit from that. So I used to be like, “Hear, you are going to want to usher in a cowboy when you actually wish to go for it.”
And so they introduced in an awesome man. So he was terrific. And she or he was over the moon on that day. She was at all times pleased and constructive on set, however boy, that day, she was over-the-moon on horse galloping day.
And the way neat is that? As a result of that was what her character cherished to do as nicely.
Whoever solid her, whoever reached out to Emmanuelle, should have recognized that she was a rider as a result of it was an ideal match. And I feel that we had a very nice time collectively. I used to be tremendous pleased with the best way this film happened.
Okay, granted, I did not do the hardcore using, 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 comfy simply doing the cowboy stuff.
Yeah. Is smart to me. And have we ever seen scruffy Kavan on display screen earlier than?
Properly, not on Hallmark. No, I’ve performed lots of scruffy cabin stuff on different issues again once I was youthful.
I can not even bear in mind you from different issues. You have been clean-shaven on Eureka. You have been clean-shaven-
Yeah, I used to be.
Yeah. There have been lots of clean-shaven roles, however I could not discover any scruffy.
There are a couple of on the market, however yeah, lots 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 you must look a sure means, and also you get bored with it after some time.
So each Christmas, I’d develop a beard and shave my head. After which I’d often, by February, my hair has grown again, after which I might shave my beard. And that was my little rebel.
However on this one, I did not know he was a sheriff instantly, however I did … After I heard the cowboy stuff, I used to be like, “It is sensible if he was somewhat extra damaged down,” like not so fearful about his seems and never so fearful about shaving day by day.
So I used to be stunned after they okayed that as a result of it is not at all times been Hallmark’s factor. For me, they’ve at all times red-flagged it. However this one, I used to be sort of glad. It is only a totally different look.
Yeah, I favored it. I favored it.
It is the one place in addition to wrinkles as a result of I’ve lots of these, however I am not grey on my head but. However I’m fairly grey in my beard. So it is the one place that offers me away beside the wrinkles.
However what? These sorts of salt and pepper beards look good.
[laughs] I do not know that girls may pull them off, however males look actually good in them.
Yeah. Properly, thanks. Thanks.
Have you ever ever performed a sheriff earlier than?
On Eureka, I performed Deputy Andy, and he wore primarily the identical outfit. So-
I used to be going to say. However he is a robotic. So I did not actually consider him because the Sheriff. [laughs]
He is a robotic. Sure. Yeah, no, he was a robotic. I cherished Deputy Andy. He was considered one of my favourite characters that I’ve ever performed.
But it surely was humorous, once I placed on this sheriff’s outfit, I used to be like, “Oh, this takes me again.” As soon as they put the holster on me and all of the radio and all of the GAC, I used to be like, “Ah, this feels … ” Apart from the cowboy hat, this felt precisely like Andy.
Yeah. It was enjoyable.
So going away from this film, I simply have a few questions on When Calls the Coronary heart for you. Lee and Rosemary are having a child. How excited are you guys for this story to play out?
Properly, I’ve joked about this previously. I will take the credit score, and I will say, “Oh, that is all as a result of I pushed this ahead.” [laughs] I did not actually have something to do with this. That 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 will be a delivery, however we each wished this within the earlier years. After which it sort of felt to me like, “All proper, nicely, I am not younger anymore. So perhaps this isn’t the suitable factor for these two anymore.” Pascale’s fairly a bit youthful than me.
However I used to be like, “Eh; I do not know.” However she actually, actually dug her heels in with the community and actually wished this. I nonetheless suppose it is the suitable resolution, the suitable alternative story-wise for these two. I did not suppose it was going to occur. I might given up hope, however she didn’t.
She was tenacious, and no less than she acquired her means. And I am truly actually glad as a result of the best way 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.
After which, proper after they get actually busy doing different stuff, and their life takes a brand new path, abruptly, it occurs. I actually did like that. I assumed that was a enjoyable method to play it. And now we’ll see what occurs this 12 months, this season, once we get going right here, how that performs out. My fingers are crossed.
Yeah. I cherished it in the course of the season after they just about stated out loud as they have been strolling to church that they have been okay with their lives and that every part was all proper. Then, it was not a fear. And I assumed proper then, “Okay. It is not a fear anymore. They’ll get pregnant.”
Do not you suppose that is an odd echo as a result of that is type of the way it occurs? It is not an issue, however for lots of people who undergo that, having a child is so seldom simply, “Hey, you are going to have a child. The primary time you get pregnant, and you’ve got a child.”
It is simply not many individuals’s story. Normally, it is extra sophisticated. And in that complication, it appears to me that while you lastly simply say, ” what, let’s cease making an attempt so arduous. Let’s simply go on with our lives,” that is when it typically occurs.
It’s. And so they have been so centered elsewhere. And with out placing that strain on themselves, their our bodies gave into it.
Precisely. And I feel that it is actually fascinating as a result of now we’re set as much as have this actually fascinating situation the place they’re getting a newspaper going, they’re nonetheless working the lumber mill or the sawmill. They’ve a child coming. So there’s being pregnant right here. They’re sharing this area at house and the workplace. You are simply arrange for craziness.
And that is what me and Rosemary, I feel, do greatest is that mixture of humor and craziness and coronary heart. That is what we have at all times gone by means of with these two. So I feel we’re arrange for an awesome 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 feel it was two or three seasons in the past when she had Scarlet fever. I feel when Rosemary will get Scarlet fever.
Proper. I knew there have been scenes at or on the mattress at that time. I did not bear in mind when you have been in mattress collectively.
No. And we had talked about that. There have been problems with the bed room stuff for Lee and Rosemary. Due to the property that we shoot on, we’re restricted within the variety of buildings we are able to have. So it needs to be a swing set. So, oddly sufficient, we used the church.
It is a lengthy, sophisticated means of organising our bed room within the church. That is why it is not one thing that is performed fairly often. So we’re simply restricted by what number of buildings we are able to have on the bodily set.
Properly, it labored out very well, I assumed. That is the place she instructed him she was pregnant. It was such an intimate second.
Yeah, it was so enjoyable, man. We have been taking part in it sort 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. However once more, you by no means understand how these issues will find yourself, how it is going to work.
I can soar away from bed yelling and hope it really works. And also you simply do not know ultimately. 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 have their very own issues to do, however they have been actually having fun with it and laughing in between takes. And you possibly can inform that we have been getting someplace. I do not know. I have not seen it myself but, to be fairly sincere with you, but-
Oh, you are kidding? Kavan.
No, I have not seen it. I am somewhat superstitious about watching myself. I will admit that my ego is sufficiently big that I take a look at the incorrect issues.
Oh, I perceive that.
It is actually arduous to observe your self. I will watch myself somewhat bit right here and there, simply to ensure I am not means off, however my ego’s sufficiently big that I are likely to typically fixate on the incorrect factor as a substitute of efficiency. So consider one thing silly. So I want to not. Pascale watches all of them, and she or he and her husband inform me the way it went.
Good, good. At the very least you get an upfront there.
Properly, my final query for you, is there any probability that Lee would possibly nonetheless be capable of take that editorial place from Hope Valley? I might like to see him do one thing bigger, however nonetheless with a smaller scope.
Yeah, you and me each. I feel that may be an awesome match for Lee. No person has talked to me but concerning the story arc for this 12 months. I am hoping to have a dialog quickly, however I feel half of what is 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 path, have her pulled in a special path, all whereas being in one another’s area and never having the ability to get away from one another. And whereas she’s pregnant, I feel that it units itself up for that.
And I actually hope that’s the case if he does have that. As a result of I’ve felt personally for Lee within the final couple of seasons, he is been somewhat directionless. I’ve struggled with that personally, as an actor. I’ve saved asking to have some path.
I did not need him to be flailing within the wind, and I am actually hoping that no matter it’s, it is one thing that manifests itself quickly and provides him a path 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 assumed that is the place they have been going with it. No person tells the actors the place they are going with something. It is extremely seldom that we get any info earlier than we get the script. Typically your concepts are nearly as good as mine. I do not know the place they are going from one second to the subsequent.
So I hope that we set up some sort of internal path. As a result of we set it up for him to be on this path. He has been wanting and in search of a few seasons now, and he hasn’t discovered something. So I really feel he is simply flailing within the wind somewhat bit as a person.
He is nonetheless a robust marriage, good husband. He’ll be a great father, all that is there, however there’s one thing person who appears to be lacking from Lee that I am hoping we are able to rediscover quickly.
Proper. And his editorial duties on the small paper have actually hit house with lots of people, so why not take it on a much bigger scale? It was dangled on the market.
Yeah, I feel so too. I imply, it is arrange for it. Let’s have a look at what occurs.
Properly, fingers crossed. And I can not await individuals to see this film. I feel you are going to get nice suggestions on it.
Properly, thanks a lot. I actually recognize it. I had a good time making it.
Remember to observe Massive Sky River on Hallmark Films 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. Observe her on Twitter and e-mail her right here at TV Fanatic.