Many know him as Lucas Bouchard, the character he plays in Hallmark’s hit series When Calls the the Heart. But before he put roots down on the Hallmark Channel, Chris McNally was a Canadian-born wannabe actor, getting his start at the Railtown Actors Studio after graduating high school. One of his most notable early roles was in John Apple Jack. Soon came episodes of Supernatural, Falling Skies, Dead of Summer and Lucifer, before landing his very first Hallmark role in Hearts of Christmas. Since then, he’s starred in a number of films and shows on the network, his most recent being 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost, out October 12th at 8/7c.
Working with Hallmark
While his earliest Hallmark credit came in 2016, it wasn’t until 2019 that he joined the cast of When Calls the Heart, then in its sixth season, winning over fans from the start. “When stepping into a series with an already established fanbase, you really want to do well by them. Making sure that I did a good enough job for them was incredibly important to me, as well as a bit intimidating,” he told HOLR Magazine.
“That being said, once we became involved with the show and fans were being introduced to Kevin (McGarry) and I through social media, they were extremely welcoming. We felt very supported and accepted by them right off the bat. It was great.” (Click through to discover our favorite Kevin McGarry movies.)
McNally continued, “I feel like the Hearties are one of the most dedicated fan groups out there. They truly care about the show. It’s fantastic because without them, the show wouldn’t be going this far.”
McNally’s personal life
While Chris McNally does keep his personal life pretty private, we do know that he’s been linked to fellow Hallmark star Julie Gonzalo since 2017 when they met while filming The Sweetest Heart. In 2022, the couple welcomed their first child together.
Gonzalo posted a photo to her Instagram of their new bundle of joy gripping their fingers with the caption reading, “Our hearts are full…Welcome baby M ♥️.”
Chris McNally movies and tv shows
From saloon owner to sea captain, Chris McNally’s newfound glory on the Hallmark Channel has taken him to new heights — take a look at some of our favorite roles!
1. The Sweetest Heart (2018)
Chris McNally and Julie Gonzalo (who are now real-life partners) team up in this romance movie as high school sweethearts Nate and Maddie, who reconnect after years apart when Nate returns to their hometown to lecture at the hospital. Sparks fly between them once again, but right when they rekindle their relationship, Nate gets a job opportunity in Boston, away from Maddie, leaving him with a tough decision.
“[The role] came out of nowhere. I had done of couple of Hallmark films and my agent called me and said I had a job offer,” he told TV Goodness about getting cast in the film. “I thought it had some great quirky comedic moments in it. I also liked that they threaded through three different love lines.”
2. A Winter Princess (2019)
Carly (Natalie Hall) is a secret princess, helping to plan Snowden Peak’s Snow Ball with Jesse, played by McNally. Investors aren’t interested without a celebrity to draw them in, and Carly is stuck on whether or not she should reveal her true identity.
“Working on location at Big White (a ski resort in Kelowna, Canada) was a fantastic experience. It’s a stunning place to wake up every morning and head to work,” he recalled to Parade of his time working on the film.
3. When Calls the Heart (2019-Present)
When Calls the Heart centers around the story of Elizabeth, played by Erin Krakow, a schoolteacher from the city who moves to a frontier town to teach. Along the way she finds romance, catching the eye of Chris McNally’s Lucas Bouchard.
4. Sailing Into Love (2019)
A young sea captain (McNally) and a biology teacher (Leah Renee) trying to save an island from development cross paths in this seaside romance.
5. Snowkissed (2021)
A journalist (Jen Lilley) pursues her dream assignment, and finds herself taking on a mentoring role for a B&B owner with hopes of being a tour guide.
6. A Tail of Love (2022)
Bella (Brittany Bristow) is devastated to learn that her dog rescue center has lost its funding. Lucky for her, a soldier named JR becomes quickly attached to one of her pups — and her as well.
In an interview with TV Fanatic, Brittany Bristow said of Chris McNally: “Chris is just a really lovely person. He has a big heart, and he genuinely cared not just about the film but about his character. And in the same way that you would care about your friends, he really wanted to truthful performance to JR.”
She continued, “He really wanted to make sure that JR was a real person. And it really shows in this film. I think he did an incredible job. And he was just such an incredible co-star to have. And I feel very, very lucky that he was JR in this film with me.”
7. 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost (2023)
Anna (Julia Gonzalo) is an estate agent stuck dealing with a 1920s era ghost who refuses to leave her newly listed home until she gets back with her ex, played by her real-life partner Chris McNally. Catch this film out October 12th at 8/7c!
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