In every conceivable way, Lifetime’s A Deadly Adoption is unlike any film previously released by the network. Not only does it star A-list comedians Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig, but until it premiered, nearly every detail had to be kept under wraps — something co-star Jessica Lowndes admits she found challenging.
“I’m just happy to finally be able to talk about it,” she tells TVLine of the movie, which filmed this past fall but didn’t premiere until this past weekend.
Below, Lowndes reflects on the whole Deadly Adoption experience, from her intimate scenes with Ferrell (“I’m making out with Elf!”) to her fight sequence with “girl crush” Wiig. Plus, is there any hope for a sequel?
TVLINE | Being familiar with your previous work, I have to imagine this part was written for you. Did you even have to audition?
No, I just got an offer! Will and Kristen had seen some of the work I’d done in the past. When I initially got it, I thought I was being Punk’d; I was expecting Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the closet or something. I didn’t know what was happening. But given the work I’ve done, it’s clear I respond well to these hyper-charged, over-the-top, melodramatic scenes, which were so much fun. The only way to really do them right is to play them 100-percent straight, which I did, and to get the opportunity to do that with two of my favorite actors in the entire world was a dream come true. I got to make out with Will Ferrell and hang out with Kristen Wiig!
TVLINE | What was that first day like for you?
It was incredible. “Surreal” is a really good word to sum up this entire experience. Will was an absolute sweetheart, and I was really surprised to see how determined he was to be as real and serious as possible in these moments. With anything comedic, the more an actor cares about something, the funnier it appears to be — even though it wasn’t intended to be a comedy.
TVLINE | But I’m sure there was lots of laughing on set. Were any specific scenes particularly difficult to get through?
[Laughs] Oh, there were quite a few. I definitely couldn’t keep a straight face when he called me a strange girl. Then during the flashback, when I was Joni and we were under that rain machine, I just kept thinking, “Wow, I’m making out with Elf.” And Kristen Wiig is my girl crush. I’m obsessed with her and she’s one of my role models, so to be able to be across from her on screen was a dream come true. It was so cool.
TVLINE | You did more than just sit across from her.
I know, we got into a girl fight! It was amazing with the double-strangle action, then me falling into the box of kale and organic vegetables. It was epic. That scene was all us, too! [No stunt doubles.]
TVLINE | And I’m sure it was easier to fight without the fake baby bump. Did that thing give you 90210 flashbacks?
[Laughs] A little bit. It was a different kind of baby bump than when I did 90210, but it was fun and cool. They wanted me to play her as sweet as possible, like even change up my voice at the beginning. Then, after the little girl walks in on me, I go full bunny-boiler.
TVLINE | This movie was pretty top-secret. Was it hard keeping quiet for so long?
Secret movies are definitely hard, especially when you’re doing something as cool and over-the-top as this. We shot it in the fall and I had to not say a word until now. The first time I actually saw it was on Saturday when it premiered. I got to watch it with a huge group of people, and I loved that; they didn’t know whether they should laugh or be scared, and in some moments, they were totally sucked in and silent. We accomplished what we meant to accomplish.
TVLINE | There was a brief time when it looked like the movie was going to be scrapped altogether. How did you respond to that?
I didn’t know what was going on. I woke up to a bunch of congratulatory e-mails, and a couple hours later, those same people e-mailed me back and were like, “I’m so sorry to hear about your movie.” It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, but I knew it would come out. It was too good not to.
TVLINE | There’s a rule on TV: No one is dead until we see the body. In your mind, what are the chances ‘Bridget’ survived that fall? Because I really want a sequel.
I mean… Will’s character and the little girl definitely survived the fall, and that’s all I can say. You don’t know really know what happened to [Bridget].
TVLINE | OK, but has there been any talk about a sequel, even jokingly? I wasn’t kidding, I need this to happen.
Honestly, throughout the whole process, I never really knew what was happening because of my non-disclosure. I’m just happy to finally be able to talk about it.
Your thoughts on A Deadly Adoption, given Lowndes’ new insight? Drop ’em in a comment below.