“When Calls the Heart” star Viv Leacock opens up about what it was like working with Eddie Murphy, helping guide his biracial children through the current racially tense climate and more.
The Canfield family are the new kids on the block for the Hallmark Channel’s hit series “When Calls the Heart.” Leacock joins in on the show’s eighth season, along with his real-life children, Vienna and Elias Leacock. Leacock plays “Joseph Leacock,” while Vienna and Elias play “Angela” and “Cooper.” The Leacock’s and Natasha Burnett, who plays Joseph’s wife “Minnie,” make up the Canfield family. They are the first Black family to join the show’s fictional community of Hope Valley.
During an interview with WhereIsTheBuzzTV, Leacock shared that being on the show brings specific responsibilities for him, but the current climate for the Black community and the Asian community has greatly impacted his family outside of the set.
“My kids are half Black half Filipino, so. Obviously, the world sees my kids and they see Black kids, Leacock said. But, that’s not to say that they, kids, aren’t…they are seeing it from both sides. There’s a particular way that Black people get treated. There’s a particular way that Asian people are getting treated right now. Yeah, it’s impacting us. It’s impacting my kids.”
He added that his kids ask him the same questions that he wonders himself. “It’s always the same thing. The same questions that I asked when I was a kid, which is why? You know what I mean? Because you know who you are. You know that you aren’t doing anything. So, why would somebody dislike me?”
Leacock says the best advice that he gives his kids is this: “‘Anybody that would come at you because you’re Black, because they found out you’re half Filipino. They’re the ones that are afraid. It’s not… it’s not you. It’s them.'”
Later on in the interview, Leacock discussed his admiration for iconic comedian Eddie Murphy. Leacock was handpicked to work with Murphy with him on the film “I Spy.”
“Eddie Murphy, that’s my idol,” Leacock explained. “I remember when I was like 9 or 10, I was like, “I’m going to work with him one day. I’m going to work with Eddie Murphy one day. I don’t know how, but I’m going to.” Leacock went on to detail how the character he played was “so high up on the cast list” that he didn’t believe he was going to “get this part.” In the end, Leacock got the part, and the best advice he received while on set with Murphy was to conserve energy as an actor.
“It was really, reallly, really amazing working with Eddie. He’s very giving, and he’s really quiet. People don’t even understand. Eddie taught my to conserve my energy between takes. That’s why he’s quiet. He’s not quiet because he doesn’t want to say anything. He’s quiet because he’s the one that has to; he’s the one doing all the work. Fifteen hours a day, all week, five days a week, for months. Because it takes three of four months to film something. It’s on him,” Leacock said. “Eddie Murphy, that’s my idol.”
Watch the full interview with Viv Leacock down below.
“When Calls the Heart” comes on the Hallmark Channel every Sunday at 9 p.m. (EST).