‘Heartland’: Why Amber Marshall Probably Won’t Be Directing Any Episodes Like Some of Her Co-Stars

Amber Marshall has been playing Amy Fleming on Heartland since the TV show premiered in 2007. While some of Marshall’s fellow Heartland cast members also direct episodes of the CBC series, Marshall has made the decision not to take that step.

Jack and Amy stand near a river in season 14 of 'Heartland'
Shaun Johnston and Amber Marshall in ‘Heartland’ | Courtesy of CBC.

Why Amber Marshall does not direct episodes of ‘Heartland’

Season 16 of Heartland is currently filming. In addition to having actors return each season to star in the long-running show, multiple actors have also directed episodes of Heartland

In an interview with the Hallmarkies Podcast, Marshall was asked if she would ever consider directing episodes of Heartland

“I love the idea of it, and it would be quite the challenge,” Marshall answered initially. 

However, Marshall does not think she would have the bandwidth to direct in addition to acting. 

“But for me, I’m in almost every scene. So what I’ve talked about before when the whole prep, the three weeks of prep would be really difficult,” she explained on the podcast.

Marshall continued, “Because usually Chris Potter’s directing or Megan Follows is directing, they’re not in the two episodes leading up to the episodes that they’re directing. Or if they’re in it, they’re in it very minimally. So they can still attend all those meetings.”

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Amber Marshall does not want to direct ‘right now’

In the interview with the Hallmarkies Podcast, Marshall clarified why it would be too challenging to take on directing at this point in time. 

“Because every single day, while we’re on set filming, there’s meetings going on in the pre-production world for the next two episodes. So it would be a real challenge for me to be able to be on set acting and be in meetings, and I just think that I wouldn’t be able to do either job well enough that I would feel like I’ve succeeded at both,” the actor said. 

While Marshall has some mild interest in directing “in the future,” she does not think it is a strong interest “right now.”

“So to answer your question, directing is something that I might be interested in in the future. But I just love what I’m doing right now, and I really want to tackle it and do it the best I can and not be in two places at once so to speak,” Marshall said on the Hallmarkies Podcast.

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How ‘Heartland’ episodes are made

Before she was asked about directing, Marshall went into detail about how Heartland is made behind the scenes

“So there’s three weeks of pre-production, is what we call it, before we go to film each block,” Marshall said on the Hallmarkies Podcast. “So we film two episodes at a time. So if you’re watching the show we would be filming one and two at the same time, then three and four at the same time… what that means is we don’t go in order. We take scripts one and two and put them together like they’re a two-hour movie.”

She continued, “And we shoot that, each block is three weeks long. So as we’re filming those two episodes over the three weeks, simultaneously to all this behind the scenes, there’s a whole other crew that’s prepping the next two episodes.”

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