The family-appropriate comedy-drama series “Heartland” premiered on CBC in October 2007, and is loosely based on Lauren Brooke’s fiction book series of the same name. The main characters are Amy Fleming, her older sister Louise, their father Tim, grandfather Jack Bartlett, and farmhand Ty Borden. The family live on a tranquil ranch, and despite their occasional ups and downs, remain as united as ever in the face of each adversity.
“Heartland” became the longest-running one-hour scripted drama in Canadian TV history with the airing of its 139th episode in March 2015. As well as being available on various streaming platforms, the series is also popular in the US, and airs on UP TV and The CW Plus.
Caleb Odell began working as a ranch hand on Heartland when Ty left for four months. When Ty returned, he was openly hostile towards Caleb as both of them battled for Amy’s affections; luckily, they struck up a friendship afterwards and realized that they had more in common than they first thought.
The character joined “Heartland” in its second season and soon gained himself a reputation as a cocky and somewhat unlikeable person. Although Caleb liked Amy at first, and kissed her when he was trying to win her over, he also spent a lot of time with Ashley Stanton. Ashley soon developed a crush on Caleb, and upon discovering that he liked Amy, tried to separate them by telling him that she liked Ty.
Even so, Caleb gave Ashley one-on-one barrel racing lessons, which led Amy to believe that they were more than just friends, despite Caleb telling her otherwise. This caused some hostility between Amy and Ashley for a few episodes, as Amy had mixed feelings about Caleb and wasn’t sure who she liked more, him or Ty.
After obtaining his pro-rodeo card, Caleb was given a cheque from Val to be his sponsor, and to get him away from Ashley. Upon finding out, Ashley kicked Caleb out of his trailer and threw all his belongings out. At the start of season three, viewers saw Caleb demand that Ashley let him back into his trailer, to no avail. The warring duo had several run-ins afterwards, including a memorable incident in which Ashley poured a jug of freezing cold water into Caleb’s lap when he went to get some coffee at her workplace.
Somehow, Caleb completely forgot about Amy when he began having petty arguments with Ashley. Upon hearing that Ashley planned on taking a private school frat boy to her school’s formal dance, Caleb became jealous and once again demanded that she give him his trailer back. When Ashley refused, he began unhitching the trailer and hooking it up to his truck; however, his truck wasn’t strong enough, and the trailer began ripping down the porch.
When Ashley saw what Caleb was trying to do with the trailer, they began arguing and hurling insults at each other until they heard a creaking noise and the whole porch came crashing down. Somehow, the tension was broken as the pair saw the funny side of the debacle and began cracking up with laughter. Right then, Ashley’s date to the formal dance arrived; Caleb magnanimously told her to go the dance while he fixed the trailer.
Although things became less awkward between Ashley and Caleb after the trailer incident, she still didn’t want to give him a chance for the time being, despite becoming jealous when seeing him with other girls. The back-and-forth between Caleb and Ashley lasted for another few episodes until he went missing after a plane crash. When Caleb finally returned to Heartland after the near-death incident, he decided to tell Ashley how he really felt, and she kissed him and agreed to start dating.
To show Ashley how serious he was, Caleb went all out and arranged a special date for her which included flowers, burgers, and a sunset boat ride. Ultimately, the relationship between the dynamic duo didn’t work out as they were just too different, but after a couple of seasons he began dating Cassandra Fay, Ty’s co-worker and one of Scott Cardinal’s employees. With time, Caleb became Ty’s best friend, married Cassandra, and had a son with her named Carson.
Cassandra Odell has a nice ring to it, no? Season 10 finalé starts NOW (7:00pm) in Ont/Que on @CBC. #iloveheartland pic.twitter.com/o49Jsk66uW
— Heartland (@HeartlandOnCBC) March 26, 2017
Caleb Odell is played by the handsome Kerry James, an Irish-Canadian actor and producer born in Saanich, Vancouver Island, Canada in 1986. Kerry’s “Heartland” role was pivotal to his career, and helped him become a household name; since then, the actor has demonstrated his acting range with darker, more serious projects.
Fans were disappointed to learn that Kerry had virtually no experience in the rodeo world before joining the set of “Heartland”. In fact, he had to attend a sort of “cowboy camp” before playing Caleb, in which he learned skills such as horse riding and roping.
Introducing Caleb’s character to the show was a gamble, given that he didn’t originally exist in the book series, but when the producers of the series saw how popular the character was, they decided to keep him on for several more seasons.
As a child, Kerry moved around a lot due to his father’s job in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), living in places such as Dease Lake, Kelowna, and Vancouver. He discovered his passion for acting in high school, joining the drama club to try and get the necessary extra credits to matriculate with the rest of his class. Inadvertently, Kerry fell in love with the art; the rest, as they say, is history.
Kerry then moved to Vancouver to study at its prestigious Film School, where he trained with the legendary acting coach Warren Robertson. Before his big break, Kerry worked serving tables, in the construction industry, and delivering furniture.
As mentioned, “Heartland” was a huge learning curve for Kerry as he was an inexperienced actor compared to the rest of his cast mates. Other notable projects of the actor include roles in “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf”, “Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts”, and “Aliens in America”.