When Calls the Heart” fans are counting the seconds down to tonight’s February 23 Season 7 premiere of the Hallmark Channel’s most beloved series, and the most successful cable drama ever. Heartbeats are also racing because when Chris McNally was last embracing Elizabeth Thornton on the dance floor as the sensitive and dashing Lucas Bouchard, Erin Krakow cast a penetrating gaze toward Mountie Nathan Grant as he was walking out the door.

When Calls the Heart” faithful have patiently bided their time and held their breath to witness the ultimate conclusion of the cliffhanger episode.

The summary of the action was playfully crafted with the line “Lucas got the dance, but Nathan got the glance.” Erin Krakow is still perfectly straddling the fence. During the Hallmark Channel video of the Season 7 Celebration for “When Calls the Heart,” posted February 19, the leading lady turned to both her leading men and said: “You’re both great!”

Kevin McGarry downplayed his character’s romantic odds for the coming season, saying that Constable Nathan Grant was in for a “difficult season.” The actor added that Erin Krakow’s Elizabeth continues to make the “When Calls the Heart” Mountie “a better man.”

Chris McNally displayed considerably more confidence, confirming that “I think Lucas has got it in the bag.” The tall, dark and handsome (as well as very outdoorsy) star has made himself very at home in Hope Valley, but as reported by Showbiz CheatSheet on February 22, the actor revealed that he was much more confident about getting the part of Nathan Grant than he was about portraying saloon owner Lucas.

Two auditions, one anxious ‘When Calls the Heart’ star

Chris McNally made time for rare interview On the Hallmark Channel’s “Bubbly Sesh” podcast last Friday, and he explained how he took his shot at both pivotal leading roles of Lucas and Nathan.

“I auditioned for Nathan through my Canadian representation,” Chris McNally told hosts Shawlini Manjunath-Holbrook and Jacklyn Collier during the podcast.

The 31-year-old star hails from North Vancouver, British Columbia.

McNally describes that “I sent a tape” to offer his audition for the part of “When Calls the Heart” peacekeeper Nathan Grant because he was in LA at the time. “I went in the room and auditioned for Lucas,” he recalled. The man who now seems born to play Lucas Bouchard admits it wasn't his best day as an actor.

“I didn't think it went very well at all,” Chris McNally confesses. He instantly wished for a re-do, like so many hopefuls for a big part. He left thinking that his “When Calls the Heart” future was lost, but hope truly does spring eternal in Hope Valley.

Chemistry makes a big difference on ‘When Calls the Heart’

Chris McNally might have been disheartened over his first audition for playing Lucas, but he still had hope for his taped portrayal of Nathan Grant. McNally was invited to do an in-person read opposite Erin Krakow to allow the producers to sense the chemistry between the prospective co-stars.

Despite trying out as Nathan, the “When Calls the Heart” showrunners asked Chris McNally to stay and read again for the role of Lucas Bouchard.

This time, the moment was perfect for the star.

“That time, I felt great about the read,” McNally enthusiastically confirmed. “I felt like I did what I wanted to do, what he wished “I had done the first time.” The rest is “When Calls the Heart” history because “Hearties” can never imagine anyone other than Chris McNally lighting the screen or the skies as Lucas Bouchard.

More grand gestures but probably no decision on ‘When Calls the Heart’

Lucas amazed and illuminated Hope Valley as never before with his display of lanterns filling the sky above the Northwest Territory community in the 2019 Christmas feature, When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas.” Chris McNally assures that more grand gestures will be made by Lucas Bouchard through Season 7.

“There are a couple more grand gestures,” the actor mentioned during the podcast, and again at the Hallmark Channel celebration. Knowing Lucas, the number is probably far beyond one or two.

Chris McNally also divulges that Lucas will be more willing to express “a little more heart” through the upcoming season.

“He definitely tries to go out on a limb and show Elizabeth how he feels,” McNally stresses.

As for Elizabeth, Erin Krakow admits to feeling “torn” going into Season 7, for everyone except her precious son, Jack, portrayed by twins, Lincoln, and Gunnar Taylor. She teases that viewers will think Elizabeth has made her decision a few times throughout the new season of “When Calls the Heart,” but that “she really hasn't.”

Between Elizabeth and her competing suitors, the new love in bloom, and Lee and Rosemary standing firm, in love with each other, and always there for Elizabeth and baby Jack, there will be lots of opportunities to cheer for love.

Chris McNally and his character can go along with that, and maybe a new car. McNally teased that is one wish for Lucas would be to have the snazziest car in Hope Valley, not that the saloon owner needs anything more to be alluring.

This Hallmark Channel drama reaches hearts like no other drama among TV Shows because Hope Valley never loses hope in people. Fans are set for another season of hope, faith, love, and surprises in the way that only “When Calls the Heart” can bring.