Pop Culture

Stars in Cars: Amber Marshall aka Amy Fleming from Heartland

She’s best known for her role as Amy Fleming on CBC TV’s hit drama, Heartland – a part that garnered her a coveted 2013 Canadian Screen Award. But actress Amber Marshall has a long list of TV and film credits to her name including The Power Strikers, Resident Evil, Mutant World, and a made-for-TV-movie with Rob Lowe called The Christmas Shoes. Despite her varied roles, the former veterinary assistant is just like her onscreen character, Amy. She’s a cowgirl at heart who lives the country life on an Alberta ranch, driving around town in her big trucks: a 2006 RAM 3500 Mega Cab and a 2014 RAM 3500 Mega Cab.

PG: “Your 2006 RAM is almost 10-years-old – isn’t it time to dump it?”

AM: “I was going to sell it last year when I got the 2014 because really I have no use for the other one now. But I really still love driving it. I’ve kept it as a back-up truck. I use it to take things to the dump that I might not want to use my brand-new truck for. I have a gooseneck dump-trailer that is usually hooked up to my ’06 RAM for dump runs and a 36-foot flat deck that I use to haul large round bales. I probably won’t keep it forever and let it sit out in the back lot like Grandpa Jack would on Heartland. But I still really like it.”

PG: “Why did you go with another RAM instead of a Ford or Chevy HD truck?”

AM: “I thought go with what you know and what you love. I still absolutely love my 2006 Mega Cab so I thought might as well stick to what I know. I live on a farm and I can’t really haul my horse trailer with a Honda Civic so I had to go out and find a good truck. I first went to a Ford and I had a lot of problems with it. My husband said ‘You should probably get a Dodge. I’ve had them all my life and they’ve never had any problems.’ That got me hooked on the brand.”

“I love the Mega Cabs. The extra space in the cab is great for my lifestyle because I can fit lots of critters! I’ve had just about everything in my ‘06 truck – peacocks, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, alpacas. And if you’re trying to move anything that you don’t want to put in the box of your truck you can actually have it inside and out of the elements. I treat my truck like a truck and it works hard. I’m trying to keep my new truck fairly clean. I absolutely love my new truck. It does exactly what I need it to do. I just went on a big road trip down to Arizona with a girlfriend. It’s so nice to have a very reliable vehicle that you know is going to keep you safe on the road. I want to make sure that when I’m hauling horses or motorcycles I’m going to be protected and I’m going to feel safe.”

PG: “Motorcycles? You drive a bike, too!?”

AM: “Yes. I have a 2014 Harley Davidson Iron 883. I’ve always wanted a Harley. But I decided to get into riding on a whim. A friend who is on the show, Graham Wardle, organizes a motorcycle “Cruise with a Cause” ride. The first year he did it, two years ago, I joined the team, but I didn’t ride a bike at the time. I actually rented a vehicle and followed behind the Cruise. And then, my dad went on the tour; he rented a bike so I rode on the back of it. Then, I caught the bug and decided if I do the Cruise again I want to ride my own bike. So, I went out and got a Harley, got my license, and learned in a real hurry. I joined the Cruise last fall touring around BC with them. Then. I packed my bike up and took it with me to Arizona and was able to go cruising down there as well.”

PG: “Have you fallen yet?”

AM: “No. I’ve been very, very cautious. I am a new rider and I make sure I don’t go out unless the conditions are perfect. I don’t go out in the rain or the snow. My husband actually went out and got a bike, too, because he didn’t want me riding alone. So we’ve been learning together, which has been really nice.”

PG: “Does riding a motorcycle make you a better driver?”

AM: “100 percent. I drive so differently now that I’ve ridden a bike. You’re very aware and constantly scanning intersections. You’re always assuming the worst possible situation so you know how to get yourself out of it. It’s very mentally exhausting, at first. When you’re in a vehicle and someone hits you, you have a lot of protection, especially in a RAM. But if you’re on a bike and someone hits you, you’re done. It definitely makes you very aware as a driver.”

PG: “Are you a Cummins turbo diesel or a gas engine girl?”

AM: “I’ve never owned a gas truck. I feel as though the power difference for hauling is noticeable, and since I have a truck to haul with I might as well go for the engine that will get the job done with ease. I’ve never had any issues with the Cummins diesel. It’s tried and true. It hauls great. It’s funny, diesel used to be a lot cheaper than gasoline and it’s not that way anymore. I drive by the gas station and say why the heck is that? It takes way less money to make diesel than gasoline. Why is this happening!?”

PG: “What does a RAM say about you?”

AM: “It suits my life. It says I like to work hard and play hard and I have a truck that can do that with me.”

Amber Marshall

Profession: Actress
Age: 26
Hometown: London, Ont.
My Car: 2014 RAM 3500 Mega Cab + 2006 RAM 3500 Mega Cab

Notable achievements:
Heartland is syndicated in more than 110 countries
• voted Canada’s Favourite Screen Star at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2013
• nominated for L.A.’s Young Artist Award for her lead role in the movie of the week, The Elizabeth Smart Story
• has her own line of apparel, a magazine (Amber Marshall: Life & Style) and calendar available on her website www.ambermarshall.com
• supports numerous charitable organizations including Cruise with a Cause, Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre, Cowboys for Kingdom House, and SARI Therapeutic Riding Centre
• lives on a ranch outside of Calgary with her husband Shawn Turner, a photographer, and many animals including horses, cattle, dogs, cats, rabbits and chickens

Heartland airs on the CBC on Sunday nights at 7 pm ET (7:30 NT)
Heartland episodes repeat on APTN and Vision TV in Canada
• autograph session at Can-Am All Breed Equine Expo Horse Fair & Country Lifestyle Show in Markham, Ontario, April 3-5, 2015