Larissa Albuquerque – When Calls The Heart
By: Ruth Hill
With an abundance of new characters in “When Calls the Heart” (WCTH) this season, sometimes it is hard to spot everyone on the show. I was immeasurably excited when I finally figured out who the character Katie Yost was and once I connected with the actress who portrays her, Larissa Albuquerque, I knew at once that I wanted to find out more about this young actress. Thankfully, she was able to set aside some time recently to chat about WCTH as well as give insight into the occasionally overlooked Katie Yost.
What inspired you to become an actress?
From the time I was 7 or so, I was fascinated with acting. I loved film, theater, and television because it lets people escape for a moment into a fictional world. As an actress, you could be someone else. But on the flip side, I’ve since learned that actors are really not supposed to be trying to act–they should be trying to portray real life.
When I was in high school, I got involved in the theater program, but I didn’t think it could be a real career. So I went off to the university and pursued a degree in marketing and graphic design. During that time, however, I happened to get an agent who helped me pursue my real passion. It was challenging to balance school work and my acting life, but I did accomplish the goal of obtaining my degree–just finished recently, as a matter of fact. Now I see all my audition work and time on the set not only as a chance to pursue my dream, but to also network–something which is vital to this business.
How did you get involved with “When Calls the Heart?”
I got called to audition back in October and they narrowed us down to three people. I knew it was a recurring part, but I knew very little about my role. I was so glad they chose me for the role of Katie Yost, but I honestly don’t know what the writers have in store for her in the future. They don’t write that far ahead and nothing is written in stone.
What is the atmosphere like on the set?
Thankfully, I wasn’t the only new person this season. The atmosphere was very exciting on that first day on set. The first place you typically visit is the hair and makeup trailer. So, I went into the trailer and was greeted warmly with “Welcome to the family.” That is what I really love about this show – it is a community and they are very supportive. That is rare in this industry. Usually, it’s each man for himself, but here your fellow actors support you and you develop together. There is no “lead” mentality. Everyone has their specific role to play and each one is a part of the whole.
Also, the fans of the show are amazing. I have never seen a fan base like the Hearties. I haven’t gotten to interact with them too much as I haven’t been on Twitter long. The fans push the networks to keep the show going and we don’t see enough of this in the world of entertainment, in my opinion. The Hearties are just what this show needs to ensure its continuation.
As far as the actors and cast, it was amazing. I was a big “Full House” fan when I was growing up so Lori [Loughlin] was great. She is such a veteran at her craft and she is just so wonderful. I didn’t get to spend much time with her since I didn’t have any real scenes with her, but I hope that will change if there is another season. The directors were fun and they were so willing to help you with anything you needed.
If there is a Season Four, how do you see your character Katie Yost developing?
It’s true that we don’t know a lot about Katie Yost, but I was told some general backstory about her. She is from the city and she just returned from school. She is one of the most modern people in the town and she is a little bit cheeky. If there is a Season Four, I hope that she might get a love interest. She is very open-minded and I would like to see that help to grow and expand things in the town. I definitely want to see her character developed more.
What was your favorite episode of WCTH?
My favorite episode was actually one where I had no lines. There is an episode where the fate of Pastor Frank Hogan (Mark Humphrey) is being decided. The whole town is there in the church and we are listening to him talk. It is a truly serious scene. There is a vote about whether he is going to be kicked out or not. The scene went perfectly and it really affected one of the members of the crew. So, right at the end of this serious scene we heard a voice call out “And dance party!” And for the next five minutes, there was dance music and the entire cast and crew erupted into a dance party. It was like a “When Calls the Heart” flash mob! I love the fact that I know the behind-the-scenes stuff now when I watch the shows because it just makes it more fun for me. It was definitely a time when we celebrated as a cast and a crew just how much of a community and family we had become.
Did you make any special bonds with any of the actors?
Yes, I did. Andrea Brooks (who plays Nurse Faith) became a very special person to me. In fact, she and I are filming something for Hallmark right now. Also, I really bonded with Daniel Lissing. That first day I was there, he came up and welcomed me to the team. And one of the first things we did as a cast was to take a group photo. He and I had exchanged phone numbers so he sent the picture to my phone and suggested I post it on Instagram. He really is a great guy, very genuine.
Any other upcoming works you can tell us about?
The only thing I have coming up right now is this Hallmark project Andrea and I are working on. Hallmark is just so wonderful. It seems like once you work for them and they like you, they keep bringing you back. I had already appeared on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” awhile back, then “When Calls the Heart” and now this project. It’s really an exciting time for me.
To be quite honest, it was Larissa’s outlook on this show as well as her keen insights into the rest of the cast and crew that gave me a new understanding and appreciation for this show and just how unique it is in this wild and wonderful age in which we live. Additionally, Larissa has a sound head for her career path as well as a kind and supportive heart–not to mention her fantastic abilities that she continues to hone daily. As she has now completed her degree program, she can focus solely on her passion for acting and I can only hope that her lovely face will grace the Hallmark channel for many years to come. Don’t forget to watch her on the finale of “When Calls the Heart” on the Hallmark Channel Sunday, April 10. Furthermore, be sure to follow this gifted beauty on social media in order to keep current with her many endeavors.