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Tori Spelling Pushed Through a Stomach Flu to Remake Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?

Lifetime, Sony Pictures Television And Vulture Host Screening Of James Franco's Revamped Version Of
Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images

Months ago, we announced that James Franco was remaking Lifetime’s 1996 movie-of-the-week masterpiece, Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? in honor of the film’s 20th anniversary. Last night, Vulture got a first look at the film, and Franco’s reimagining didn’t disappoint. As reported before, Franco’s revamp (they lean heavily on the pun) includes some pretty serious plot changes, like swapping out Ivan Sergei’s dangerous boyfriend character for a bloodsucking girlfriend and making the whole thing a lesbian-vampire love affair.

Without giving too much away, we can assure you that the new Mother, May I has everything you look for in a Franco-led Lifetime thriller remake, including but not limited to a masked Halloween party, sex in a graveyard, a spurned lover out for revenge, and, of course, lots of lesbian vampires. There’s also a surprising amount of blood and gore, especially for something on Lifetime. But it turns out there was some nearly as stomach-churning stuff happening behind the scenes, too.

In a panel with the cast, director Melanie Aitkenhead, and executive producer Franco, original cast member Tori Spelling — who played the naive daughter in the original and the somewhat homophobic but caring mother in Franco’s remake — explained that when she wasn’t shooting scenes, she was puking backstage. “My kids had the stomach flu, all four of them,” Spelling said. “We did rehearsal and then all of a sudden it hit me and I was like, oh my God, I feel like I’m gonna puke. I was like no, don’t let this happen, not now … I walked back and was like, find a bathroom, find a bathroom, and I looked up and behind the camera were James [Franco] and Melanie [Aitkenhead] and they were all sitting there, and I just bent down and started puking.”

Luckily, the flu passed quickly, and Spelling was able to put the experience in perspective. “I tried to make a joke like, ‘Remember that time I got to do a movie with James Franco and projectile vomited all over the place?’” Spelling said. Then she turned to Franco: “You laughed, right?” “Yeah,” Franco said. “I laughed.”

Tori Spelling on Remaking Mother, May I