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Kevin McGarry Says Lori Loughlin Drove Him to ‘When Calls the Heart’ Chemistry Read, Wants Her to Return (Exclusive)

Before Kevin McGarry booked his role on When Calls the Heart, Lori Loughlin drove him to a chemistry read.

“There was a problem at the studio, and the chemistry read that I was supposed to have with [costar] Erin [Krakow] was delayed. And they were like, ‘Don’t worry, we’re figuring this out, we’re sending somebody.’ And I came down to the lobby and Aunt Becky was like, ‘Hey, I’m taking you to [the read],’” McGarry, 39, exclusively told Us Weekly during a Wednesday, June 12, joint interview with Krakow, 39, referring to Loughlin’s character on the sitcom Full House.

“I was like, ‘Am I dreaming? What’s happening?’” he continued. “She was nothing but supportive for the whole period of me getting on the show and being on the show the first season.”

Loughlin, 59, starred as Abigail Stanton for seasons 1 through 6 of the Hallmark Channel drama. She was written out of the show halfway through season 6 due to her involvement in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and was sentenced to two months in prison in October 2020.

College Admission Scandal

Related: College Admissions Scandal: Where Are They Now?

Although Loughlin has been off the show for years, the season 6 plot left room for her to return someday by attributing her character’s absence to a trip east to take care of her sick mother.

Kevin McGary Recalls Lori Loughlin Driving Him to When Calls the Heart Chemistry Read Would Love Her to Return
Kevin McGary, Lori Loughlin. Getty Images (2)

“I think there’s been lots of people that [have] said we’d love to have her back,” McGarry told Us. “It’s not our decision of course.” Krakow added that she would one “thousand percent” like to see Loughlin rejoin the cast.

“She’s an incredible person, a very dear friend. She’s got a real good heart,” she said. “People don’t even know how special a person she is, and it would be wonderful to have her back in Hope Valley.”

When Calls the Heart cocreator Brian Bird previously teased during an October 2023 appearance on the “Heart to Hearties” podcast that there have been “good conversations” about Loughlin’s potential return to the series.

“Our attitude always has been, you know as the producing team and the writing team around When Calls the Heart, that what better place for second chances than Hope Valley,” he said. “And so in theory, it should work, right? But again, can’t fully promise it but we’re working on it.”

When Calls the Heart Cast s Dating History

Related: ‘When Calls the Heart’ Cast’s Dating History: Inside the Stars’ Romances

The cast and crew’s support for Loughlin is just one example of the tight bond that the When Calls the Heart team shares.

“It very much mirrors the sense of community on screen,” Erin told Us on Wednesday. “I mean, we’re spending holidays together. Pascale [Hutton] has us over for Canadian Thanksgiving, and we’re taking trips together, and Jaeda [Lily Miller] is showing us pictures of grad dresses she’s considering and we’re helping her choose which one looks best. … It’s really become a family and we’ve met some of our dearest friends on that show.”

McGarry added that the cast has rallied around each other during challenging moments.

“Without getting into too much stuff, there’s been struggles this year and last year, and the cast has always been there for whoever’s kind of going through that stuff,” he said. “And I think that’s magic that those relationships on screen are also what happens off screen as well.”

The When Calls the Heart family has recently shared their support for their costar Mamie Laverock, who suffered severe injuries last month after falling from a five-story balcony.

'When Calls the Heart' Cast Sends Well-Wishes to Mamie Laverock While on Life Support for 5-Story Fall

Related: 'When Calls the Heart' Cast Supports Mamie Laverock After 5-Story Fall

“She is an incredible young woman, and it’s just heartbreaking what she’s been experiencing,” Krakow said. “We’re going to obviously give her family some privacy by not getting into any detail, but she’s on the mend and we are just wishing her the fastest recovery she can have.”

Season 11 of When Calls the Heart is currently airing on the Hallmark Channel. Krakow and McGarry play Elizabeth Thornton and Nathan Grant, respectively, and their characters have gotten to explore their romantic connection this season.

“They’ve always had a special connection, but I do think Elizabeth and Nathan are soulmates. We can use that word,” Krakow told Us.

McGarry, meanwhile, teased that it will be “pretty clear” at the end of the season that Elizabeth and Nathan are endgame.

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

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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