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Natasha Burnett Calls Herself a ‘Fun Aunt’ to Viv Leacock’s Kids and ‘When Calls the Heart’ Costars (Exclusive)

Natasha Burnett Calls Herself a Fun Aunt to Viv Leacock s Kids and When Calls the Heart Costars 725
Courtesy of Elias Leacock/Instagram ; Ricardo Hubbs/Hallmark Media

Natasha Burnett and Viv Leacock connected instantly playing spouses on When Calls the Heart, and her bond with their TV children has become just as special.

“In the beginning, I think I was just trying to make them feel really comfortable,” Burnett exclusively told Us Weekly of her onscreen kids, while promoting her and Leacock’s new Hallmark movie, Legend of the Lost Locket.

Burnett, who plays Minnie Canfield on the Hallmark Channel series, recalled having a lot of scenes with Angela Canfield (played by Vienna Leacock) when she joined the cast in season 8, which aired in 2021.

“I wanted to make sure that she felt like, ‘OK, well if Viv has gone back to his trailer and she needs to ask a question, don’t feel like you can’t ask me, and I’ll try and help,’” Burnett remembered.

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In the series, Minnie and Joseph Canfield (Viv) are the parents of Angela (Vienna) and Cooper (Elias Leacock). Although Burnett and Viv are not married in real life, Viv is the father of both Vienna and Elias off camera. (Viv, 49, shares his daughter and son, as well as a second son named Lennox, with wife Divina Leacock.)

“I think because Viv was so comfortable with me, they got quite comfortable with me,” Burnett told Us of her onscreen family. “I feel like the fun aunt. I dunno if it’s fun, but I feel like the aunt.”

The actress called Viv a “protective father,” who often wonders, “Where’s Elias gone?” and Burnett has taken on the “fun aunt” role, so she responds, “Yeah, he’s fine. He’s rolling around in the grass or something.”

Natasha Burnett Calls Herself a Fun Aunt to Viv Leacock s Kids and When Calls the Heart Costars 722
Courtesy of Viv Leacock/Instagram

Viv couldn’t agree more, exclusively telling Us that Burnett was “adopted a long time ago” into his real brood. “Both Vienna and Elias and for my wife, Davina, and my other son Lennox, everybody loves Natasha,” he said. “She’s another member of the family now. We’ve adopted her.”

When it comes to his own relationship with Vienna and Elias on set, Viv explained that after their season 8 “learning curve” they’ve become pros. “These kids walk around, ‘Hey, what’s going on, dad?’ It’s all good. [There’s] no problems at all. And it blows me away to watch that,” Viv explained, calling his daughter “rock solid” as an actress.

Viv continued: “She’s always on point. She’s like, ‘Dad, you need to look at your sides more. You need to look at your script more, so you don’t drop any lines.’ [I’m] like, ‘Yes, Vienna.’ She keeps me going straight.”

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The element of family is also front and center for the Canfields on WCTH, which began season 11 earlier this month.

“Minnie this year, she definitely has a few more irons in the fire. I think she heads a couple more projects and comes up with a few more ideas,” Natasha teased of her character’s story arc. “And then of course, there’s always a family matter that comes into play, and there’s something that initially starts with the kids that then sort of flows out into some of Joseph’s family members.”

Minnie’s role is to “help heal old wounds,” Burnett explained, while Viv told Us Minnie and Joseph will in fact “meet some new family” this season.

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“We’ve had some new folks come onto the show, [who] did an incredible job,” he revealed. “There’s some trajectories of characters that are going to be altered because of some cast that we have coming on. That’s all I can say.”

In addition to seeing them on WCTH, fans can watch Burnett and Viv play love interests on Legend of the Lost Locket. The movie premiered on Saturday, April 13, but is now streaming on Hallmark Movies Now.

In the film, Burnett plays an antique dealer named Amelia, who is on the hunt for a long-lost locket that is rumored to bring the owner true love. During her quest, she meets a local sheriff named Marcus (Viv), who decides to lend a hand.

When Calls the Heart airs on Hallmark Channel Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.

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