It was so nice speaking with Chelsea Kane from ABC Family’s “Baby Daddy” recently.
The actress talked about working on her series, what is coming up for Riley and lots more!
Tune in to watch the spring finale of “Baby Daddy” tonight (March 18) on ABC Family!
Take a peek:
Q: How did you feel after hearing the news about season 5?
Chelsea: Ecstatic. Over the moon. It’s such an amazing feeling to come back for another season. I love working on this show. I love the cast and crew so much. It’s my second family and they actually made the announcement at our Season 4 wrap party, which started out as such a bittersweet night. You’re celebrating the end of a great season, but sort of saying your goodbyes and hoping we come back. I was really bummed. It was hard to even wrap my head around not going to work every day and seeing these people, or playing Riley anymore.
So, to get that announcement that night, it really changed my whole mood. I went from sort of sad goodbyes to partying down. It was just really fantastic.
Q: Is there any direction or story line that you would like to see your character go in?
Chelsea: I love how the writers have allowed Riley to not be the perfect woman. I think sometimes playing a young female on television can be really hard, because you’re playing so many different stereotypes. You’re either the mean cheerleader, or you’re the nice, perfect girl next door who never makes a mistake.
What I love about Riley is as the season has progressed, the crazy is coming out a little bit more [laughs]. You know, she’s a lawyer, which is amazing, but she’s not the best lawyer. She always gives it 100 percent and she’s a great friend, but yes, she has mental breakdowns, or she gets confused in romantic relationships.
I really trust the writers to find the greatest and best story lines that I could never even imagine for Riley. I love to see her in her work environment, because she is such a terrible lawyer, it’s really fun for me to play that legally blonde side of her once and awhile.
Q: What it’s like to work on such a funny show?
Chelsea: It’s the best gig in the world, and we do laugh all of the time. Melissa Peterman, and Tahj [Mowry], and Jean-Luc [Bilodeau], Derek Theler – they’re brilliant. Especially with Melissa, there’s never a dull moment. There are so many laughs on set constantly and because it’s such a small, ensemble cast, and because it’s a multi-camera show, we shoot these entire episodes in front of a live audience on Friday night. Which means, we have Monday through Thursday, rehearsing with the core group of us.
So, compared to a single-camera show, or an hour-long episodic, where you sort of don’t get to see the other actors sometimes, or make the most of your scenes, or you spend long days with one other actor, and don’t even really get to see your fellow co-stars for weeks, or days at a time; we really get a chance to be together and create a lot of inside jokes.
Q: Do you guys get a chance to hang out off set a lot?
Chelsea: We hang out all the time. Tahj leaves a pair of pajamas at my house because he’ll crash here on the weekends [laughs]. We travel! Jean-Luc and I backpacked all over Europe together during the last hiatus. We hang out all of the time and that’s not just the cast. We have dinner at the producer’s homes, and we have Bachelor viewing parties with the girls in props. It really is a family affair!
Q: How do you feel that you and Riley are similar and can relate to one another?
Chelsea: I think we’re very similar in the sense that we’re both type A personalities. Real go getters. Both sort of “guy’s girls.” I love that Riley can hold her own with the boys. I feel the same way. I am the same way. I hang out with boys the majority of my life right now. But, I think we are very, very similar. In fact, it starts to become a joke of what came first? The chicken or the egg? Because so many of my personal Chelsea stories show up in the show.
We come into breakfast on Monday mornings and tell the writers and producers what happened over the weekend. Or, funny stories that are going on in our personal lives. The next thing you know, a couple of weeks later we’re at the table reading and are like, “wait a second, this actually happened.” So, we share a lot of similar traits and speaking patterns.
Q: How would you compare the relationship that Riley has with Ben to the one that she has with Danny?
Chelsea: It’s a complicated one. I think it evolved a lot in the spring finale airing next week. You finally see Riley; she’s finally discovered these feelings for Danny and has decided she needs to tell him that her feelings for him are now more than platonic.
I think Riley’s relationship with Ben, she was always in love with him, so she was always a little more reserved, or not quite herself, or doing all of those stupid things you do when you’re in love. You say the wrong thing, you make a mishap, and then with Danny, she never really saw him that way. So, she was always comfortable around him, and they were buds. She could call him anytime, and trusted him. Now, that she sees Danny in this new light, I actually think those relationships with the boys have completely swapped. Now, she’s really comfortable around Ben, and their back and forth is a lot more comfortable and buddy-like. And now, she’s tongue-tied and a complete idiot around Danny.
They’ve really switched places from the beginning of the season to now.
Q: What is something, if anything, surprising that you may have learned about yourself from playing the role of Riley over the season?
Chelsea: I’ve learned to not take myself so seriously. And, working on a show where week-to-week I’m either painted orange or put in a fat suit, or thrown out a window, or stuck in a rainstorm. And, also working with three boys my age. They don’t let me get away with anything. If I say something stupid on set, it doesn’t go unnoticed. They make fun of me for it for weeks and when you’re around comedy writers, it’s the same thing. I walked onto set in an outfit that I feel really good in and they’ll tear it apart and make fun of some stupid sweater that I’m wearing [laughs].
Growing up, I always wanted to be the best in everything and do everything right. If someone made fun of me at school, it was soul crushing. And now, through this experience, I’ve sort of learned to roll with the punches and just have a sense of humor about myself.
Q: Was there ever a moment when you received a script and may have thought, “I never thought I would see the day that I did that?”
Chelsea: Oh, absolutely. I mean I’ve been in fat suits, prosthetics and in our season finale that we were shooting a couple of weeks ago, they threw me out a window in a big poufy dress. It’s stuff like that when you’re like “so, what’d you do at work today?” Some bangs and bruises you come home with. It’s like, “hey mom, how was your night? Oh good, I fell out of a two-story window.” I have those moments a lot. Well, how are we going to do this? But, we always figure it out.
Q: Who is the funniest to work with on the Baby Daddy set?
Chelsea: I think the funniest person to work with is Melissa Peterman. Her brain works in a way that I’ve never seen before [laughs]. She’s so quick-witted and hilarious, and there is never a dull moment with her. Not only is she fun to talk to, but she makes homemade gifts for every holiday. So my Valentine’s Day card, she clips out funny pictures from magazines and writes silly notes, or makes you pillows with iron-ons of your face with that iPhone app OldBooth with me in like a 1950 high school yearbook photo with some hilarious quote underneath it. So, it really never slows down with Melissa.
Q: Have there been any Baby Daddy pranks on set against one another?
Chelsea: We don’t play a ton of pranks, but yes, of course. The boy’s living room apartment set is basically our living room. So, when we come in the morning, we sit down and throw our keys and wallets on the table. Sit there and have our coffee. There have been several occasions where Jean-Luc has left his keys sitting there, and we’ll take his Jeep and move it half-way across the studio lot [laughs]. So, when he leaves work in the afternoon, he doesn’t know where his car is and has to search for it.
In the episode that’s actually airing tonight, we break into Bon Jovi’s apartment and decide to use it as a little vacation. There’s a scene where Tahj and I are in the hot tub and we’re supposed to start the scene underwater and then come up and read a couple of lines and then go back underwater. In the two seconds that we were underwater getting ready to start the scene, the director managed to clear the set of everyone. So, by the time we came up and said a couple of lines, we looked around and there wasn’t a single soul left on our sound stage.
Now, we’re walking around cold and dripping wet, trying to find where everybody went. So, we definitely play pranks once and a while.
Q: Which celebrity has been your favorite guest star, and what’s one celebrity you’d love to get the chance to work with on Baby Daddy?
Chelsea: Reba was absolutely incredible. She’s so down to earth, and so lovely, and for such a mega superstar, you would never in a million years get that she was one of the gang the minute she walked on set. And, the coolest part, is we have a Baby Daddy band called Cast and Crue, so like Motley Crue, and we play after the show sometimes [laughs] and at some of the different wrap parties or Christmas parties. The episode Reba was there, we decided to have the Baby Daddy band that night. So, Reba actually got up and sang Fancy and Joy to the World. So, I got to sing backup with Reba McEntire, and play the tambourine, which was an incredibly surreal experience.
Probably my other favorite guest star after that was Eddie Cibrian who is not only ridiculously handsome, but such a nice guy and he played my boss that I end up accidently having a one-night stand with not realizing that he is going to be at the office on Monday.
It’s a really fun story line and he’s going to be on the show for a couple of episodes. So, I really enjoyed getting to hang out with him. It’s such an awesome season. I think Season 4 is my favorite one to date. And the episode airing next week, the spring finale, is such a huge episode where we’re at the Rangers game and Danny’s playing hockey.
There are these big moments between Danny and Riley all while Derek is trying to hit his mark on roller-skates and getting checked into the glass and it’s just action packed.
Q: Do you ever think we’re going to see Riley in a courtroom scene?
Chelsea: Yes, you actually see me in the courtroom this season. I get my first case and, of course, it all falls apart. I’m defending Tucker in a case and then, before you know it, Wheeler’s on the stand and Ben and Danny are in the courtroom and hilarity ensues.
Q: If you could dream cast yourself in another ABC Family show for either a crossover or just for fun, which would it be?
Chelsea: I would have to say Pretty Little Liars, because it’s just so the opposite of what I’m used to every day. It’s all girls, and drama, and tears. It just seems a bit darker than our show. I think that would have to be the crossover. Plus, Lucy Hale came on to Baby Daddy for an episode last season, so it would be fun to somehow tie that in.
I would love to have Goldie Hawn guest star. She’s my ultimate celebrity crush and who I would love to meet, and I just idolize her. That would be the dream.
Q: Would you love to play Riley on Pretty Little Liars or a completely separate character?
Chelsea: Maybe a completely separate character unless they could find something funny for Riley to do. Maybe defending one of them in court or something. She’d probably lose the case [laughs].
Q: What kind of challenges does filming in front of a live studio audience present while you’re acting?
Chelsea: It’s such a rush. It’s so much fun, because the audience is almost one of the characters on the show. Their reaction and their laughter is important and what keeps us going. I love having a live audience there. You can feel the energy on a Friday night just start to build. As the audience is filing in, and we have a stand-up comedian keeping everyone laughing and entertained between shots. It really makes it such a fun night.
The only challenges I could say are, there are a couple of girls that come every single week and they’ve been coming for two seasons now, and they keep a tally of “the flub list.” They keep track of how many times each actor messes up [laughs]. And, they give us these cool different postcards or notes that they keep each week, and then at the very end of the season, they actually have an awards ceremony for us.
Now, they come down onto the stage, because it’s become one of our favorite parts of the night. And, I won this year. I was so excited. But they give you an award for who messed up the least and then who messed up the most. So, that’s probably the only challenges is they really keep us on our toes. We’re a competitive cast!
Q: Do you have any teasers about the finale that you can share?
Chelsea: The finale this week is so fun. We have Christa B. Allen guest starring and she is playing Danny’s new girlfriend and my character has finally realized that she has feelings for Danny and has decided she has to tell him as soon as possible before goes away for the weekend with Robyn [Christa B. Allen].
Of course, Riley has the worst timing ever and decides she’s going to tell him in the middle of his hockey game. So, like I said, there’s a lot going on in the episode and there is a food fight between the two girls and it’s one of my favorites. It looks amazing.
Q: I was just curious, of these three movies that are coming out this year, Cinderella, The New Star Wars, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, which one are you most excited to see and which one would Riley like to see?
Chelsea: Cinderella and Cinderella. I think we’re both girly girls at the end of the day and both want to find our Prince Charming and put on a pretty dress at any given moment. So, definitely Cinderella!
Q: Besides being an actress, did you have any other career goals or dreams while growing up?
Chelsea: I’ve always been obsessed with the arts. I was that kid that was singing and dancing around the house and when that became too annoying to my parents, they put me into a local community theatre. So since I was six years old, I’ve just been obsessed with the stage and wanting to be an actress. However, probably the passion that fell right behind that was oceanography and I used to take trips to the Catalina Island Marine Institute and out here to California from Arizona where I grew up and visit some of the different sea-like rescue places and volunteer, and feed the seals and all of that. So I guess my dream as a kid was I wanted to be one of the entertainers at SeaWorld and come home with Shamu, but obviously in light of recent events and the information that has come out in the past couple of years, that dream has definitely changed [laughs]. So now, it’s just actress.
Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever come across in the wardrobe closet on set?
Chelsea: Oh, my gosh. Half a horse body strapped to Derek. It’s an interesting wardrobe room. My favorite thing is we’re all such different sizes. I mean, Derek is six-five and Melissa’s so tall, and then there’s Tahj, so one of the funniest parts is if we happen to go into the room if someone else’s wardrobe rack happens to still be in the dressing room, trying on someone’s else’s wardrobe by accident is one of the funniest things you’ve ever seen.
I’ve seen Melissa in one of my little sweaters and Derek trying to fit into a pair of Jean-Luc’s jeans, so there are a lot of ridiculous photos in our wardrobe room.
Also, the women who run our wardrobe department do this really cool thing where every Friday is dress-up Friday and they have the crew dress up in a costume that goes with the theme of the show. So, if it’s a wedding episode, everyone wears like bridal gowns, or if it’s Las Vegas, wear your Vegas hats. People are in funny outfits and visors, or superhero costumes, or superhero knights, so there’s so many costumes on set all of the time. Half of the time it’s not even the actors wearing them!
Photo source: ABC Family