If you haven't been watching ABC Family's Baby Daddy, you've been missing out! Baby Daddy is full of great comedy and the adorable baby? It's just icing on the Baby Daddy cake!
Baby Daddy is a half-hour comedy that follows Ben, a young man in his early 20s living the life of a bachelor in New York City with his buddy, Tucker, and his brother, Danny. Their lives are turned upside down when they come home one day to find a baby girl left on the doorstep by an ex-girlfriend of Ben’s. After much deliberation, Ben decides to raise the baby with the help of his friends and his protective and sometimes over-bearing mother, Bonnie, and his close female friend, Riley.
The series stars Jean-Luc Bilodeau as Ben, Derek Theler as Danny, Tahj Mowry as Tucker, Melissa Peterman as Bonnie, and Chelsea Kane as Riley.
First up, we had the chance to speak with the lovely Melissa Peterman, who plays the mom on Baby Daddy.
Us: How does your role as a mom of a boy in real life influence your life as a mom of boys on the show?
Melissa Peterman: Um, they would say too much [laughter], because I tend to mother them - all of them. Like, I say 'Is that what you're wearing? Do you have socks?' Like, you know, Jean-Luc will go to Canada to visit home, 'Do you have warm enough clothes?' I'm friends with [names redacted] Derek and Jean-Luc's mothers and Tahj's mom [name redacted] on Facebook
...I'm more like Chelsea's older sister. I'm more like, maybe, kinda fun aunt. I think it's been very helpful. I tell them stories, about, you know, about my son. My son is also like Derek. They think he's going to be like, 6'5" like I... again, I'm not a sample size. He's 9 years old and he's almost 5 feet tall, so it's fun to .... I can picture... it's fun for me.
Us: Do you have a favorite episode?
Melissa Peterman: I do have, I have a couple favorites. I loved Ranger Roos episode where Tahj and I were auditioning for the mascot for the Rangers and we had... that was physical and that was very fun. There was one we just shot that I really like that hasn't aired yet and it's about... I don't think it's a spoiler alert... it gave me one of those heartwarming scenes that you kind of... it earns the big broad funny... you can get away with that if there's... if you have those moments of real heart and humanity and I had a really great episode with Danny where I had lied about a birthday. And it was basically how I just wanted time with my son and it was really sweet moment and I really do cry at those moments like it's hard for me because you do think of those. But I love those moments so that's from this season... and any one with 'Brad The Pad' cause, I don't know if you've seen him but Peter Porte who plays my boyfriend on- and off-again. He's ridiculously beautiful and also just very fun so, we enjoy those weeks when he's around.
Next up was Derek Theler. I can easily see Derek becoming one of the next big IT guys in Hollywood. He's incredibly handsome, charming and he's one of those guys who doesn't seem to even realize it! He has such a great on-screen personality and I think his true nature really comes through in his performance on Baby Daddy!
Us: How is it to work with the babies?
Derek Theler: It's amazing, it's great, they're... a set of twins - two babies - playing one character. As the seasons go on, every finale to one season and premier of the next is supposed to be one week, so we have to change twins. Otherwise, our original babies are 4 ½ years old, so we change them.
The one's we're using now, they're beautiful and they're amazing. They hit all their cues and know all their lines better than we do.
It's funny, this episode especially, they have tricks that they have to do, like they have to burp on command and put her arms up in the air like "bring me a basket of french fries" so it's been a little bit longer than normal waiting for the babies to hit all of their cues, so we're a little bit behind schedule.
It is fun; it's fun to work the babies because, you know, the audience knows they're babies. They don't know what they're doing yet. They don't know exactly what's happening... when the live audience is here and when the babies are down there, they seem to feed off of it just as much as we do. Everyone has a good time.
Today is all about getting all of the baby coverage, getting all the babies' scenes finished and in the can so that when the audience is here tomorrow night, they can watch them on the screens.
Us: Do you stick to the script, or do you do a lot of the improv yourself?
Derek Theler: It depends, um, the improv moments are usually when the audience is here and they've seen the same scene a couple of times and if we get it a couple of times and if we do it right, we have permission to say whatever we want or pitch new ideas, which the writers are really great about working with us on that. We usually do a take that's just for the audience; we'll have different characters come in out of doors and surprise the actors who are on stage. It's fun, it's a fun atmosphere to come and see because there's a lot unique things that happen during the show that don't happen on the show that you see on television.
Us: Which of the scenes are your favorite that you've shot for the show?
Derek Theler: I love the, um, the big sets, stunts and the costumes, you know? My favorite, one of my favorite scenes I got to beat up a guy who was mugging these two [referring to Jean-Luc and Chelsea's characters] this season and I came up in a back alley and had to fight him. He was padded up and I was throwing him up against the wall... it was really fun. That's my favorite stuff. I had a scene where I got to kick a door down... and also with the costumes, I got to wear a full-blown centaur costume, I had a horse body. I'm bare chested and I have horse legs and a horse bottom and i had to walk around the whole set...
Notice I am standing on my tip toes. IN HEELS. And I am still easily a foot shorter than he is!
Jean-Luc was an absolute doll and such an all-around nice guy! His smile lights up the screen and getting to watch him film and then speak with him was awesome! I don't know if seeing him play a single dad makes me subjective...there's just something about a handsome man taking care of a baby that just melts this mom's heart!
Us: What do you love most about working on Baby Daddy?
Jean-Luc: I think it's because it's a multi cam. It's my first sitcom experience. Um, I predominately have just a single cam background, so it's a lot of drama stuff, longer set hours and everything. Here, everyone's super cool, you get to hear laughter - that's something you don't get on any other set that's not a sitcom. So, um, and the audience every Friday is really fun. That makes it really enjoyable and the cast is awesome, too, and the food is great.
Us: Has the show changed what you know or how you feel about kids?
Jean-Luc: h yeah! I already liked kids to begin with, I've just never picked up an infant. Um, so, you know, doing this show, I think that it's warmed me up to the idea of having a bigger family than i originally planned on... so yeah, I'm really good at holding the kids now and playing with them. So, I wanted a family, it's... it's good practice. Although I've never changed a diaper, though, so that might just change the whole thing.
Us: Instead of family handing off their kids to you, saying you need practice for your own family, do you find that you're being handed kids as 'practice' for your TV role?
Jean-Luc: Honestly, I think it's.... it's weird because I have a huge family. Aside from my immediate family, we have a huge... like 40 cousins or so and they're all having kids so they're not giving the kids off as practice, they're giving them to me because they want photos... they want the Baby Daddy pose. So, um, at all the family events, I always get the responsibly of hanging out with the kids. It's not for practice, it's for the whole Baby Daddy.
Now, Eddie Cibrian ended up on set right before we left and while we didn't get to interview him, we did have the opportunity for a quick photo opp! He was so friendly and hello, those dimples! I can't wait to see the new season of Baby Daddy and see those dimples on TV!
Chelsea Kane was just as nice as the rest of the cast. Honestly, I was a little surprised at how nice everyone was on the set of Baby Daddy. Their enthusiasm towards their jobs and the show they create was obvious and it's so refreshing to see people who love their work and work so hard to make their fans laugh!
Us: I feel really bad for you - it's just a hideous looking cast. How do you deal with it everyday?
Chelsea Kane: Actually, now with the new edition of Eddie [Cibrian]. It's just painful. I hate the clothes and everything about it is just awful. One of my favorite... anytime that Derek walks out without his shirt on, Melissa will... 'I'm sorry,' like, 'God! You're supposed to be my son!' But yeah, it can be a little distracting and sometimes, you know, I've been like a schoolgirl with Eddie here this week.
No, it doesn't suck. It's really great.
Us: Are there any ways in which you're like your character?
Chelsea Kane: I think we're a lot alike in which we're a type A personality, a real go-getter, almost to the point of getting a little crazy at times. I think I'm kinda a guy's-girl, too, you know, a little more drama-free. Especially with this show, I honestly do like hanging out with these boys a lot after work. We have a really good time together. But outside of that, I mean, definitely not a lawyer.
As soon as Tahj Mowry walked into our interview session, I knew exactly who he was! A big fan of Tia and Tamara ever since I was a teen, I recognized that face!
Us: There's really good chemistry on-set, are you guys really close off-set, as well?
Tahj Mowry: Oh, yeah. Chelsea and ? were just at my house this weekend, Derek and I like going to movies - we like action movies, superhero type movies. Chelsea and I are like, brother and sister... Melissa lives like, two minutes from me. She'd beep the horn and I'd be like 'Melissa's here'. [laughs]
Yeah, so we're all like, super close.
Us: Your whole family seems really driven. What do you think it was that your parents did that just clicked with all of you?
Tahj Mowry: I don't know... they just made sure... they made sure that we were very grounded. They were both in the military, also, so they kept us in check; we're all very clean, neat, OCD. So it's good in the long road, you know?
Us: Are you working on any other projects right now?
Tahj Mowry: Uh, yeah, I'm putting the finishing touches on my album, actually, because I've been wanting to do an album for a long time, I just haven't had time. The single comes out in February and I'm releasing some free stuff online before the actual single in February like, on iTunes and stuff. The free stuff you'll see, it'll be on blog sites and stuff like that. When the single comes out you'll be able to get that on like, iTunes and Amazon. It's like sorta, um, it's like kinda Prince-y vibe, I love Prince, I love Lenny Kravitz. So it's sort of a mix of those two. Very funky. Kind of electronic. Very different. The first single's called 'Walker'.
Tune in to the winter season premiere of Baby Daddy on ABC Family Wednesday, January 14th!
HUGE Thank You to Disney for bringing me out to LA for the Into the Woods event! I attended as part of an all expenses paid media trip, but all opinions are my own.