Friendship Goals with Johannah Newmarch & Loretta Walsh, Part II | Super Channel


Friendship Goals with Johannah Newmarch & Loretta Walsh, Part II

Friendship Goals with Johannah Newmarch & Loretta Walsh, Part II

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Desiree D


A loyal friend is one of life’s greatest treasures, something that Molly Sullivan and Florence Blakeley know well. From the earliest of days supporting one another through heartache and loss, these two women have remained connected as confidants and a constant source of companionship and community throughout the years.

The beauty of the relationship between Florence and Molly also remains true for the actors that portray them. In part one of this interview, Johannah and Loretta revealed more about their personal friendship, the growth of FloMo, and the stories that they love to share with the fans. In part two, these true friends continue their sweet, funny, and delightful sentiments about their characters and potential suitors, as well as a thank you to Hearties for helping to achieve eight seasons and more opportunities to work together on When Calls the Heart.

SC: If FloMo opened a business together in Hope Valley, what do you think that business would be and why?

Friendship Goals with Loretta Walsh & Johannah Newmarch, Part II

JN: A hat shop.

LW: I love that answer for so many reasons. Yes, a hat shop; hats and purses.

JN: Hats, purses, and accessories. I think hats are fabulous and I think there should be more hats in Hope Valley.

LW: I think that there is a certain part of Florence and Molly’s personalities that they think they know best. So, I think it would be fun to have people come into this store and they would tell them what kind of hat. It’s like when you go to buy a puppy and the breeder says, “I’ll choose the puppy for you. I know your personality and what you’re looking for, I know best.” Something where they could have some empowerment and some good natured judgment.

JN: And honestly, Florence looked amazing in a hat. Particularly St Annabelle!

LW: I loved the hats; it was such a big part of my character early on.

JN: I just thought of something else: maybe Florence and Molly could open a daycare. Because of the pandemic, they’re talking about this she-session because it’s women who are disproportionately impacted. I know WCTH is currently set in 1918 but there are obviously very real parallels. And even though we’re not playing the pandemic, it would be a really great way to empower females to offer a daycare, in addition to providing endless opportunities for comedy!

LW: It would also be hysterical. Having these two characters who like to be in control be out of control because of children. It's funny!

SC: Loretta, how was the experience having your child present in an episode?

LW: It was fantastic. I was like thank you for including that in a story, as it’s no secret that Florence has children. It was one of the first things out of her mouth in season one, “I had both of my children in this town, and I don't want to break their hearts, but the company's given me no choice.” To actually have an actor cast as Paul Junior was fantastic.

JN: He was so sweet.

LW: He was so sweet, so professional. Just an absolute darling and a good little actor you know, and so it was a real pleasure. I think I really have been longing for and craving more depth and more information about Florence and her family and where she’s sort of coming from. So now we get an explanation and get to meet one of her children this season, and we find out where her older daughter is as well. So there is some more explanation, but it was wonderful, and I hope that if we do more seasons, I would love for him to come back.

SC: Johannah, would you be interested in doing more with Rosaleen if there was that option in a future season?

JN: I would love that. Maybe something like Rosaleen had been at boarding school or studying somewhere and we could have a really lovely scene of being reunited.

SC: We have seen the softer sides of Molly and especially of Florence in more recent seasons. How was it to step into that more dramatic role, such as the widows talking with Elizabeth, or Florence having the note returned from her late husband?

Friendship Goals with Loretta Walsh & Johannah Newmarch, Part II

LW: In all honesty, that's how I’ve always approached this character, as I always knew that she was deeply vulnerable. No matter how cranky she is, no matter how salty or snarky she is, or loses her way, or steps over boundaries and gossips, and what have you, I know at the at the depth of her that she's actually just a really vulnerable, loving, and loyal person. And I welcomed those scenes so much because I have always believed that there is a lot of depth to this character, and it feels fantastic to be able to give a voice to that within the stories that have come my way. So as much as I love comedy, and you know that Flo and Mo will always be kind of a funny pair, a funny duo on this show, I do love it when things get really grounded and real, as I feel it’s just such a lovely way to be able to reveal more parts of this character that I know and want to share.

JN: Beautiful. I think that what was so beautiful specifically about the widows’ scene was the sisterhood as Loretta says, really supporting each other through, because the women in that room knew so deeply what Elizabeth was experiencing. I thought that it was a really wonderful example about being seen. Sometimes what you what you need to do is just hold space for someone to be exactly where they are, and I felt like that scene was the widows doing just that for her and being there all together. We can't fix it. We can’t take your grief or your pain away, but we can bear witness to it.

LW: Yeah, beautifully said.

SC: How you would answer the following questions as your characters: Who do you think is the better babysitter for Little Jack?

LW: Me (Florence).

JN: Yeah Florence, sure.

SC: Who do you think gives the better eyebrow raise?

LW: It’s Molly.

JN: I do have one eyebrow that's almost always raised. It's got a life of its own, so Molly.

SC: Which member of Team FloMo is more misunderstood in Hope Valley?

LW: I mean, I think it's me (Florence).

JN: Oh, it’s Florence, absolutely it’s Florence. One hundred percent!

SC: Who is better at baking cakes?

LW: I’m also really good at that. I feel like I’m saying “me, me, me” but Florence would also say that.

JN: Florence. It’s true.

SC: Who do you think has more secrets?

LW: Ooooh, that’s a good one.

JN: I'd say Florence.

LW: Yeah, I’d agree with you.

SC: Who do you think has kept more secrets?

JN: Haha. Well, that would be Molly.

LW: Molly. Florence just can’t help herself. Her Achilles heel has always been that she has no boundaries when it comes to keeping secrets. She just can’t help herself and she just has to know what’s going on. She’s a desperately lonely character, so if she finds out some information, she uses that to create a false intimacy with other people. However, she’s also an unbelievably loyal character to her friends, especially the friends she’s been through trauma with who have also lost their husbands.

SC: Who do you think is more fun at Hope Valley parties?

LW: I think that if you put these two together, they're going to have a good time with each other.

JN: I think if they are together, it's double the fun.

LW: Yes, double the fun!

SC: Who is more likely to offer their opinion first?

LW: Florence, of course.

JN: Yes, Florence.

SC: Who do you think would be more likely to wear pants first?

JN: Molly!

LW: Yeah, Molly.

JN: Even though she said “scandalous” it’s because she’s secretly intrigued. LOL!

LW: And Florence will be the last.

SC: And last question for this game, who do you think has better one liners?

Friendship Goals with Loretta Walsh & Johannah Newmarch, Part II

JN: Oh, that's tough. I think Florence because she’s had more opportunity. Wouldn’t you?

LW: I mean, I have had “inappropriate mustard” and “provocative music”, and you had “scandalous.”

JN: I’ve had a couple of good ones this season, “you flatter yourself” and “better keep it a secret.”

LW: It depends. It depends on the story.

SC: Hearties watching season 8 + FloMo’s potential suitors = [fill in the blank].

JN: I’d say “joy.”

LW: I’d say “delighted” or unexpected delight.

SC: It’s funny that you two have ended up as FloMo considering that Johannah had auditioned for Florence and Loretta for another character. It would be hard to picture you two as any other characters as they seem perfect for you.

JN: Michael Landon, Jr. knew exactly what he was doing. Yeah, that was perfect casting, I couldn’t agree more. It has been one of the great gifts of this show to meet Loretta and to have eight years of working together, and bonding over these characters. She’s the cast member that I’ve been on set with the most over the seasons, so as a result, obviously, we got to know each other the best. And one of the greatest gifts of When Calls the Heart is my friendship with Loretta. She’s a very, very special woman.

LW: I auditioned for Marta Crocker who appeared in a few episodes in season 1. To be given the role of Florence has been an incredible gift in my life and a big part of that is to work with awesome people and Johannah is one of those wonderful collaborators. FloMo is a special part of the show that I deeply value. I always joke that as cheesy as it is, we actually do have a kind of “Hope Valley” style community behind the scenes too – and Johannah is a part of my community in real life and it’s a friendship I’m very grateful for. WCTH really has been the gift that keeps on giving in many people’s lives!

SC: If there was a season nine, what kind of scene would you want, and would you want more emotional development of your character?

JN: Yes, I would like to see more emotional development with Molly, to understand more of what her hopes and dreams are as a woman. We’ve started dealing with her dating life, which is really fun, but also wanting to know, what does Molly want for her future? So much of her younger life she was married and raising a child, and now it’s about trying to rebuild a sense of who she is, where the women are working, trying to find jobs outside of the home, and reinventing themselves as professional women. Obviously the romantic aspects are delightful, but all of the women are much richer than who they are married to. I would also like to see a continuation of Molly’s playfulness. I mean, there’s a slightly selfish reason because I love playing the dramatic scenes, but I do really, really enjoy the sassy, playful and humorous Molly scenes. One of the things that’s really fun, no matter where Bill and Molly’s relationship goes, is that sort of teasing playfulness that’s between them. It just works really well with those two characters. I think that’s something that the fans can really enjoy, no matter whether they just end up being really close friends who enjoy each other’s companionship as they’re both lonely, or if it turns into something romantic. There’s lot of room for that dynamic. In terms of future story ideas for her, how lovely would it be to have Molly recount how she and her first husband, Patrick, met? It’s not about wallowing in the loss of that relationship, but just honoring the beautiful time in your life that you shared together, which was such a touching scene with Florence and the letter from her late husband. We understood more about Florence, by learning some of the things that her husband loved about her. Something like that, finding out more about Molly through her past, would be lovely.

LW: I’ve already been thinking about it. Because Florence really completes a big arc this season, I’ve asked myself “what would she want next?” I actually think that she wants some more sense of self, self-love, and empowerment, and I don't know how that would show up, but that's kind of what I'm thinking about. I feel like she's been a very disempowered character, and now I would like to see her move into a place where she gets to be a bit more of a mover and a shaker in Hope Valley and have some empowerment in helping other people. I don’t really know what that would look like in terms of a story or a scene. But in terms of FloMo, I feel like it’s Molly’s turn. I feel like Molly supports Florence, and there’s no doubt that Molly has her own thing going on this season, but Molly really supports Florence in a very deep and impactful way this season, and so I would like to see Florence return the favour. Not that she doesn’t already do that, but Molly is just extraordinary to Florence, particularly in this season, and I would like to be the “wind beneath her wings” for Molly’s next adventure.

Friendship Goals with Loretta Walsh & Johannah Newmarch, Part II

SC: From a FloMo perspective, is there anything that you would like to say to the Hearties?

JN: We just can't thank you enough for really seeing and celebrating FloMo. Even as supporting characters, we’ve felt appreciated, and embraced. When FloMo’s antics and friendship made you laugh or brought a moment of lightness, the Hearties have been very receptive, so I’ve always really appreciated that generosity of spirit with our characters. I really can’t thank you enough for your advocacy and your support over the years. This amazing fan-base has been such a revelation to me, and most of the cast haven’t been part of something like this before. WCTH was my first time on social media as an actor in this way, and several of the social platforms have really come into their own in the time that this show has existed. I really cherish that immediacy of connection with the fans, and that goes two ways. Feeling appreciated by a fan and then being able to connect and give something back, has been really nice for me. Prior to social media, you kind of felt like as an actor that you were on your own and doing this thing and hoping that someone saw it and liked it, but you were never quite sure. So, to have that wonderful immediate feedback that someone’s enjoying your work and that you’re bringing something to someone’s life as an actor, is incredibly valuable. Because we all want our work to matter to somebody, so when you get the sense that it does, it’s incredibly fulfilling.

LW: A heart felt thank you. WCTH changed my life for the better and it’s because of the fans – without your advocacy and support, I’m not sure we would have just completed 8 seasons of this show, so THANK YOU.

SC: With touching performances and entertaining comedic timing, When Calls the Heart would not be the same without Johannah and Loretta, and Hope Valley would not be the same without Molly and Florence. The bond that these women share, both on and off the screen, are reminders that treasured friends will be there through life’s ups and downs. To let Loretta and Johannah know that their characters really are friendship goals, connect with them on social media, and continue to follow, as you never know which behind-the-scenes gems they might share next.

Social Media:

Loretta Walsh:
Facebook: LorettaWalshActor
Twitter: @loretta_walsh
Instagram: loretta_walsh

Johannah Newmarch:
Facebook: JoNewmarch
Twitter: @JoNewmarch
Instagram: johannahnewmarch