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Amber Marshall & Graham Wardle Talk Season 12 of Heartland on CBC

Updated: Apr 28, 2019


Amber Marshall won for Best Performance by an Alberta Actress at the Alberta Film Awards, April, 27th 2019

Ruby/Emmanuella Spencer, Amber Marshall and Graham Wardle on CBC and Netlifx. Photos by Andrew Bako, courtesy of CBC.


Just announced by Amber Marshall herself, there will be a 13th Season!


Amber Marshall plays iconic Amy Fleming in Heartland and is amazing in this new season! She is so relatable and she is an example to women to work hard, love their family and to do the right thing always! Her character is so sweet and caring about keeping her family close, it had us in tears. - I'm Here With

The season opens with Amy (AMBER MARSHALL) and Ty (GRAHAM WARDLE) trying to balance life with their toddler and perpetually busy schedules. Realizing a long-time goal of working together turns out

to be the solution, even though the decision presents inevitable ups and downs. When a newcomer

unexpectedly arrives at Heartland, Amy and Ty are confronted with a difficult choice that could change

their family forever.


Heartland has had many great seasons and it's no small feat that season 12 will come along in the near future. Twelve years is a long time for a television series to be running. Some fans reading this were not even born when season 1 first premiered on CBC Television in 2007. In the very first season, Heartland introduced its audience to six characters who have been in every season, including the upcoming twelfth season. Those six are Amy (Amber Marshall), Jack (Shaun Johnston), Lou (Michelle Morgan), Ty (Graham Wardle), Tim (Chris Potter) and Lisa (Jessica Steen). You can see photos of them from the new season below, along with one of Georgie (Alisha Newton), who was introduced to the world of Heartland in season 6.


Q and A with stars Amber Marshall and Graham Wardle

by Blaine Schlechter


You guys have a busy day today so thanks for taking the time to chat with me, I do appreciate it. The first thing I would like to obviously discuss is Heartland. It has become an iconic Canadian show and such an important part of showcasing Canada and Alberta to the world. You guys are now on your 12th season, that’s pretty awesome. Not many shows make it to 5 or 10 and you guys are on 12. Have you guys had the chance to stop and think about the significance of that and has it felt like 12 years to you guys?


AMBER – I feel like a large part of my life has been spent on Heartland and I love every minute of it and I think that Heartland has taught me a lot about myself and vice versa. I think that our own personal traits are brought into the characters. Each year the writers get to know us better and the characters kind of morph into things that have happened in our own lives, and that’s something really special about a long running show, that the writers get a chance to see the life events happening around them and make that happen with each of the characters.


GRAHAM – I also feel like when you’re in it, you know, you’re working on it, and as an actor there’s a disconnect or delay between when you film something and when you see it and the impact as well, so it’s sort of like catching up and ‘oh ya, it has been 12 years, it has been a huge chunk of my life’ and it’s really special to be a part of something this long, and so impactful on people from all over the world for that matter. I had a girl in the airport whose parents were from Brazil and she came up to me and said ‘ I love the show, my parents back home love the show’, so it’s really cool to kind of know that Canada and this show is being represented around the world in such a positive light.


It really is, that’s a great way to put it; it’s definitely a showcase for how great this country is. You guys are also going to celebrate your 200th episode this season. That’s the first time a one hour scripted show on CBC has reached that milestone. Did you do any celebration for it when you wrapped the 200th episode?


AMBER – We had a lot of fun on the 200th episode, it was actually my favorite episode we filmed this year because there’s a lot of action; a lot of horse involvement which is my favorite part. As a group it was just something that was really special to us to be able to know we’ve reached 200 episodes, and like you said, that doesn’t happen very often, if ever. As a group the celebration was just felt like more of an accomplishment that we’ve all done this and we’ve been here for 12 years and together as a group we’ve made something last 200 episodes.


Your characters of Amy and Ty, they’ve obviously grown over the last 12 years. Besides the addition of Lyndy, what do you think is the biggest changes you’ve seen in both Amy and Ty?


AMBER – I think they’ve really matured over the years. With a television series you have to keep viewers interested by doing a lot of break-ups and arguments and drama and things like that, and a real relationship probably wouldn’t have lasted the 12 years (laughs). But I think for the characters of Amy and Ty, it’s really strengthened them and it’s become kind of a family staple for a lot of young people who view their relationship as almost a role model relationship. Having the introduction of Lyndy has been really cool, because that adds a whole new element, and we get to see Amy and Ty working together, not only as parents but this season is very special because we get to see them working together more as well.


GRAHAM – I was going to add that as well. I think the biggest growth point happens really this year when they finally come together and begin to work together hand in hand on a professional level. That’s really a huge step forward for them both, and to see them grow throughout the seasons to a place where they’re both mature; they’re married; they have a family and now their working together. It’s kind of like the icing on the cake; it’s a really beautiful journey to watch those two characters evolve into.



The twins that play Lyndy are just so dang cute too, that helps also doesn’t it.


AMBER – No kidding! They are such a joy to have on set. I can’t imagine working with any other two year olds that would be so accommodating to what we do. Graham and I try to keep it very fun for them; we make games and we want them to enjoy being on set and I think they really do. Their mother and their father, Mike and Christina, they have been amazing with us and we make sure we get together off screen as well to keep them enjoying the relationship and having fun with us.


That’s a great idea. You have had the honor of playing these characters for a while now…but, if you two could write your own script and character in any type of movie you wanted, what kind of role would you write for yourself?


GRAHAM – I would do some sort of action movie, like the movie Doctor Strange. I loved how he would go into the, I don’t even know what it was; I think it was like a spirit world? I love that jumping through realities; I love that kind of idea. I just watched Inception again on the plane on the way here to Toronto and I love that film and I would love to have a character do some sort of action movie like that where it’s a thriller or has a psychological intensity. That would be my dream, to do something like that.


I could totally see you pulling that off to.


GRAHAM – (laughs) thank you! AMBER – I think I would want to do a Western. I know it’s not too far from Heartland and what I do, but I have so much fun doing that kind of theme; with horses and guns and drama and all that kind of thing. I’d like to do some huge battle scenes; action scenes and things like that.


That would be cool seeing you in an 1800’s western movie; I think fans would love that. You guys did a special Heartland Christmas movie back in 2010. Would you guys like to do another Christmas movie, or maybe another type of special Heartland episode; like a family vacation or a Halloween special?


AMBER – I would love to do a family vacation. I would like to see Heartland go to Hawaii…but we would actually have to go to Hawaii (laughs). I think that would be a lot of fun, I enjoy doing movies and one-offs with the same group of people because it brings a whole new freshness to what we do and people get excited about it and were usually only spending 3-4 weeks on that specific project, so it’s a lot of fun for us…it switches it up a little bit.


You never know what the future holds. Amber, you’re pretty busy these days with different projects, including your own jewelry line and your own magazine. How do you manage to juggle it all?


AMBER – We’re lucky with Heartland, it’s got such a reasonable schedule, so it really does allow for other things. A lot of television series are doing grueling hours and I just find that even if I have a scene off during the day, I’ll bring my laptop and I can write a magazine article or even when I go home at night it’s not too late; I’m not too exhausted that I can’t do work after hours. Not only that, but (with) our filming schedule we’re not going year round so it gives me lots of time during our off season to take on lots of things.



Graham, I feel like there is a lot about you that people might not know, like your passion for reading and photography and the fact that you also have a book out. What are you up to these days?


GRAHAM – oh man, lots of stuff. Personal projects, that’s really what I’m focused on right now. I’ve always wanted to get into creating and directing my own projects so I have a few of those that I’m working on right now that I hope to have out within the next couple years. Without getting into all the details because there not ready yet, but that would be the broad stroke of what’s on my plate so far.


Maybe I should have asked you what you’re not up to these days, because you sound like a pretty busy guy too.


With our off season right now, I try and keep focused; I don’t try to keep busy. I think sometimes too busy doing things just for the sake of doing things isn’t always the best, so I take time to just focus on what’s the most important thing that I need to focus on right now as opposed to just keeping busy for the sake of keeping busy.


Season 12 premiers on CBC on Sunday, January 6th. What can fans expect to see this season?


AMBER – A whole lot of awesomeness. I really do, I love this season. It brings back a lot of the things that fans have hoped to see over the past few years. We get to see Amy and Ty working together as partners and as parents and we get to see a lot of horses. There are some really unique horse cases this year too; we have a herd of wild horses that Amy and Ty have to take under their wings; and some really great reoccurring characters as well.



You guys have a busy day today so thanks for taking the time to chat with me, I do appreciate it. The first thing I would like to obviously discuss is Heartland. It has become an iconic Canadian show and such an important part of showcasing Canada and Alberta to the world. You guys are now on your 12th season, that’s pretty awesome. Not many shows make it to 5 or 10 and you guys are on 12. Have you guys had the chance to stop and think about the significance of that and has it felt like 12 years to you guys?


AMBER – I feel like a large part of my life has been spent on Heartland and I love every minute of it and I think that Heartland has taught me a lot about myself and vice versa. I think that our own personal traits are brought into the characters. Each year the writers get to know us better and the characters kind of morph into things that have happened in our own lives, and that’s something really special about a long running show, that the writers get a chance to see the life events happening around them and make that happen with each of the characters.


GRAHAM – I also feel like when you’re in it, you know, you’re working on it, and as an actor there’s a disconnect or delay between when you film something and when you see it and the impact as well, so it’s sort of like catching up and ‘oh ya, it has been 12 years, it has been a huge chunk of my life’ and it’s really special to be a part of something this long, and so impactful on people from all over the world for that matter. I had a girl in the airport whose parents were from Brazil and she came up to me and said ‘ I love the show, my parents back home love the show’, so it’s really cool to kind of know that Canada and this show is being represented around the world in such a positive light.


It really is, that’s a great way to put it; it’s definitely a showcase for how great this country is. You guys are also going to celebrate your 200th episode this season. That’s the first time a one hour scripted show on CBC has reached that milestone. Did you do any celebration for it when you wrapped the 200th episode?


AMBER – We had a lot of fun on the 200th episode, it was actually my favorite episode we filmed this year because there’s a lot of action; a lot of horse involvement which is my favorite part. As a group it was just something that was really special to us to be able to know we’ve reached 200 episodes, and like you said, that doesn’t happen very often, if ever. As a group the celebration was just felt like more of an accomplishment that we’ve all done this and we’ve been here for 12 years and together as a group we’ve made something last 200 episodes.


Your characters of Amy and Ty, they’ve obviously grown over the last 12 years. Besides the addition of Lyndy, what do you think is the biggest changes you’ve seen in both Amy and Ty?


AMBER – I think they’ve really matured over the years. With a television series you have to keep viewers interested by doing a lot of break-ups and arguments and drama and things like that, and a real relationship probably wouldn’t have lasted the 12 years (laughs). But I think for the characters of Amy and Ty, it’s really strengthened them and it’s become kind of a family staple for a lot of young people who view their relationship as almost a role model relationship. Having the introduction of Lyndy has been really cool, because that adds a whole new element, and we get to see Amy and Ty working together, not only as parents but this season is very special because we get to see them working together more as well.


GRAHAM – I was going to add that as well. I think the biggest growth point happens really this year when they finally come together and begin to work together hand in hand on a professional level. That’s really a huge step forward for them both, and to see them grow throughout the seasons to a place where they’re both mature; they’re married; they have a family and now their working together. It’s kind of like the icing on the cake; it’s a really beautiful journey to watch those two characters evolve into.


And the twins that play Lyndy are just so dang cute too, that helps also doesn’t it.


AMBER – No kidding! They are such a joy to have on set. I can’t imagine working with any other two year olds that would be so accommodating to what we do. Graham and I try to keep it very fun for them; we make games and we want them to enjoy being on set and I think they really do. Their mother and their father, Mike and Christina, they have been amazing with us and we make sure we get together off screen as well to keep them enjoying the relationship and having fun with us.


That’s a great idea. You have had the honor of playing these characters for a while now…but, if you two could write your own script and character in any type of movie you wanted, what kind of role would you write for yourself?


GRAHAM – I would do some sort of action movie, like the movie Doctor Strange. I loved how he would go into the, I don’t even know what it was; I think it was like a spirit world? I love that jumping through realities; I love that kind of idea. I just watched Inception again on the plane on the way here to Toronto and I love that film and I would love to have a character do some sort of action movie like that where it’s a thriller or has a psychological intensity. That would be my dream, to do something like that.


I could totally see you pulling that off to.


GRAHAM – (laughs) thank you! AMBER – I think I would want to do a Western. I know it’s not too far from Heartland and what I do, but I have so much fun doing that kind of theme; with horses and guns and drama and all that kind of thing. I’d like to do some huge battle scenes; action scenes and things like that.


That would be cool seeing you in an 1800’s western movie; I think fans would love that. You guys did a special Heartland Christmas movie back in 2010. Would you guys like to do another Christmas movie, or maybe another type of special Heartland episode; like a family vacation or a Halloween special?


AMBER – I would love to do a family vacation. I would like to see Heartland go to Hawaii…but we would actually have to go to Hawaii (laughs). I think that would be a lot of fun, I enjoy doing movies and one-offs with the same group of people because it brings a whole new freshness to what we do and people get excited about it and were usually only spending 3-4 weeks on that specific project, so it’s a lot of fun for us…it switches it up a little bit.


You never know what the future holds. Amber, you’re pretty busy these days with different projects, including your own jewelry line and your own magazine. How do you manage to juggle it all?


AMBER – We’re lucky with Heartland, it’s got such a reasonable schedule, so it really does allow for other things. A lot of television series are doing grueling hours and I just find that even if I have a scene off during the day, I’ll bring my laptop and I can write a magazine article or even when I go home at night it’s not too late; I’m not too exhausted that I can’t do work after hours. Not only that, but (with) our filming schedule we’re not going year round so it gives me lots of time during our off season to take on lots of things.


Graham, I feel like there is a lot about you that people might not know, like your passion for reading and photography and the fact that you also have a book out. What are you up to these days?


GRAHAM – oh man, lots of stuff. Personal projects, that’s really what I’m focused on right now. I’ve always wanted to get into creating and directing my own projects so I have a few of those that I’m working on right now that I hope to have out within the next couple years. Without getting into all the details because there not ready yet, but that would be the broad stroke of what’s on my plate so far.

Maybe I should have asked you what you’re not up to these days, because you sound like a pretty busy guy too.


(laughs) With our off season right now, I try and keep focused; I don’t try to keep busy. I think sometimes too busy doing things just for the sake of doing things isn’t always the best, so I take time to just focus on what’s the most important thing that I need to focus on right now as opposed to just keeping busy for the sake of keeping busy.


Season 12 airs on CBC on Sundays! What can fans expect to see this season?


AMBER – A whole lot of awesomeness. I really do, I love this season. It brings back a lot of the things that fans have hoped to see over the past few years. We get to see Amy and Ty working together as partners and as parents and we get to see a lot of horses. There’s some really unique horse cases this year too; we have a herd of wild horses that Amy and Ty have to take under their wings; and some really great reoccurring characters as well.



Follow Heartland


Stream all episodes | CBC.ca/Heartland

facebook.com/CBCHeartland | @HeartlandOnCBC


@amber_marshall_farm @grahamwardle #sundays #7pm


#iloveheartland #cbcprinstagram.com/Official_HeartlandonCBC


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