Calgary twins featured on the season finale of HBO’s The Last of Us
The now 10-month-old twins were three weeks old at the time
Lindsey Ricioppo with her newborn twins during the filming of the HBO series The Last of Us. // Submitted
They’re only 10 months old now but these Calgary twin babies had their eight minutes of fame appearing in the season finale of the HBO series The Last of Us.
It was an opportunity that happened by chance for mom Lindsey Ricioppo, whose twins were just three weeks old at the time of the episode’s filming last May.
Various parts of Calgary and Alberta were used during filming of the video-game based hit series, which made the experience possible for the Ricioppo family.
“It was totally a fluke situation. I’m not one of those moms to say ‘Let’s get my kids into film at three weeks old,’” Ricioppo says, adding it was her hairdresser’s mom who alerted her to the idea.
A chance encounter
Her hairdresser’s mom owns a talent agency and she happened to be at the salon at the same time as Ricioppo, who was eight months pregnant at the time.
“We were just chatting, and obviously I was very pregnant at that point and I said I was having twins,” Ricioppo explains.
“And she’s like, ‘Oh, funny story. We’re actually looking for twins for this upcoming TV series.”
The twins were chosen to appear in the show thanks to good timing. // Submitted
The stars aligned
Somehow the timing and the stars aligned for Ricioppo who delivered her babies—a boy and a girl—in May, and Ricioppo reached out to let them know.
Ricioppo submitted their photos and they ended up choosing her kid to play the role of Ellie when she was a newborn in flashback scenes.
“Everything kind of worked out perfectly. It was just honestly the perfect timing and everything lined up perfectly because they were looking for newborns and they needed them for the very end of May.”
A surreal experience
It was a surreal experience for Ricioppo, who had never been on a TV and film production set before.
“It was honestly one of the coolest experiences ever. We got there and everybody that we came into contact with was so nice, they treated us like royalty.”
The babies even had their own trailer.
The twins’ scenes were filmed at the Calgary Film Centre over two days.
“I was right on set and I got to be right behind the cameraman and they made sure I was a foot away from the babies at all times,” she says, adding it’s rewarding to watch the scenes later knowing what went into the filming.
The twins even had their own movie trailer. // Submitted
The viewing party
Ricioppo and her family hosted a viewing party on Sunday for the season finale of the show.
“I was saying to everybody that we had over that I was literally right behind the cameraman, right in that room.
“It was honestly so cool, and it’s very different seeing it happening in real time versus when it’s all edited in with the music and everything.”
The trio met the series’ director, producer, and Ashley Johnson, who voices Ellie in the actual video game.
Ricioppo and the viewing party were pleasantly surprised to see how much air time the twins got. She says it was a surreal experience to watch her babies on the screen.
“I couldn't believe it. I assumed that they’d only have like a little 30-second snippet but it was a solid seven or eight minutes I’d say. That was amazing and more than I ever could have imagined.”
A lifetime memory
The mom, who also has a three-year-old boy, says it was heartwarming to see her now 10-month-old twins as newborns again.
“It was amazing to get to see them so tiny again. Honestly, we watched that scene probably 10 times because we were able to pause it,” she says, adding she can’t wait to show it to the twins when they are older.
Ricioppo is also thrilled that both of their children were alternately used in the role of Ellie , and she was able to pick out who was who in the scenes.
“I was able to pick out ‘Oh, that’s my son. Oh, that’s my daughter. They definitely used both of my babies so that was cool,” she adds.
While she wouldn’t actively seek out another filming experience for the twins, she says she would consider it if another opportunity presented itself.
“Who knows in the future when they're older.”