Amber Marshall Discusses How the ‘Heartland’ Male Characters Aren’t Overly Machismo

Heartland first premiered on CBC in 2007. With its 16th season currently filming, the long-running TV show has a dedicated fan base. Amber Marshall plays the show’s main character Amy Fleming, a young woman who tries to help traumatized horses through natural horsemanship.

While Amy is the show’s central character, Heartland also has multiple popular male characters. In a recent interview on the Hallmarkies Podcast, Marshall discussed the importance of the male characters on Heartland.

Jack and Tim sit near a campfire in 'Heartland'
Shaun Johnston and Chris Potter in ‘Heartland’ | Courtesy of CBC

‘Heartland’ is about Amy Fleming’s family

Heartland is a Canadian drama, and new episodes air on CBC. The TV show is based on a book series of the same name by Lauren Brooke. 

On Heartland, Amy lives on her family’s ranch Heartland Ranch with her family. Graham Wardle played Amy’s husband, Ty Borden, until he decided to leave the show. Because of this, Ty died following complications of a gunshot wound in season 14.

On Heartland Ranch, Amy lives with her and Ty’s daughter Lyndy (Ruby and Emmanuella Spencer), her older sister Lou (Michelle Morgan), her grandfather Jack Bartlett (Shaun Johnston), Lou’s daughter Katie (Baye McPherson), Lou’s daughter Georgie (Alisha Newton), and Jack’s wife Lisa (Jessica Steen).

Amy and Lou’s father, Tim Fleming (Chris Potter), lives nearby, and Lou’s ex-husband Peter Morris frequently stays at Heartland Ranch when visiting the family.

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Amber Marshall thinks the male characters on ‘Heartland’ are ‘important’

On the Hallmarkies Podcast, Marshall was asked about the male characters on Heartland. Both Jack and Tim are ranchers and former rodeo competitors, but they also have strong paternal instincts. Before Ty’s death, he was a very hands-on parent to Lyndy, and Peter is active in Katie and Georgie’s lives as well.

“There’s that nice balance of ‘OK, we gotta go fix a fence, and we’re gonna ride a bronc, and we have the rodeo school. But yes, of course, I will look after two-year-old, three-year-old.’ It’s like a hands down. And you see those sweet, caring, genuine moments, which I do, I think is really important,” Marshall said on the podcast.

Marshall also thinks the family’s overall “dynamic” is important representation on TV.

“And we always have the words of wisdom from Grandpa. And I think everyone who watches the show always wishes that they had a grandpa like Jack. Or there’s just those characters that are so relatable. Or maybe they do have a grandpa like Jack, and I think that having that family dynamic that sits down every night to have dinner together is something that’s kind of getting lost a little bit in today’s society,” said Marshall.

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Amber Marshall appreciates the Fleming family structure

Speaking on the Hallmarkies Podcast, Marshall expanded on her appreciation for how Amy’s family is portrayed on Heartland.

“Everybody’s so, they’re just in a rush. There’s way too many devices in the house. People are watching things in different rooms. And so, that’s one thing I love about Heartland is it kind of, it brings back that Sunday night family dinner and a show,” said Marshall.

She continued, “Family is very important and spending time together, not just all on different devices and different rooms and things like that. Just being able to sit down and have a nice dinner together and talk about your day and things like that.”

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