Not since Friends has a sitcom had this writer rolling on the floor with laughter, well, at least until the hit ABC Family comedy, Baby Daddy came on the air. The series follows the Wheeler family and their journey in helping Ben Wheeler raise his baby daughter after her mother left her at Ben's front door with a note. The series has it all, romance, comedy, drama and one heck of a gorgeous cast.
We got the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with Jean-Luc Bilodeau, who plays Ben, on the hilarious series and here is what we found out:
Moderator: Has your character, Ben, being a father, affected your opinion at all about wanting to have kids in the future?
Jean-Luc: Yes, definitely. I’ve wanted to have a big family so this drove it into my head that it’s not an easy process like I thought it would be. I’m just one of two, so, my family is pretty small and when I think of family life, I’m just used to having one other sibling around. My parents didn’t have too hard of a job raising us, but I’ve always wanted to have a big group, a little army of children [laughs].
So, just raising one child on the show, it’s difficult even though I don’t have to do any of the hard work like change diapers or calm them down really. I just get them when they’re happy and then when they’re not, we just change them out for the other twin. It’s still difficult, and it’s fun, but I’m still very interested in having a big family one day.
Moderator: Do you think people keep watching the show over the years is because it’s really funny or because they want to see whether Ben and Riley get together?
Jean-Luc: I think people fall into a routine. Our show is funny and I think that’s what brings most of our viewers. They want to see where this love triangle ends up. They want to see how my relationship with Emma grows and how our relationship changes over time as she gets older and I become more mature.
So, I just think it’s a routine. I feel like for the same reason people watch Friends. You tuned in every week not because you necessarily needed to see where the storyline was going, but you just wanted to laugh a little bit for half an hour and watch people you enjoy and watch likable, happy people. I think our show is very happy, and people like to see that. It’s easy to turn it on every Wednesday and laugh a little bit.
Moderator: What do you think about Riley’s decision?
Jean-Luc: You know what? She’s got to pick someone. You know what I mean? [Laughs]. She’s got to get some decisions made here because it’s getting to the point where I think fans start turning on her because she’s played with Ben and Danny’s feelings a little bit. It’s not her fault. She likes who she likes and she loves who she loves, but I think that whoever she chooses it should be soon, and I’m glad she’s choosing someone. The character she doesn’t choose will leave him up to some future and fun storylines of dating and kind of separating himself from the love triangle. So, I’m excited to see what happens in this coming season for sure.
Moderator: Are you team Ben or team Danny?
Jean-Luc: I’m team Ben 100% and I used to say I was team Danny, but I’m growing and maturing with the character as well. As Ben has gotten older, he’s making wiser decisions and he’s turning into a good man, and I think Ben deserves a great girl like Riley and I think that she’s the perfect mom figure for Emma and she would definitely step up to the plate.
So, I think Ben deserves Riley. I obviously have a more emotional connection with Ben than I do Danny. I just think he’s got a good head on his shoulders. He doesn’t play professional hockey, but he works at a bar and makes good tips. He’s a good guy. I’m definitely team Ben.
Moderator: Do you have Ben’s bartending skills?
Jean-Luc: Yes, I do. No [laughs]. Well, for the show, they got me a Flair Bartending coach. So, I had to learn all those crazy moves you see in the show. And I practice once in a while in some of my free time. It’s actually really fun. I would love to actually go and bartend somewhere just for the weekend or something and do some cross promotion with Baby Daddy. I think it would be cool.
It’s interesting to me. I don’t know how to do many drinks. I’m not good with mixology, but I can definitely throw the bottles around. So, I can make a killer vodka soda because it’s two ingredients [laughs].
Moderator: So, what it was like to work with the guest stars on Baby Daddy and what do you think they added to the season?
Jean-Luc: Reba McEntire is probably one of the sweetest, professional, cool, all-around amazing woman. She’s a sensation. She’s a superstar and she’s friends with Melissa. So, we had an in there.
When she got to set, it was just incredible how normal she is. It was a very pleasant surprise working with such a huge superstar and she turns out to be this really great girl. I think she’s funny. She was hilarious on Reba and she brought that same kind of twang to Baby Daddy. It’s good for the show and for our viewers. She’s a great person to work with and made the week of work really awesome.
Any character that we have is great for the actual show on TV, but it’s nice to work with people you like. Eddie Cibrian was a very, very sweet man and working with him on a few episodes was really cool too.
It’s always fun adding another person to the mix. Peter Porte will be back again this season. He’s amazing and our cast loves him. We’ve been very blessed with very cool, nice, respectful and professional guest stars and people. So, it’s been great.
Moderator: Are there any guest stars in particular you enjoy collaborating with?
Jean-Luc: Peter Porte is brilliant. I love Eddie and Reba, but they were only in for a few episodes. Peter is becoming almost like a series regular—being in almost every episode. He’s a new guy, he’s really great and he’s hilarious.
Whenever I get scenes with him, they’re going to be great because he can hold the weight really well of a show going into its fifth season. I definitely like scenes with Peter for sure.
Moderator: Would you support a relationship between Bonnie and Tucker?
Jean-Luc: No, I wouldn’t. It’s funny, but it’s also just— it’s funny. I get it. We’re making a funny show, but comedy stems from reality. Looking at the situation in real life, if I were to see my best friend dating my mom, I don’t think it would be appropriate or cool at all [laughs].
It’s funny to think about and they’ve got that weird, sexual relationship chemistry sometimes. It’s funny because it’s short. If they were actually together, that would be the season where we completely jump the shark because that is just so abstract. It’s funny, but I don’t want to see it, no [laughs].
Moderator: What is it like to film in front of a live studio audience?
Jean-Luc: I love it. Our first episode of season one, I didn’t know how I was going to complete the season. The actual night was perfect, but leading up to that Friday night was so nerve-wracking. I didn’t know how I was going do it because I never did theater as a kid. I did one play which was Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and that was in front of around 150 people.
I never really worked in front of a live audience so I was nervous. Going into season five, I’m more nervous walking onto a set where there isn’t a live audience laughing at my jokes. The silence terrifies me [laughs]. I’m now used to getting that instant gratification. When a joke lands and works, I’ve got 200 people laughing at it. You know what I mean?
Now, it’s reverse for me. Whenever I go onto a set where there isn’t laughter and there isn’t a loud audience, I shutdown. It takes me a while to get back into it. I love it. If we didn’t have a live audience, my job would be much more low key and boring. But, man oh man, that Friday night makes it all the better.
Moderator: What’s it like generally to be on set?
Jean-Luc: It’s awesome. We rehearse three days a week, Monday through Wednesday. It’s a very relaxed environment. We come in to work in whatever we want, wearing sweatpants and sneakers. It doesn’t matter. We’re not required to look a certain way. We just have fun all day.
We get to play with the script, tell some jokes and we love the people we work with. Our crew is amazing, and it’s a fun little environment. I didn’t know what multi-cam was before I got here and I didn’t realize how amazing it is. That’s why they say this is the best job for actors because we get to rehearse; we get to play around with our work, and then we get to perform it and that’s the actor’s medium -- performing in front of a live audience. So, it’s amazing. The whole thing is incredible and I’m so fortunate to be here for sure.
Moderator: Is there anything that you haven’t had a chance to do on the show that you’d want to do?
Jean-Luc: That’s a really good question. I haven’t really thought about it. I think that the writers have a really good way of surprising us with different storylines and different episode points, with the dancing stuff or if its singing or what have you. I don’t think I want to do it until it’s in the script. I’m like, “Oh, this is going to be fun.”
I’ve got the Flair Bartending stuff. I’ve done a lot of funny dancing things. Generally, I’d love to do more physical comedy. I always enjoy that the most, when Ben can just walk in like Kramer and freak out a little bit. I love that kind of stuff. I love falling. Prat-falling is always fun. I just love the physical comedy [laughs].
Maybe we can write some more of that stuff in. I’d definitely enjoy that. But honestly, we’ve covered a lot of bases and now it’s just let’s just have some fun and we’ll just see where this next season takes us.
Moderator: What was it like auditioning for Baby Daddy?
Jean-Luc: It was tiresome. It was like any other audition process really. We had to pre-read with the casting director and our executive producer. Then from that point on, we knew that I was going to test for it and testing is always a really nerve-wracking long process. The next step is to test in front of the ABC Family network which is a lot of people. There’s a lot of tiers you have to get past.
A lot of coaching, as well. I did a lot of acting coaching with my coach, Stan Kirsch, and we just did a lot of prep. It probably took about eight days in between the first audition and me getting the call that I booked the job.
So, that whole week you’re a little stressed; your nerves are a little higher, and you’re just working hard at making sure every choice you make in that audition room is perfect and you’ve got every line down and you’re able to throw the script away and perform and just be ready to take whatever gets thrown at you.
It was fun though. Actually, the director session with Michael Lembeck was probably the scariest hour and 20 mints of my life. If you don’t know his personality, then you’re going to be super terrified of him, but he’s just a sweet man when you get to know him. It’s just at first, when he gives you a “No,” he walks right up to your face. You’re only about an inch away from his face and he tells you a “No” and he speaks real quietly to you. It’s really, really scary because the minute you mess up again, he’s right there again. He’s giving you the same, “No.” He’s going, “No. Do it again. You’re not doing it.”
So, it was really scary to audition for him, but Dan, our executive producer said, “Just listen to every single thing Michael Lembeck tells you to do and you will book this part.” So, I tried to do that and I booked it. Overall, it was fine, but it’s a very stressful week and I’ve been in that situation a couple of times. It doesn’t get any better. It’s always nerve-wracking. I’m just glad I pulled through and booked it.
Moderator: If you could be on any other ABC Family show, which would you want it to be and why?
Jean-Luc: I know the girls from PLL since I’m friends with Lucy, so I would say Pretty Little Liars just to play around with some friends, but it’s always nice to be part of the new generation of a network and ABC Family is doing a really interesting change. I’d love to be part of that curve and jump on one of their new shows and be a guest star. That would be cool. Stitchers looks pretty cool.
Moderator: Who is the most hilarious out of your whole cast?
Jean-Luc: Tahj Mowry. He’s just funny. He’s such a sweet kid. He’s always happy. He’s never in a bad mood. Even when he’s in a bad mood, you can just give him a smile and he’ll smile back and laugh at you. He’s just a good guy and he’s funny. I don’t know what makes him so funny. It’s just his personality. He’s so brutally honest it’s awesome.
I’m very close to Tahj. He’s an amazing kid. He makes me laugh all day long -- he’s just one of those people and he’s great. They’re all funny. Melissa can crack the entire set up all day long because she’s just like a stand-up show 24/7, but, yes, they’re all great and funny.
Moderator: Do you hang out with any of them off set?
Jean-Luc: Yes. We get together every once in a while. I probably see Chelsea more than anyone -- she’s my little travel buddy. We go on trips together all the time and she’s easy to hang out with.
I would say I see Tahj probably the second most just because he lives near me. We go to the same bars and restaurants a lot. It’s a little harder with Melissa because she’s got a family but, yes, we all try to get together.
Moderator: What should we look forward to this season of Baby Daddy?
Jean-Luc: A lot of people are looking forward to see what happens with the love triangle for sure. There’s definitely some advances taken by our good old Chelsea Kane, Riley. She’s narrowing down her search between the two boys and I think people are really interested to see what’s going to happen with that.
Our show is day-to-day. It’s like Seinfeld where it’s really about nothing. It’s about this family who lives together and fights and loves together and raises a kid. What we’ve been doing for the last four seasons is just making funny jokes, telling true stories and showing great relationships and chemistry on screen.
It’s going to be another funny season. Like I said, there’s going to be a huge turn in the love triangle. Emma is still alive, which is good. She’s growing up and getting older which is fun to see that transition and watch her mature along with her father, Ben. So, it’s still Baby Daddy [laughs].