Mad Men Babies
Imagine your very first acting job is in a top-rated, Emmy award winning show.
In your first scene, you're completely naked, being caressed by one of the sexiest women in Hollywood.
Such is the fate of 9-month-old Wallace Copen.
Wallace and his twin brother, Slater, are among several babies playing Kevin, the newborn son of Joan Harris, the buxom red-headed secretary portrayed by Christina Hendricks on “Mad Men”.
It was Wallace who debuted in the season premiere with a shot focusing on his…uhhhh, jewels…being swathed in diaper ointment by Hendricks.
Where does a career go from there?
"It's definitely hard to have peaked at one month old, but if the Mayans are correct and 2012 is the end, maybe it'll be okay?" jokes Wallace’s mother, Kinan Copen, who blogs about her experience as a new mother of twins.
How did her sons end up on a hit television show? Copen says she joined a local group of parents who had "multiples" after her boys were born last July. When they were three weeks old, "there was a post from a talent agent looking for newborn identical twins around nine pounds for a 'series regular' role on a major TV show."
On a whim, she sent in a picture, "and next thing we knew, we got a called in for an 'interview' at Mad Men." The interview consisted of the babies being checked over by a director and other crew members. "Slater and Wallace were hired on the spot and met creator Matthew Weiner in the hall moments later."
Copen says there are actually six babies playing Kevin, plus a doll. Copen believes most of Kevin’s face shots are one of a set of triplets. "They were much bigger, and in fact blonde, which made for better close ups and more believable Joan offspring," she says. "Slater and Wallace were still tiny at the time and are kinda swarthy."
While Wallace got the most provocative screen time, Slater also had his moment in the limelight. In a scene where Joan brings her son to Sterling Cooper, "any shot where you see dark hair sticking out of the cap, or there is an arm waving, or a baby cooing, is all Slater."
Any accidents on set? "One of the guys, I can't remember who, did have an accident all over one of the beautiful 'period' costume knit blankets he was swaddled in. Wardrobe hadn't prepared for any diaper leakage, and thus, didn't have extra blankets..."
Copen says both boys were “rather happy to be held and coddled on set by all the pretty ladies.” She says Hendricks was good with the babies, “very friendly and warm…hard to imagine, but she is even more gorgeous in person.”
That is hard to imagine.
Kinan Copen says her sons didn’t get rich off their starring roles, but it was fun. However, she doesn’t see this as a long term career. Being a stage mom is a lot of work. She says her own job is also in entertainment, behind the camera, yet it still involves "a lot of auditioning and rejection, and I’m not sure I could handle additional emotional turmoil on behalf of my offspring."
Still, it’ll make for a good story to tell for years to come. When I suggested that legions of men must envy Wallace’s naked intimacy with one of Hollywood’s most beautiful women, mom has already considered this. "Yes, Wallace is our own little Michael Fassbender, Now he'll be ready to star in ‘Shame’ when they remake it in 25 years."
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