Heartland’s Alisha Newton discusses Georgie’s Season 10 journey

The folks at Heartland ranch have been through a lot this season. After being away for months Ty (Graham Wardle) returned to Canada a very sick man. Amy (Amber Marshall) is about to give birth. Lou (Michelle Morgan) is struggling to expand the business into New York City and Tim (Chris Potter) … well, Tim’s world is always in disarray.

Georgie’s life has been a roller coaster this past year too. She witnessed Lou and Peter (Gabriel Hogan) break up, then Mitch (Kevin McGarry) started dating Lou, she competed to land a spot on the Extreme Team and now she and Adam (Kataem O’Connor) have broken up. That’s a lot for someone to endure, so we landed a chat with Alisha Newton to discuss her character’s experiences in Season 10 and a hint as to what Sunday’s season finale of Heartland, “Greater Expectations,” is all about. (And, as most fans already know, Heartland has been renewed for Season 11.)

Congratulations on five seasons of being on Heartland.
Alisha Newton: Thanks! It’s been quite the journey.

You’re not filming now, are you?
No, we’re on a break between seasons and I’m just catching up on school. I’m in a program where I can attend school when I’m home but the rest of my courses can be done online. It can be really hard to focus on set sometimes because I’m in and out of the school trailer a lot. It’s hard to stay caught up when you’re given that must responsibility and you don’t have teachers making sure you’re doing your work.

Georgie has been through a lot over the past couple of seasons. Lou and Peter separated and Mitch has been dating Lou. Georgie then competed to be on the Extreme Team, helped out Bob and Ty at the animal sanctuary and now the situation with Adam. What have you thought about all of these different storylines?
I’ve really loved all of the storylines I’ve had these past few seasons. It’s been a lot of fun to play a character that’s grown so much over the years. I’m really grateful to have these really interesting storylines and a lot of teens can relate to them. I really love them.

Is it tough to play emotional scenes? 
Because I’ve been acting for so long it kind of comes naturally for me now to turn on the waterworks and get into it. It can be hard some days when I can’t seem to focus or if I’m dehydrated if can be really hard to cry sometimes.

That’s the secret to crying? Water?
Yup, drink lots of water. [Laughs.]

Heartland’s storylines have always been grounded in reality. It would have been so easy to have Georgie and Adam get back together, but instead, they’re just friends. I respect that.
It makes it a lot more interesting when the characters get rejected and it’s not always a happy ending. It’s a lot more realistic than having them get back together. It’s interesting to be able to play the relationship that isn’t always perfect and we’re not always doing the same thing. It is a little bit rocky.

The winter season finale was really dramatic. Tim had a concussion and the horse trailer tipped over with one trapped inside.
Personally, I love those scripts. I loved filming that episode because I love working with Chris [Potter] and Amber [Marshall] because they’re brilliant actors and the scenes for that episode were really well shot. I like it when everyone is on the edge of their seat and not sure what’s going to happen.

I’ve loved the scenes Georgie has had with Jade this season. How much fun have you and Madison Cheeatow had this year?
I love working with Madison. She is definitely one of my best friends on-set and we’re just as good friends off set. I like that Heartland shows a lot of the younger generation’s storylines as well. It’s really cool.

Do you have a favourite horse co-star?
This season my favourite horse was probably Morgan, the horse that survived the barn fire. At the beginning of shooting that episode, a lot of the male wranglers on set were complaining because Amber and I and the female wranglers were turning him into a girly horse. Before he was working with me he was this tough horse and the guy wranglers loved him. And now he’s a treat suck and loves snuggles. [Laughs.]

You own horses and train them in real life. Could you compete in a real Extreme Team?
Every once in awhile they’ll have me perform a bit of a little trick. In one of the last episodes, I was working with a horse named Tab and was trying to train him to be a trick riding horse and was doing these stunts where I would get half off the horse and then putting my leg back over. We were just doing that at a trot and it was so difficult. I don’t know if I would ever join the Extreme Team or do trick riding myself because it scares me so much.

What can you tell me about Sunday’s season finale?
I think it’s going to be a little bit of everything. It’s going to be very exciting and everyone will be on the edge of their seat for sure. The ending of the last episode is one of my favourite endings yet in the series and I’m really excited for fans to see it.

Heartland‘s season finale airs Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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