Kalen Bull on ‘Her Boyfriend’s Deadly Secret’

Courtesy of Lifetime
Photo Credit: Ben Cope

At just 19 years old, Kalen Bull has proven she is one to watch! Kalen stars as the lead role of Sadie in Her Boyfriend’s Deadly Secret. This project is Kalen’s third leading role with Lifetime within the past year. She also appeared in lead roles for the movies The Wrong Cheerleader and Dying to Be A Cheerleader. 

Synopsis: When a high school student starts dating a rebellious boy from a different school, she quickly finds herself in the crosshairs of someone trying to break them up…or hide a dangerous secret.

Check out my interview with Kalen!

How does it feel that it’s out and people got to see it?

Kalen: It feels really weird. Like, I know at the end of the day that’s the goal, you know, for people to watch it and for it to be visible, but it feels super weird because now I know that other people know the storyline and all the weird things that I did. It kind of freaks me out, like I lay in bed at night and I’m like, yeah, I made a movie, but then I’m like people on the other side of the world know my face, and I don’t even know them, and it kind of freaks me out.

That’s interesting, so what inspired you to become an actress?

Kalen: Growing up, everybody told me I wasn’t a dancer, I was a performer, and I thought that was really hurtful and insulting. But now that, obviously, I’m in this industry, it makes sense. I was just always meant to be an entertainer, I was just doing it wrong. But it took my mom bribing me with $5 to take an acting class for me to realize that. And then I fell into it and I was like, ‘this is where I belong.’ 

Did you start out as a dancer?

Kalen: I did, yeah. I think I was 13 years old when I injured my hip and needed surgery. My mom was like, ‘get off the couch, I’ll pay you $5 to take an acting class. You just need to sit, you don’t need to walk.’ 

What attracted you to Her Boyfriend’s Deadly Secret?

Kalen: I read the script and I just thought Sadie was so nice. I mean, extremely naive, in a way, but just so nice and caring and like willing to literally die for the people she cares about. And oh my god, it’s such a nice change of pace, because I usually play the mean girl and it makes me sad. So she just had so many great qualities. And I was like, ‘yes, I would love to be you for a short period of time. Absolutely!’

Because you are used to playing the mean girl, did you approach Sadie any differently?

Kalen: Whenever I play any role, regardless, you’re usually told to play it as yourself in that position. So I approached it the same way, I just got to say nicer things, which was great.

Courtesy of Lifetime
What was it like working with Carter (Glade) and Anthony (Carro)?

Kalen: It was a ton of fun. Carter has a ton of energy, like really early in the morning and I don’t know how he does it because I’m on three energy drinks by 10am. So he’s a lot to handle in the early mornings, but in a good way. And then Anthony is just really fun, he’s like a golden retriever, being really loyal and caring and sometimes he’s just too nice. Like, you can’t even bully him and say something mean. He’d just look at me, I’m like, ‘oh great, you broke my heart now I feel bad.’

I love that golden retriever description!

Kalen: He really is! 

Did you have to work with him to get your chemistry, or was it more natural?

Kalen: It was really natural. Our director, Brooke Nevin, had me zoom two nights back-to-back and so my first night was with Carter and the second night was with Anthony. And immediately through that zoom, Brooke was like, ‘there’s chemistry, I like it.’ And we met up early before our first day on set because I accidentally got there at 4am and I didn’t need to be there for another two hours, so we got to hang out for a little bit, which was really nice. And it was super natural. Yeah, he’s like, ‘what’s wrong with you?’ And I’m like, ‘listen, I just drove fast, I’m sorry. I thought there’d be traffic.’

At least you weren’t late that day, lol.

Kalen: Exactly. That was my fear. I couldn’t sleep.

With Halloween being right around the corner, where do you think this film stands in spooky season?

Kalen: I think it blends right in. I love describing it as the type of film that makes you want to close your blinds and look over your shoulder repeatedly, because that’s how I feel sometimes after I watch it.

Oh, for sure. I definitely got that vibe throughout.

Kalen: I’m glad! That’s what we wanted.

Did you have a favorite moment of filming like a favorite scene or anything like that?

Kalen: I think my favorite thing to film was on the beach with Anthony. There’s a cute little montage, I think it’s the first date montage, that was a ton of fun and there’s a clip in there of when I found the seashell and I got super super excited. What they didn’t show you was, right after that I ran up to Anthony. He looked at the seashell I got and he was as like, ‘well, that’s so cool,’ and he threw it in the ocean! It broke my heart so I threw him in the ocean. In the montage, when my legs are wrapped around him and we’re spinning, that was because he picked me up like he was going to body slam me into the ocean. But he’s much nicer than me so he didn’t. It was a lot of fun. It’s so cute to watch, but I was full of terror.

Well, it looks really romantic and adorable on screen.

Kalen: Like he grabbed and he wrapped a towel around me and pulled me into him and I think that’s the beginning of the montage, but he looked at me, he was like, ‘I hate you, really? The seashell?’ and I’m like, ‘yes, the shell!’ but there’s no dialogue, you can’t tell that we’re really saying that we hate each other.

I love that. Were there any scenes or moments that were particularly challenging?

Kalen: Yes, the scene where I’m tied up in the back of the trunk. It was really hard because I think we only had like 20 minutes to get that scene, it was the very last shot of the day. It was cold, we filmed in the middle of December, so was freezing and I’m in a tank top. It was really hard because my wrists were bound, but, in film, you can’t really tie up someone’s wrists and throw them in the trunk, so I had to hold it, but I also have to do that little coughing thing and pull out a knife from my jacket pocket. You can’t do that when your wrists are tied. And so, that scene took a lot, it was really hard. And poor other Anthony, who played the henchmen, he was just sitting there while I was trying to figure out how to stab him. But we got it eventually.

You said you filmed this in December, was this before COVID or during COVID?

Kalen: It was during, it was like right in the peak of it, when everybody decided that everyone at home needed to be watching something and the industry just booted right back up.

Courtesy of Lifetime
What was it like filming with all of that? Were there a lot of protocols you had to follow?

Kalen: There were. It was definitely really confusing to deal with that first. I think we COVID tested every two to three days and then we had to test two to three days before our first day of filming as well. And then on top of that, everybody has to wear masks on set at all times unless they’re on camera, we had a shield so we don’t mess up our makeup. But even then, the AD was like, ‘you have to stay by yourself in your own holding or your own trailer. You can’t be within six feet of each other.’ But on the first day, we were like, ‘hey, can we sit together and eat lunch?’ and I was like, ‘hey, I kiss two of the people in this room, like I don’t think it gets closer than that. Can we just sit and eat together?’ So that’s how we kind of tackled that. After that, everyone really got the hang of it, except our director, who wore two face masks and a face shield. We just couldn’t hear her ever. It was just guessing constantly but we made it fun.

Kind of like a game?

Kalen: I was! It was like, ‘did you hear her? No? Ok, everybody do it the exact same way, that way she can’t just get mad at one person,’ and then she would eventually repeat it and we’d get it. 

What was one thing that you were really excited for people to see when they watched the movie?

Kalen: I was excited for them to watch the Sadie/Gavin love story because that’s the only one you really got to see work out from start to finish. She’s already dating Jack when the film starts and so I think that it was really beautiful to just watch the whole process. We did have a first kiss scene that ended up getting cut, which kind of made me sad because it was really cute and wholesome, but you saw everything else.

I love that. Hopefully, some deleted scenes will come out soon.

Kalen: Hopefully! There was a fair amount that I thought were very good, but granted, this was a very long film for television. I think we were sitting at 120 pages, and they’re usually 85 to 90. 

What’s up next for you?

Kalen: Right now, I’m up for a film, but I don’t think I can say too much about it because they’re heading into pre-production pretty soon. But I’m just back to the auditioning game. That’s the fun chaos of this job. And I’m doing some projects with my friends and I’ve been writing some things. So there’s a feature in the works for next year, actually two features now that I think about it, but they’re both feature films. One’s an anthology kind of horror and I think our inspiration for that was Pulp Fiction style, and the other one is along the Cheer lines. That one has a lot more depth to it. I’m excited to tackle both of those as soon as possible.

Is there anything else that you’d like to add about Her Boyfriend’s Deadly Secret?

Kalen: Well you can currently catch it running on Lifetime. You can rent it, I believe for like $3 or $4 on YouTube, and it’s also on Hulu now if you have the live TV upgrades.

Courtesy of Lifetime