When expectant Airdrie mom, Lindsey Ricioppo had gone into a friend's hair salon for a new hairstyle last May, she never imagined that her hair appointment would end up culminating in her yet-to-be-born twins appearing on one of the biggest hit T.V. series in years - The Last of Us.
The hair salon owner's mother who works at a talent agency, Platinum Talent Management Inc, was there that day and got to chatting with Ricioppo. Upon hearing that she was expecting twins very, very soon, an offer was made to her.
"She told me they were actually looking for twins for an upcoming TV series and [since] my due date was the beginning of May, she said if I was feeling up to it, and depending on when they were born to let her know."
On May 9, baby girl Mila and baby boy Luca Ricioppo came into the world, not knowing that in just three weeks' time, they would be visiting a film set. Ricioppo would drive into Calgary to the Calgary Film Centre and would be ushered into a trailer, which was adorned with the twins' names on it. After some time of enjoying life on set, it was time for the twins to get in front of the camera.
"The first day there, they were filming a scene where an actress had just given birth," she said. "So, I got to go behind the scenes, it was really cool! I was in the exact same room, watching everything happen right behind the cameraman."
Ricioppo couldn't delve into too many details on what the second day of shooting looked like, fearing it would spoil the series for everyone, but she did say that the twins are featured later on in the first season and they also make an appearance in the trailer. Their mom, who has watched it quite a few times over, said that the baby girl Mila can be seen at the 1:33 mark.
Though the twins didn't get to meet the two stars of the series Pedro Pascal, who plays Joe and Bella Ramsey who plays Ellie, little Mila was in fact held by actress Ashley Johnson, as seen in the trailer.
"Ashley Johnson actually voices Ellie in the video game. I think they wanted Ashley Johnson to have a part in the [T.V.] series and so it was a full circle moment, which was really cool. They basically have Ashley Johnson giving birth to a baby Ellie!"
Apart from the whirlwind two days of shooting there were also moments of levity and emotion. Ricioppo said that during one of the days when the twins were on set, she was speaking to an executive producer who told her that because the shooting of the series had gone on for nearly a year and because everyone was now so invested in not only the project, but the story and the characters themselves, filming the infant twins was quite heart-warming.
And since the twins were a mere three weeks, like any baby their age, they had moments when nature called and since diapers were not part of their costumes (though this isn't shown on film), things got slightly messy.
"The people that were holding them, they did get peed on, but honestly, they were super cool about it and said it was fair game," Riccioppo laughed.
Considering the series is set in a post-apocalyptic world with sets and costumes looking quite grungy, it seems there was no harm and no foul.
When asked if mom will one day show the twins their acting debut, she said she most definitely plans on showing them when they get a bit older.
"They're only eight months old right now, but I am going to let them watch this when they're a little bit older and just explain to them that was you when you were a baby and I think like they're just going to be amazed that later on in the future they can actually say they were part of it!"
Last weekend both parents sat down and watched the season premiere and agreed as so many critics have, the first episode was a hit.
The Last of Us debuted last Sunday on HBO platforms and amassed 4.7 million viewers, making it HBO's second-highest debut series.
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