ATM talks briefly with actor Chris McNally about his recent projects A Winter Princess, Lifetime’s Heaven and When Calls the Heart.
ATM: Think back to when you were acting the first scene with Natalie Hall’s character. Think back to when you first looked at her. Express your character’s eye coordination in A Winter Princess.
CM: Jesse was just completely smitten with her right of way. When you have that immediate feeling, it’s like a jolt to your system. You can get completely thrown off by it when trying to navigate what to do and where to go.
ATM: How did Hall’s character’s eye position reflect what your character said in the next line?
CM: It is the sort of thing where it happens very quickly, and you are not sure what happens until it is over. Then you reflect on it; “Ah, I should have done this, or I should have done that.” This is kind of playing over and over in your mind.
ATM: What’s the internal and external connection shared between our character and your Hall’s character.
CM: It happens in your stomach and comes from your gut. The external connection is energy. You cannot see it, but you can feel it. It is more of a tone and energy vibe than action.
ATM: What is her character teaching your character in an area he lacks in his life?
CM: He learns about family from her. He left his home moments ago, and when he comes back, he is reminded about how important family is through Carly. This is the number one thing he learns from her.
ATM: What is the difference in how your character is exposed to ‘family’ in Lifetime’s Heaven?
CM: He has a family and a wife. It is a different situation, where Jesse learns through Carly that she did not run away with his life. She needs to be there. Cal is in search of a human connection, because he is not getting it from his wife, Kitty, who is a little bit out there. They adopt Heaven and he has a friend. He starts to connect and fall in love with her.
ATM: What does his wife not give him that Heaven gives him?
CM: Time. Kitty is an over the top woman who is not related to the real world. Heaven has the flexibility and takes the time to listen.
ATM: How can ‘time’ get seen as an important element in a relationship?
CM: Time is the center and structure of any relationship. You must always take the time to be with one another, otherwise, you are just sitting there at the show and waiting for your shot.
ATM: From a different angle of what can you reflect about the time distance it took the main character to become comfortable with the new environment in When Calls the Heart?
CM: When she comes in, she is grieving her late husband. Time is a huge part for her in feeling warped. She takes care of her kid and my character is intrigued. In no way, shape, or form do I want to leave someone like this.
ATM: What does your character see in the tenderness and treatment she gives to her son?
CM: She has genuine love for him. She is a whole hearted and loving person. She has good intentions and is a caring mother.
ATM: What is your character’s perspective of what goes through her mind when looking at you?
CM: Her character goes back and forth thinking “Can I trust this guy or is he trying to play the situation game in having a hidden agenda?” I don’t think she knows what to think of him all the time.