Lifetime's '#PopFan' Is Definitely Not a Romantic Comedy, But Chelsea Kane Kept the Set Fun
What if the latest original Lifetime movie #PopFan had been a rom-com? Chelsea Kane and Nolan Gerard Funk star in the TV movie, which is definitely a psychological thriller, and is very different from most of the roles Kane and Funk have had in the past. Both actors can sing and dance, which for some reason usually lends itself to lighter fare than a dark, twisted stalker tale — but that's something Kane is aware of.
In a conference call with reporters, Kane explains, "when I first started reading the script, it was also originally called Lighthouse. So at the first 30 pages of the script, I’m like, 'Oh my god, this is so great. It’s gonna be a little romantic comedy and she’s going to meet the cute guy that works at the gas station' ... then all of a sudden when it turns into a crazed fan, I was like 'Oh my god, I did not see that coming.'"
Premiering on Aug. 23, it's like a modern day Misery with a gender reversal. Kane plays a bratty pop star who, while on a getaway in Maine, crashes her car during a storm. She's rescued by a seemingly upstanding, attractive young man, who takes her to a remote lighthouse. But since this is a Lifetime original movie, it turns out her rescuer is really a delusional, obsessive fan. Let the horror begin!
When you take a look at Kane and Funk's acting resumes, a romantic comedy seems like it would have been appropriate for these two. But appropriate is boring!
Currently on ABC Family's Baby Daddy, Kane's first regular TV role was opposite the Jonas Brothers on the Disney Channel series Jonas L.A.. And she provides the voice for Disney's animated TV show Fish Hooks. Yet, playing a self-centered pop star isn't really a stretch for this nice girl, as Kane showed in Bratz: The Movie. (Yeah, the one based off of those frightening dolls. You almost forgot that existed, didn't you?)
She also showed off her dancing skills in Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars with professional dancer Mark Ballas as her partner. Kane and Ballas made it to the finale of the show, but ended up going home third, after Kirstie Alley and footballer Hines Ward.
Cane's costar Funk is no stranger to getting his groove on either. In 2009, he was in the Nickelodeon musical Spectacular! and he was a Warbler — a member of the all-male glee club from Dalton Academy — on Glee. In addition to his TV work, Funk starred as the titular Conrad Birdie in the 2009 Broadway revival of Bye, Bye Birdie, opposite John Stamos and Gina Gershon. Although the production was not received well by critics, Funk at least got some positive reviews.
But just because his previous roles seem squeaky clean, doesn't mean that Funk isn't familiar with thrillers — he was in House at the End of the Street with Jennifer Lawrence — or with playing the bad guy.
So what was it like for Kane's character to be terrorized by Funk? Kane says, "We were kind of forced to get cozy real quick. And the scenes where I’m tied up on the bed, that was only like our second or third day of shooting. So, that was a real ice breaker."
The real question is: did they ever bring any of their singing and dancing talents to the set? Well, besides the pop star portions, the movie didn't really call for it, but Kane said she has behind-the-scenes videos of the pair. “There are some great moments where we’re in the top of the lighthouse and all of a sudden we're singing Selena songs. We were constantly singing and dancing around and he has such a great voice," she says.
Cane teases that she should put the videos of them goofing around up on her website. And I'm praying she does because the lighthouse definitely seems like a far less fun setting in the above photo. (Is that a dead body in that wheelbarrow?!?) After watching Funk torture her in #PopFan, we'll all deserve a little song and dance.