(PCM) Chelsea Kane has charmed audiences with her girl-next-door personality on TV shows like Disney’s Jonas, Disney’s Fish Hooks, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and a number of others, including films and stage productions. In her latest show, ABC Family’s Baby Daddy, Chelsea continues this streak of endless charm and belly laughs playing Riley, a 20-something that nearly every girl out there can relate to.
On the show, we follow the adventures and misadventures of a new dad and hybrid family after 20-something bachelor Ben decides to keep the baby girl he didn’t know he had, Emma, when his ex-girlfriend leaves her on his apartment welcome mat. Riley is a friend of Ben’s from childhood who is now studying to be a lawyer and lost a lot of weight from their high school days. Aside from Ben’s mom, Riley also happens to be the only female presence in Emma’s life.
What we love about Riley and what we love that Chelsea brought to her is how realistic Riley is and connected the audience can feel with her emotions and situations. She’s had a lifelong crush on Ben, but thinks Ben will never be able to see her in that way. She’s a powerful young woman, growing up, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her own insecurities.
She may not have Ben’s mind on romance right now, but Ben’s brother Danny? That’s another story! Riley and Danny have also been friends from childhood and Danny feels the same about Riley that she does for Ben. Oh, we love a good love triangle. (And for the record, we’re totally Team Danny!)
The triangle proves for both funny and poignant moments between the characters, as does Riley’s interactions with the men of the apartment in their handling and care of baby Emma. Nearly every aspect of the show has a duality that brings out real sentiments and real laughs and we’re happy that Chelsea is a part of the cast, ready and willing to lend her spark, charm and insight to Riley.
I had the chance to catch up with Chelsea recently to discuss everything Baby Daddy, from Riley’s signature headlock more to where she falls on the Team Ben vs. Team Danny debate. Check out everything she had to share below!
So, how does it feel having Baby Daddy out in the world and finally having fans being able to see it?
It’s so exciting. It’s like having a new baby! [laughs] I’m so excited to finally get to share with everyone what we’ve been so thrilled about. We’re really proud of the show. We think it’s funny and fun-loving. You know, it’s always scary to put it out there because we’re obviously very biased and the fact that people are tuning in and enjoying it and the comments on Twitter and everything I’m seeing online, it’s just so exciting!
Definitely! And what I think is so great about Riley, in particular, is that she has these realistic characteristics and very true-to-life girl moments. She hates the word friends, she gets jealous, she has some confidence issues, but she’s there when her friends need her…. these little aspects really help to round her as a character. What would you say are her best and worst characteristics? What’s the most endearing and most troublesome?
I think the most endearing thing about Riley is that she is a great friend at the end of the day. You know, here she is in love with a boy who will never see her the way she wants him to and by coming back into his life, it really doesn’t benefit her in any way other than she gets to kind of see her crush. But to step up to the plate and help take care of Emma, be there for Danny and help him with his hockey games or whatever she needs to do that day, even if it’s helping out his mother who she can’t stand, who’s mean to her, she’s a good friend. She cares about the people around her and they come first at the end of the day. I think that’s what makes her so sweet and loveable.
But on the same token, I think the thing that’s kind of her worst quality, but in a way a great quality, she’s very, very, very driven and has to be the best at everything and has to succeed at everything. On the one hand, she’s getting an education, she wants to be a lawyer, but on the other hand, I think it could really hurt her in the sense that, if she’s going to play on a sports team, she has to be the best. [laughs] It doesn’t matter if she’s making other people cry or hurting people along the way, she wants to win at all costs. I think sometimes that can be a fault.
Oh, absolutely. And we have to talk about this Ben-Riley-Danny love triangle thing. I think a lot of people find themselves invested in those moments between Danny and Riley. I love that Riley is this tense personality and Danny is this sort of almost aloof character and yet in their moments together, Riley can kind of open up and mellow out and Danny can center himself. It’s such a great parallel.
Yeah, Danny and Riley have a very special relationship. I love that relationship on the show because it’s probably the most real friendship on the show. I think they have the most moments together outside of Ben and Emma, the baby, [laughs] of really being vulnerable and talking about real things and feelings.
So, those moments are always really refreshing, especially in a comedy where so much of it is kind of one punch line after the other. A lot of the scenes with Danny, they’re real scenes. It’s very fun to act where you can have the laughs, but then you can have those really touching moments, too.
Well, do you find yourself on Team Danny or Team Ben?
It’s so hard! It’s so – It’s hard for me to pick because even playing the character, it’s like every week I get the script and it’s like, “oh no! What is she doing?” or “Oh my gosh! Yay, she’s finally figuring things out!” The show really keeps you guessing the whole way. Everyone continues to miss each other.
It’s hard because I think there are qualities about Ben that are really wonderful, too. He’s a great guy! He’s funny and I think it’s really amazing to see a young guy step up to the plate with anything like raising a child. I think Riley’s very attracted to that.
Of course on paper, Danny is the perfect guy. I mean, he’s a professional sports player, he’s gorgeous, he looks like Captain America, like this really should be a hard decision!
But, I think it always go back to, with all the characters, that first impression that they all can’t get over. Everyone still sees each other how they were in high school. I think that relates a lot to life, too. It’s like you can go back to your hometown and see someone who was a certain way in high school and even if they’ve changed a bunch, it’ll still bring back the same butterflies or those same feelings, like “this person’s too cool…,” it just sticks with you forever.
That’s an excellent way to put it. And talking about these dynamics on the show, Riley has so many great relationships, between Riley and Danny, Riley and Ben, Riley and Bonnie. Is there a particular relationship that you like to play up the most or one that you get most excited about when you see you have that scene coming up in a script?
You know, I love the stuff between Riley and Bonnie just because Melissa Peterman is one of the most hilarious women and actress out there I think. It’s really fun to do scenes with her and have the live audience, too, because she loves to improvise. She loves to come up with stuff on the spot, so we really get to play. I mean, you never know what’s going to happen in those scenes.
But I think the thing that’s so fun about the cast is every pairing is fun! I love the scenes between Tucker and Ben… I love the scenes between Ben and Danny… I love the scenes between Tucker and Danny, like every episode we’re all paired up with a different person.
So it’s always fresh; we’re never beating some of those relationships and friendships into the ground and it’s nice that all of the relationships work together because I think sometimes that’s why shows don’t work. You know, there’s one relationship that’s really fun to watch but the minute you run out of all those storylines, it’s like, what do you do now? And in this case, everyone works well together and on top of that, we all genuinely adore each other and have these really fun friendships behind the scenes, too, so every script is fun.
Well, that’s wonderful to hear! And the show, you know, has this wonderful balance of not just the funny, but the serious and the combination of the two. With that in mind, is there an aspect of your character or topic of the show that you’re especially looking forward to the viewers seeing or you were especially excited to tackle?
I think the show overall is a subject that can be really heavy. You know, it’s about a kid realizing he’s had a child [laughs] with someone who he isn’t with anymore and I think there are so many dramatic young teen mom stories out there. I love that we’re taking that storyline that is so popular right now and also what so many people are relating to and putting some lightness to it, but at the same time without beating people over the head with this being a TV show about raising a baby.
You know, all the relationships are very real and I think you’re going to see some great stuff coming up in episodes with brotherly love, the brothers watching out for each other and family coming into town. You know, the brothers’ parents are divorced and their dad comes into town in one of the episodes. It just touches on family matters that I think everyone can relate to.
Great. And I have to ask you about Riley’s signature move: the headlock. Prior to this show how often would you say you encountered such a thing as a headlock?
[laughs] I have never been in a girl fight and I also am not a big sports player, [laughs] so it was pretty funny to be such a butch chick on the show. In real life, I’m a lover not a fighter. [laughs] It’s hilarious when they’re like, “oh, in this episode, Riley’s playing baseball and hitting homeruns” and I’m like, “uh, I did everything I could to get out of P.E., so I don’t even know how to hold a bat!”
So it’s definitely been challenging for me, but it’s been really fun to kind of be able to take on this tough chick that I never was in high school. I ran away from any sort of conflict.
Well, just to wrap things up, Riley and the whole crew definitely have their work cut out for them. So, if you could give Riley a piece of advice moving forward, what would it be?
I think I would tell her [laughs] to not be so blind to the fact that Danny is crazy for her. [laughs] But I think to just keep plugging along. I think they’re learning so many important life lessons so young and, you know, I’d tell her no matter how frustrated she gets with Ben to just stick around.
Baby Daddy airs Wednesdays at 8:30 PM on ABC Family.