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October 23, 2014

Q&A: Amber Marshall at the Heart of 'Heartland'

by Chris Jancelewicz, posted Oct 20th 2009 11:01PM
Since its debut in 2007, the wholesome CBC series 'Heartland' has defied odds and expectations. Focusing on a young Alberta woman who can 'talk' to horses, this show has maintained and grown a devoted fan following that shows no sign of dissipating. The third season launched on October 4, and the premiere had its biggest audience ever - over 1 million viewers.

Parents and children alike appreciate 'Heartland's positive messages (a rarity in today's primetime line-up), and series star Amber Marshall is a genuine role model for Canadian girls who tire of the typical overly-done-up women who headline contemporary TV shows. AOLTV spoke to Marshall about what her life is like now, and how it feels to work with horses nearly every day.Since its debut in 2007, the wholesome CBC series 'Heartland' has defied odds and expectations. Focusing on a young Alberta woman who can 'talk' to horses, this show has maintained and grown a devoted fan following that shows no sign of dissipating. The third season launched on October 4, and the premiere had its biggest audience ever - over 1 million viewers.

Parents and children alike appreciate 'Heartland's positive messages (a rarity in today's primetime line-up), and series star Amber Marshall is a genuine role model for Canadian girls who tire of the typical overly-done-up women who headline contemporary TV shows. AOLTV spoke to Marshall about what her life is like now, and how it feels to work with horses nearly every day.

Did you ever anticipate 'Heartland' would be so popular?

I never really thought about how long I would be doing the show until last year. At the second season wrap party in December, the producers announced we were green-lit for a third season. I thought to myself, "Wow, I could be doing this for another few years!" That thought still makes me very happy.

How familiar were you with horses before you started 'Heartland'?

I have been around horses ever since I was a very young girl. I bought my first horse, "Monty", at an auction in Woodstock, Ontario when I was 13. He taught me a lot as he was only green broke himself. I now have a young Welsh/Paint gelding named "Pepsi." He came out to Alberta with me and is loving it, just as much as I am.

How much training/education did you receive, and how much do you continue to receive?

I am constantly learning new things every day. I take every opportunity I can to improve and develop new skills. As far as formal education goes, once I graduated from high school I came out to Alberta to film 'Heartland'. I took a few acting classes through Armstrong Acting Studio in Toronto but the busy schedule makes it hard to attend university, so for now that is on hold. As to what I would like to study in school – I'll get back to you on that one day...

How did you come across this dream role in the first place?

I was filming a small pilot for another show in Ottawa when the auditions for 'Heartland' were taking place. The night I returned home to London, Ontario from completing the pilot, my agent called me from Toronto. "Amber, I have the perfect role for you," he said, and explained how 'Heartland' had still not found their lead for the pilot they were shooting in a matter of days! "Send out a tape tomorrow so they can see you!" He added. So I did...and who would have ever thought one audition, on tape, at the last minute would have gotten me so far.

What have you learned playing Amy?

I have actually learned a lot more about horses while playing the role of Amy. London, where I come from, is mostly concentrated around Hunter/Jumper and English riding. I have learned so much more about the Western culture, rodeo life, and of course – the cow folk!

What do you think it is that makes this show so popular?

The one thing I hear time and time again is how much people enjoy the good nature of the show. The fact that they can sit down comfortably with their whole family (no matter the age) and enjoy the show together. That is what we take so much pride in – making a solid "family show."

Do people come up to you on the street?

More and more often I have had people approach me and let me know how much they enjoy 'Heartland'. As can be expected, the more the show grows in popularity, the more fans seem to recognize me and the other cast members.

Any weird fan experiences?

I have never experienced any "weird" fan encounters. I think also the "family" nature of the show promotes respectable fans – or at least it certainly has thus far!

If you could have a "gift" in real life, what would it be and why?

Well, if we get way out in left field I would want to be able to shape-shift into any animal. Think about that. It would allow you to breathe underwater, fly, run at crazy-fast speeds, scare people half to death...and of course just be outright lovable...and who doesn't want most or all of those things?

Catch Amber in 'Heartland', which airs on CBC Sunday nights at 7 pm. Also, check out CBC's 'Heartland' page, where you can watch episodes whenever you want on streaming video!

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Brennah Roberts

Hi ppl!!

June 11 2014 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HAIL

i

April 25 2014 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HAIL

i

April 25 2014 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeffreymark

Dear, Amber M.
I'm trying to form a company to let all children have the right to grow up to be a Cowboy or Cowgril would
you, be intrested in being one of our spokes person to address the young people of North America to Defend Life
that of both Mankind & Animals like unwanted horses that could be loved ? Please, forward this message to
Amber Marshall and tell her to come to Amarillo, Texas home of the Quarter Horse to make a difference in our future
of Planet Earth. I'm related to Gary Sinise and God's version of Forest Gump without the Trees who ran the race
of faith and is waiting for you to Defend Life or Death will follow See:(Rev.6:8) we want the prayer of little angel's
and good horses forces not the Horse of Death and the Pale Rider to judge Mankind. Pillows of horses (stick riders&bean bag,couch along with pillow cases & sheets) would remind us to pray with our children for their
future with partial-birth Abortion going on that has lead us to full term delivery and murder at birth is not Abortion.
See: Internet On Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia, Pa

Sincerely Yours,
Jeffrey M Snyder
P.S. I'm homeless and
broke here but not hard
to find. I'd be a millionare
many times over but lack
of law enforcement in
America lead us to murder.

March 14 2012 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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