Why Hallmark's Will Kemp Was Perfectly Prepared To Play A Dancing Detective

Art imitates life in the case of Hallmark star Will Kemp. In two of the Hallmark movies he has starred in — both with Lacey Chabert — he has played a dancer, and he has real-life dance experience as well. Kemp started ballet classes when he was nine years old. When he was older, he took classes at the Royal Ballet School in London. During his career as a professional dancer, Kemp danced in Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake" on Broadway and on the West End.

​When Kemp got the leading man role in Hallmark's "The Christmas Waltz," he had to learn a new kind of dance — ballroom dancing. In an interview with the Golden Globes, Kemp said, "... I guess I went into this movie with an advantage ..." due to his ballet experience, but there was still a learning curve switching genres. He and his co-star Chabert had 10 days to learn the choreography for "The Christmas Waltz." Since that first foray into ballroom dancing, the two of them have also starred in the Hallmark flick "The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango," where their characters must dance and catch a killer.

Kemp also co-created 'The Dancing Detective' movie

Will Kemp and Lacey Chabert are executive producers on "The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango" as well as lead actors. In the film, Chabert plays Constance Bailey, a detective who needs to learn to ballroom dance for an undercover mission at a dance competition in Malta. Kemp plays Sebastian Moore, a dancer who becomes her ballroom dancing (and murder-solving) partner for the case. Kemp enjoyed playing the role of the fun-loving Sebastian, but acting and producing is not all he did for the movie. Kemp also co-created "The Dancing Detective."

" ... I was so involved in this from the beginning so I was incredibly attached and very passionate about it," he told Digital Journal. "[Screenwriter Aubrey Day] tailored this role for me." He also said he believes viewers will really enjoy the romance between Constance and Sebastian, and that there are some homages to the iconic Fred Astaire in the dance sequences.

Kemp and Chabert are a dancing dream team

When discussing the new kinds of moves that they had to learn for "The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango," Will Kemp described how the tango works well with the mood of the movie. "... the tango lends itself brilliantly to sort of the drama and the sort of suspense of the mystery," he said in a YouTube interview with his co-star Lacey Chabert and interviewer Bonnie Laufer. He also said how it was great working with Chabert again, and that Chabert was "... the obvious missing link" they needed to get the movie made.

Kemp and Chabert worked with the same choreographer from "The Christmas Waltz" on this film. They had to learn new styles of dance — the tango and the foxtrot — for "The Dancing Detective." Chabert sang Kemp's praises as a dance partner, actor, and producer to Laufer, and she talked about how excited she was when he asked her to be in the movie with him.

You can catch "The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango" on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.