Lifetime’s The Bad Orphan: Filming and Cast Details Explored

Lifetime’s ‘The Bad Orphan’ focuses on a happily married couple — Jessica and Karl — who live in peace and harmony with their daughter, Rhiannon. However, the dynamics in the family are about to shift for the worse with the introduction of another family member. As Jessica and Karl decide to adopt an 8-year-old orphan named Gabby, who has special needs and battles with her own personal challenges, little do they know that they are bringing danger home. Soon, when Gabby begins to showcase her true self, the family learns that she is a troubled and troublesome girl.

The situation at Jessica and Karl’s home only worsens with time as the adopted orphan’s lies and deceit are brought to light. Helmed by Michelle Ouellet, the psychological drama film has a tendency to send chills down the viewers’ spine while also keeping them on the edge of their seats. Most of the story unfolds in the couple’s household and the school Gabby attends, leaving room for questions regarding the actual locations in the viewers’ minds.

Where Was The Bad Orphan Filmed?

‘The Bad Orphan’ was shot in its entirety in Alberta, especially in Calgary. Principal photography for the thriller reportedly got underway in March 2024 and continued for several weeks before getting wrapped up in April of the same year. One of the cast members, Chloe Chapman, found the shooting schedule particularly challenging as she had to juggle school work in between sets. She told Explore Clarion, “While I was on set, I did school as much as I could because they provided a tutor. I got in a routine pretty much as soon as I got there, so the change was not too bad. Although, it was weird being far from home for such a long period of time.”

Calgary, Alberta

In the Canadian province of Alberta, the production team of ‘The Bad Orphan’ set up camp in the city of Calgary, located at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River. Taking over the Stampede City, the cast and crew members turned various streets and neighborhoods into film sets and lensed several pivotal sequences against suitable backdrops. In a conversation with KGET, Chloe Chapman also revealed, “I had an acting coach on set. He helped me get to the darker places. It was really hard because it was my first ever thing.”

She elaborated, “It wasn’t natural because I had to find the dark place to get into for a few of the scenes. There are a few scenes that are very intense, and you have to get into the moment. Gabby isn’t a character who has a lot of happy places, unfortunately.” Her conviction to the role and the way she performed her character despite her inexperience was praised by her co-stars. While most of the scenes appear to have been shot in and around actual establishments, a few indoor scenes were likely taped in a sound stage of one of the film studios situated in Calgary.

The Bad Orphan Cast

Michigan native Betsy Brandt portrays Jessica in ‘The Bad Orphan.’ Best known for her role as Marie Schrader in the Emmy Award-winning show ‘Breaking Bad,’ she also has various other movies and shows under her name. Once she broke into the scene, she bagged significant roles in ‘The Michael J. Fox Show,’ ‘Life in Pieces,’ ‘Love, Victor,’ and ‘Saint X.’ Movies like ‘Claire in Motion,’ ‘Members Only,’ ‘We the Coyotes,’ ‘Killing Eleanor,’ and ‘The Housewives of the North Pole‘ also feature her in pivotal roles. Chloe Chapman essays the role of Gabby in the Lifetime film.

Although Chloe did not have any experience acting, she used her experience as a director to do justice to her portrayal of Gabby. Moreover, Mark Taylor and Eve Edwards feature as Karl and Rhiannon, respectively. Besides them, various other talented actors feature in supporting roles, including Linda Kee as Charlotte Watson, Ivan Cermak as Oliver, Samantha Grant as Elaine Palmer, Brian Martell as Fire Chief Thorpe, Cliff Liknes as Paul, Ben Wong as Dr. Tyrell, and Bernadette Janssen as Diane Ackers.

Read More: Lifetime’s You Can’t Take My Daughter: Filming Locations and Cast