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Romance & Dog Sleds & Bears, Oh My! Pascale Hutton's Top Arctic Air Moments


What's going on between Krista and Bobby?

That question left Arctic Air Season 1 on an emotional cliffhanger, and with Season 2's finale airing Wednesday night, Bobby/Krista 'shippers are still waiting for the answer - especially now that Krista's discovered Bobby and Petra's secret kiss. Arctic Air's big romance seems ready to nosedive.

Whatever happens, though, Pascale Hutton can promise CBC Live this:

Wednesday's finale features "the big climax" of Krista and Bobby's relationship. "All the baggage they're carrying with them as well as all their history through childhood: you see that really be confronted," she says.

But that moment of emotional turbulence is just one dramatic highlight. The Season 2 finale is going to be a cliffhanger.

A double-cliffhanger, actually.

(The action from Wednesday's episode will extend onto the Arctic Air website, and if you visit that night, the web-exclusive scenes will throw the plot for yet another loop-de-loop. CBC Live has the full rundown here.)

There's been ample adventure in the making of Arctic Air, too. When a show combines romance, action and the occasional polar-bear cameo, you'll have some stories to tell. So here are Pascale Hutton's highlights from the making of Season 2.

-- CBC

CBC Live: What's made making Season 2 of Arctic Air stand out from the first?

Pascale Hutton: This season I feel like we had a better handle on all those basic elements that make up our show, which are the eclectic characters in Arctic Air the airline, and also just Yellowknife itself. And so we were able to take bigger risks and just play a bit more. This season you see more of the landscape of Yellowknife highlighted.

CBC Live: I know a lot of Arctic Air is shot near Vancouver. How much time do you get to spend in Yellowknife making the show?

PH: Well, we go up once a month. We would go up once a month and shoot for anywhere from three or four days to seven or eight days.

CBC Live: Coldest scene of the season?

PH: Coldest scene of the season is the scene where my mom goes over the kind of cliff and totally bails on her snowmobile.

Look for that moment in Episode 211, "Blood is Thicker Than Water."

PH: That was RIDICULOUS. I got to have the relief of running into a warm-up tent - that was still freezing, literally freezing - but it was at least maybe only -15 as opposed to -35. The crew was out there and icicles, like inch-long icicles, were hanging from people's eyelashes and eyebrows. It was cold on a level that I have never experienced before, and I lived in Edmonton in the winter. It's not like I'm some Vancouver softie. It was really intense. It was either the very end of November or the beginning of December that we were up there.

CBC Live: Physical cold aside, what was the coolest thing you got to do?

PH: Oh, the dog sledding.

(Note: You'll also find that scene in Episode 211, "Blood is Thicker Than Water.")

Pascale Hutton, here seen under several layers of fur and wool, appears in the dog-sledding scene from Arctic Air Episode 211. -- CBC

PH: We were out on a lake, a frozen lake, and I've never done that before. It was really beautiful and just kind of serene. It felt really kind of Zen-like. I'd say we went for probably a kilometer in one direction and then a kilometer back.

CBC Live: Was anyone in the cast jealous you got to go on that adventure?

PH: Everyone was jealous.

CBC Live: Does anyone ever pitch activities like that to the writers?

PH: Well, you know, it's funny. Here's a little insider tip: that scene was actually supposed to be snow biking. That's how it was originally written in the script, and everybody read it and went "Snow biking? What even is that?" And everybody unanimously, cast and crew, was like, "Why aren't we doing dog sledding? We're going to be up there at the right time of year, there's going to be enough snow, let's do it. That's what people want to see." Once the logistics were worked out it was a green light all the way.

CBC Live: It sounds like that was a really fun stunt to do, but were there any scenes that were particularly challenging?

PH: The only thing that was a little bit challenging was being up close with the polar bear.

Watch Episode 206, "Dangerous Cargo" (a.k.a. "The One with a Polar Bear").

PH: Actually I had no trepidation about it initially. I was the one person on set who was just so excited, thinking "Oh, this is going to be amazing, so much fun." And then I got in the room, like really close with the polar bear.

CBC Live: Yeah, how close would you have been to the bear in those scenes?

PH: Well, she's behind a cage, but they made a loud announcement to everyone: "Everybody be forewarned, this is a movie-set cage - not a real cage - and so if she wants to break out of this, she will have no problem swiping out of it." So that's at the back of my mind, and I was, I'd say, two feet from her?

CBC Live: Swiping distance.

PH: Exactly. And it was at a point in the day when she was starting to get cranky - like hot and hungry and over the whole "making a movie" business, the novelty. She was having none of my charm.

CBC Live: We ended Season 1 with an emotional cliffhanger: what's going to happen between your character, Krista, and Bobby (Adam Beach). Over the last year, that drama has been explored a lot. What was the most emotional scene to shoot this season?

PH: Well, you know, it's been working up to it for sure. You'll see in the season finale, there is the big climax of that relationship and all the complexities and intricacies of those two characters and all their history and also all their present baggage. It's confronted head on in the season finale and I think it's going to be really poignant for viewers.

CBC Live: Now that we know a Season 3 of Arctic Air is coming, what do you hope happens to Krista going forward?

PH: I think she's been really working hard after kind of screwing things up so badly at the end of Season 1. I think in Season 2 we've seen her being almost overly careful and overly cautious, and I think in Season 3, what I'd love to see, is see her really take charge of her life and make some bold decisions.

CBC Live: Like going snow biking.

PH: Like going snow biking.

Arctic Air's Season 2 finale airs on CBC Wednesday, April 17 at 9 p.m./9:30 NT.

(This interview has been edited and condensed.)

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