INTERVIEW: CANADIAN ACTRESS PASCALE HUTTON TALKS ABOUT BEING A LEADING LADY IN THE HIT SHOW ‘ARCTIC AIR’
With love, intrigue and a whole lot of action and adventure, Pascale Hutton heats up the small screen in the CBC hit TV show Arctic Air.
When the beautiful Pascale Hutton noticed that her sister was getting all of the starring roles in the plays her mother would put when she was a child, she knew right away that (1), it was the coolest thing to be the center of attention and (2), she wanted to be a leading lady in showbiz.
Since then, the Creston, B.C. native has realized her acting dreams and has gone on to star in a slew of TV and movie roles (including Smallville, Flashpoint, Supernatural, Fringe, Sanctuary, Intelligence, Fantastic Four, Afghan Luke) that have garnered her many accolades, including a Gemini award. But it’s with her new hit TV show Arctic Air that’s garnering buzz around the Canadian star and catapulting her career to stardom.
In case you haven’t tuned in yet, Arctic Air centers on a maverick airline in northern Canada and the unconventional family who runs it. Hutton’s character Krista Ivarson—along with her co-star, Canadian veteran Adam Beach—braves the high stakes of piloting in this rugged climate of Yellowknife. Think drama, intrigue, action, adventure, and yes, there’s even a love triangle.
Now returning for a second season, Hutton admits the level of success the show has reached, as well as its huge fan base, astounds her.
“I think one of the key elements of Arctic Air is that we’ve never tried to make it general and never whitewash what it really is,” Pascale said during our interview in the CBC offices. “It’s Yellowknife and we’re not pretending it’s otherwise. You create universal appeal to your show by making it specific and by not making it general, which is why people are really responding to it. There’s also this mystique and allure to the north that we haven’t really seen on TV and people are drawn to that. It’s great that we’re able to shine a light on this part of Canada that most people haven’t explored and experienced.”
For Hutton, filming in the great white north was not only appealing because of its location (it’s close to home where she lives with her husband and one-year-old son), and Krista’s strong female character who bucks up against a world dominated by men.
“Krista is a strong and independent, forthright woman,” Hutton says proudly. “I’m a little softer in real life, but Krista’s grown up in this man’s world and she’s really kind of jumped up to that challenge to take charge in a male-dominated profession of piloting and she’s not just holding her own, she is the best pilot they have up north and the one that you want helming the plane when anything goes down and that was really exciting to see. So often in TV you see women who are additions to the male role and not necessarily holding their own ground and she definitely is, and that is exciting.”
It also helps to be adored on set and Hutton admits that upon meeting her co-star Beach, the chemistry was there from the get-go. “Adam is a delight to work with,” Hutton says of her co-star, who plays Bobby. “He’s an amazing human being and he sets an amazing tone for working together. You can often face hierarchy and ego when you’re working with people in TV or film, but with Adam, there’s none of that. That chemistry has fortunately translated very well into the show because these characters have known each other for their entire lives and that kind of chemistry is hard to generate. Adam and I met a month before shooting so we got to know each other really well and now, going into season two, that comfort level has bled into the characters with ease and that is electric to see on camera. Oh, and he also tells me I’m beautiful everyday! [laughs] Even if I look horrendous, and the best part is that he genuinely means it!”
With all the drama that was drummed up in season one with the love triangle between Hutton’s Krista, Bobby and Blake (John Reardon), Hutton promises that season two will turn up the volume on the romance as well as heating up the action adventure.
“It’s wonderful to have these two handsome men fighting over me. And they’re both so charming, too,” Hutton says. “You see that love triangle carry forward into this season. Last season you were aware of it, but a lot was unsaid and a lot was under the surface and it just blew up at the end when Blake witnessed Bobby and Krista kissing. In Season Two, you see that kind of hurt and awkwardness between the three of them and they’re all still working together so how it’s now about how they manage that.
This season, the Arctic Air crew faces exciting missions including, fighting raging forest fires, attempting to defuse a bomb and fleeing hired killers in the bush.
“We have amazing action and adventure in every episode this season,” Hutton continues. “The audience really responded to that last season. So I think we’ve struck that balance between the intrigue of characters with the action/adventure.”
Arctic Air season two premieres Wednesday, January 9 at 9 p.m. on CBC, and stars Adam Beach, Pascale Hutton, Kevin McNulty, John Reardon, Adam DiMarco, Stephen Lobo and Carmen Moore.