The Fascinating Legal Complexities of Casting Babies in Movies and Television Shows

In a semi-animated piece for Vox, writer and director Dean Petersen takes a look the casting of babies in film and television roles, going through the legal complexities around working hours per different state laws, how much they get paid, how their earnings are protected, the ever-evolving realism of mechanical babies and the reasons why twins and triplets have cornered the market for available roles, according to Katherine Bolde, the Director of Baby/Toddler and Kids Theatrical Divisions at Zuni Model and Talent Agency in New York and Los Angeles.

I would say nineties and 95% of jobs for babies and toddlers are exclusive to twins and triplets because two babies can play one character. So there’s two advantages there. Number one you can have them both come to set at the same time so if twin A gets fussy that they can call in twin B and they can use the babies back and forth. And the other thing is, sometimes production will split their call times so they’ll have one baby come in let’s say at 9:00 in the morning have another baby come in at 2:00 in the afternoon, so it extends
their day.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.