DLacey Chabert and Will Kemp have been doing a happy dance on the island country of Malta, thrilled to be filming a new mystery movie for Hallmark with a cast and crew full of professional dancers and a location surrounded by breathtaking views.
Written by Kemp and Aubrey Day, “The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango” is about detective Constance Bailey, played by Chabert, who must pretend she’s a contestant in a ballroom dance competition to investigate the murder of a high-profile CEO, according to ET Online. She hires a “charismatic and free-spirited performer,” played by Kemp, to train her so she can compete without looking suspicious.
This is the duo’s third Hallmark movie together, having co-starred in 2019’s “Love, Romance & Chocolate” and 2020’s “Christmas Waltz,” which also involved ballroom dancing. Chabert and Kemp teamed up to co-produce this new movie and it’s clear they enjoy working together, as they have shared fun social media photos and videos from the set throughout the 15-day shoot, revealing how well everyone worked together and how much they loved the location. Here’s what you need to know:
In addition to dancing, the cast and crew’s posts have revealed that there’s also a good amount of driving in “The Dancing Detective.” On March 11, 2023, Kemp shared an Instagram photo of him and Chabert in red and white motorcycle helmets, which they wore while shooting scenes riding cherry-red Vespa scooters, as seen in multiple posts from director Stefan Scaini.
In one post, Scaini wrote, “Am I allowed to have this much fun at work? Scooting through the streets of Birgu, Malta.”
In an Instagram video that he and Kemp posted on March 11, viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at how they filmed driving scenes along the coast, with Chabert in the passenger seat and a truck pulling their classic Hillman car on a chassis.
“Just another day at the office,” Kemp wrote on the post.
On March 15, the last day of filming, Kemp shared photos in his Instagram Stories of the classic red Hillman car they’d been driving, including one in which Chabert could be seen smiling in the rearview mirror.
But, being that the theme of the movie centers around ballroom dancing, there was plenty of choreography and training happening on-set, too. Jean-Marc Généreux served as choreographer, as he did on “A Christmas Waltz,” for which Chabert told TV Insider she trained at home for three weeks and then did nine days of training on-set, bruising her ribs and breaking a toe in the process.
This time around, Généreux was effusive in his Twitter posts about how much he loves working with Chabert and Kemp, who is an accomplished dancer who grew up attending some of the top ballet schools in England, according to Hallmark, and even starred in “Swan Lake” on Broadway.
On March 2, Généreux tweeted, “Working with @IamLaceyChabert & @IamWillKemp …it’s so much fun ! The cast is great, Malta…just gorgeous. Can’t wait for you guys to see it ! Thanks @hallmarkmovie”
Chabert also gave a shout-out to the team who helped her become a dancing queen the last several weeks, sharing an Instagram photo with them on March 8.
She wrote, “Huge thank you to the amazing choreography team for #TheDancingDetective. @jmgenereux @cmillettedancer & @brendaleegrech Not only are you all the most talented, but you’re also the most kind. The past two weeks of dancing and laughing with you have been the best!”
One of the dancers in the photo, Christian Millette, replied, “Thank you so much ! It is such a pleasure working with you. Hopefully not the last time 🥰🤩”
Hallmark Cast & Crew Fell in Love With Malta
The filming location wound up stealing the show, providing the crew with picturesque backdrops at every turn. According to the BBC, Malta is located south of the Italian island Sicily, between Europe and North Africa, and has a storied 7,000 year history, occupied across its history by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, the Knights of Malta, and Britain. It achieved independence from Britain in 1964 and has a population of over 500,000 in 2023.
During the “Dancing Detective” shoot, cast and crew members shared beautiful images and videos of the island. When production took a day off on March 12, Kemp shared photos in his Instagram Stories of his sightseeing adventures with Chabert and the film’s other producers, checking out the beach, old churches, the Blue Grotto sea caves, and the 5,000-year-old Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, a prehistoric underground burial complex.
As they wrap filming after their 15-day shoot, which is customary on Hallmark movies, the cast and crew have been posting messages of gratitude on social media.
Diego Wallraff, one of the dancers in the film, posted that he is “in deep gratitude for this special experience. When he shared his thanks to his Instagram Stories, Kemp reshared it and wrote, “Loved working with you!!”
On March 15, Chabert posted two videos in her Instagram Stories just before she and a Kemp were about to film their last scene.
“It’s been so much fun,” she said, panning the camera to show multiple crew members as Kemp said, “Come in, everybody! It takes a village!”
Chabert agreed, “It takes an actual village, we love our village. Thank you, everybody.”
Chabert also posted a selfie video with Scaini, who jokingly slid down the wall as if he was melting from her kindness as she said, “Wonderful director. Wonderful director. Most wonderful!”
Hallmark has not announced a premiere date for “The Dancing Detective,” but based on typical turnarounds for the network, it will likely be ready to air by late spring.