From diapers to the big screen

Local twins star in feature film


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Asher, left, and Brenden take a photo with the movie’s star, Jon Voight.

Sheena Wheeler

Two Eagle River brothers had their first movie released last week — and they’re only in kindergarten.

Asher and Brenden Farmer, who started school at Birchwood ABC Elementary this year, appeared in “Baby Geniuses and the Mystery of the Crown Jewels,” which was released on DVD on Feb. 5.

The identical twins, now 6-years-old, filmed the movie in the Huffman Business Park area of south Anchorage from May to July 2011.

The Farmer brothers played the villain, Big Baby, who is on the run from four detectives in diapers after committing a jewel heist.

The boys’ father, Mike Farmer, heard through a friend’s wife that the movie would be filmed in Anchorage, and the cast was in need of identical twins around age 5.

The audition went well.

“They just killed it,” said their mother, Sheena Wheeler.

Despite being filmed in a warehouse, Wheeler said the final product was incredible.

“They made it look like they traveled the world,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing how they do that.”

The film gave the boys the chance to socialize with other children, Wheeler said.

“We just did it for the interaction with other kids,” she said.

All the child actors playing babies were identical twins.

“All the kids you see are two different kids,” Wheeler said. “They got to work with all these different twins.”

They also had the opportunity to meet Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight, who stars in the film.

While on set, the boys, then in preschool, got a taste of movie star life with access to their own trailer, catered meals and a playroom full of toys.

“They treated us like royalty,” Wheeler said.

Working with a “super nice” crew made the long hours on the set more tolerable, Mike Farmer said.

“Any issues were taken care of,” he said. “Everybody was great.”

Filming for several hours under hot lights did take its toll on the twins, Wheeler said.

“It was a lot for them,” she said.

Acting in a movie gave her kids a unique experience, Wheeler said.

“They were doing stuff that they’ve never done before,” she said.

Auditioning for the role was the boys’ decision, Wheeler said.

“They wanted to do it,” she said. “We never made them.

“It was a good opportunity for them,” Wheeler added.

Overall, it was positive for everyone involved, Mike Farmer said.

“It was good fun,” he said.

Though enjoyable, Wheeler said her sons haven’t pursued any other films since and likely won’t in the near future.

“We’re not moving to (Los Angeles),” she said. “We were in it just to have fun.”

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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