While most parents read fairy tales about princesses to their baby girls, the Sawalas have something a bit more unique to share with their 10-month-old twins. Olivia and Ella of Westport have received invitations to join the Screen Actors Guild.
Their mother, Peggy, pulled the letters from a drawer while smiling. She and her husband, Scott, worked in video production for years. Scott is still with Two Homeruns Production Group. Neither qualifies for SAG because they both work behind the scenes. Less than a year out of the hospital, the baby girls had already achieved something beyond their parents' dreams.
Mostly it is just that we know how hard that field is to break into, said Scott.
The girls got their first acting gig on NBC's hospital drama Mercy. The show needed infants to play a baby boy in the neonatal intensive care unit. The girls were a natural choice: they spent the first two months of their lives in the NICU at Stamford Hospital.
They were just perfect little babies that came so early, said Peggy. We knew there wasn't anything to fear. After six weeks Olivia and Ella were sent home. Two months later they had the job on Mercy.
On the heels of that performance, the girls just completed scenes for We Need to Talk About Kevin, starring John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton. The movie began filming in Connecticut on April 16, with shots throughout Fairfield County. Based on the novel of the same name by Lionel Shriver, it is the story of a mother dealing with her grief, and perhaps responsibility, when her son goes on a murderous school rampage.
The acting bug hit when Peggy learned about the NBC casting call through contacts in the Mothers of Multiples support group. A member sent out an email with the message, You never know.
Just for giggles, I sent in a picture and then the next thing you know I got a call out of Central Casting, said Peggy. Now the twins are on the list of available talent through Central Casting and are also represented by Xist Model and Talent out of New Jersey. Print advertising and more shoots are being lined up, but the parents are keeping an eye on the twins health and interests.
Of course if this stops being fun for the girls and they aren't enjoying it, it will be game over, said Peggy.
As Peggy set the SAG letters down by the girl's first income tax refunds, she said she was looking forward to the twins' next public performance, their christening at Stanwich Congregational Church in Greenwich this morning.
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