Exclusive: Erin Krakow Says 'When Calls the Heart' Season 11 "Feels Like a New Beginning"

This story contains light spoilers for When Calls the Heart season 10.

As When Calls the Heart ventures into season 11 on Hallmark, Hope Valley is heading into an era that's all about change. From ushering in the beginning of the 1920s to the evolution of one long-awaited romance, star and executive producer Erin Krakow is ready for viewers to embrace all the transitions coming their way... especially from one pivotal character.

The actress is famous for portraying Elizabeth Thatcher Thornton, and her character has embraced many trials and tribulations throughout her tenure on the drama. The schoolteacher has dealt with the loss of her husband Jack (Daniel Lissing), the birth of her son, finding love again with Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally) and eventually ending the couple's engagement at the end of season 10.

For Erin, what made When Calls the Heart season 11 so important was the fact Elizabeth is not just looking out for those she cares about most. Elizabeth is on a journey to discover who she is amid the start of something new.

"Season 10 was a very challenging emotional time for Elizabeth," Erin tells Good Housekeeping over Zoom. "A lot of self-reflection, a lot of trying to figure out what's the right move and is she with the right person. Moving into season 11, it was important for me to explore the sides of Elizabeth that show her celebrating life a bit more and being open to those. There's a real lightness and joy that comes with that."

when calls the heart season 11 erin krakow elizabeth interview
Courtesy Hallmark Channel

Indeed, Elizabeth takes focus on figuring out her own identity in When Calls the Heart season 11, starting with asking Rosemary Coulter to help cut her hair in the premiere episode. But while switching up her looks is one element on her road to self-discovery, there's one other thing that fans have waited years to see happen.

As Erin explains, season 11 is unique for Elizabeth as she can finally acknowledge her feelings for Mountie Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry), with whom she's had an on-and-off friendship since he first appeared in season 6. While Nathan has expressed his desire to be in a relationship with her, viewers know she eventually chose Lucas as her next beau, before she chose to end their relationship amid her own hesitation to choose between him and Nathan.

Now that she's finally single, Erin says Elizabeth is ready to take her relationship with Nathan to the next level. But unlike her previous romances, Erin says the twosome's road to love is much softer for a specific reason.

"When I think about the way [When Calls the Heart is] handling it, it's grown up," she says. "For Nathan and Elizabeth, they're busy people. She's trying to raise her kid, she's a teacher. He's trying to raise his kid [Allie, played by Jaeda Lily Miller], he's a Mountie. They've got lives and responsibilities. That's not necessarily a hot way of approaching it, but that's life for them. It's a mature kind of love that ends up being very passionate, if I may say. Sometimes it's just nice to see a couple of grown people fall in love."

when calls the heart season 11 erin krakow elizabeth interview
Courtesy Hallmark Channel

So, what else is Erin excited for fans to see in When Calls the Heart season 11? As the actress emphasizes, Elizabeth is expanding her horizons, but she's not the only one.

"There have been so many changes in the rollercoaster of Elizabeth's journey," Erin says. "Season 11 is no exception. We're breathing new life into Elizabeth and into the fabric of the town in various ways. And Nathan is there and there's all this excitement and change happening in Hope Valley. And so not only for Elizabeth, but for everyone in town, it feels like a new beginning."

When Calls the Heart season 11 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark.

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