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Season 15 of Heartland starts with a new actor playing a familiar character -- Baye McPherson has stepped into the role of Katie Fleming-Morris.
When asked what she brought to the role of Katie, Baye says:
"I bring a kindness that is kind of rare to find sometimes. I would say that Katie is very kind, and she does almost anything for her family, but she's also not afraid to stand up for what she believes in."
With Heartland having such an established cast -- being on the air for 14 previous seasons is a very long time -- could have been very daunting for Baye. However, she says she was nervous at first, but that quickly disappeared.
"I was nervous cause this is a very close set, cast and crew. They've been working together for 15 years, so I was kind of worried that I wouldn't fit in, but when I got there and I met everyone -- was a lot of names to memorize, but I think I learned them all. My nerves disappeared cause everyone was so nice on set, cast and crew. Every single person was fantastic and it's that kindness that just really makes you feel at home."
Baye quite enjoys her time on set -- to the point of missing it when she's not working.
"I'd probably enjoy filming ... I love being on set. Any time I have like a week off I'm like, ah, no. I really love getting to come into a show that's been going on for 15 years and yet still being so welcomed into it. That that was, that was really nice."
Landing the role of Katie was a bit of surprise for Baye, as she was unaware she was auditioning for that role.
"I actually thought that I was auditioning for a different role. I didn't know that it was going to be for Lou's daughter. I watched some pieces of Heartland and I got hooked on it."
When it comes to difficult scenes, Baye's choice is one where she had to laugh ... something that is easy to do the first time, but repetition makes things less funny.
"I would say the most difficult scene that I've had would probably be the scene where Lisa and I were laughing at Jack on the camera. Jessica, she had actually taken a video of Jack and we got to watch that while it happened. And that was hilarious, but it's hard to keep the laughter going for so long. So it was like, I hope this seems authentic as I laugh."
Horses are a fixture at Heartland, and Katie -- and Baye -- get their taste of being on a horse in a future episode.
"There are a couple of scenes where I get to ride a horse and I've only been on a couple of trail rides before, so I got to learn with some of the wranglers. That was so much fun. I actually got to learn on Parker's horse Mickey; it was tons of fun getting to learn.
"I'm a huge animal lover, like any kind of animal and I'm just always happy, always a smile on my face. I really love looking into their eyes cause it's they're an animal, but they just somehow have so much wisdom and they've seen so much and it's just, it's kind of cool to get to ride a horse who actually knows more than you do."
As for what's coming up for Katie in Season 15 ...
"I would say that for my character, there is some babysitting there's a little bit of drama that happens. There's definitely some mother/daughter time."
Heartland airs on Sundays on CBC at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. in Newfoundland).
Photo credit: Heartland Season 15
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