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Darlington twins shortlisted to appear in new Disney film
TWINS Harley and Madison Preston could soon have an all-star army of new friends, after reaching the final phase of casting for a big-budget Disney movie.
The pair, who are 18 months old and from Darlington, are among the last three sets of twins in with a chance of playing Cinderella as a baby in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s live-action version of the fairytale.
They will travel to Pinewood Studios, in Buckinghamshire, later this month, accompanied by proud parents Nichola and Gavin, when a final decision will be made.
Scheduled for release in 2015, the film will star Downton Abbey actress Lily James as the grown-up version of the title character.
Helena Bonham Carter will play the Fairy Godmother, with Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine.
Mrs Preston is approaching the final round of the selection process with a mixture of nerves and excitement.
The key factor in the decision will be which of the sets of twins looks most comfortable in an oversized Moses basket, which is being specially created for the production.
Mrs Preston said: “I would never have thought to put the girls up for something like this, but my friend posted a link on my Facebook page and I sent some photos off to the production company.
“They emailed back saying the girls looked like they would really fit the bill and asked if we could send them some video footage.
“So I did and they emailed again, saying they would forward everything on to Sir Kenneth Branagh and I would hear back from them.
“The next thing I heard, they had been shortlisted in the final three sets of twins for the part of Baby Cinderella and we were making plans to go to Pinewood Studios.
“The lady from the production company said Sir Kenneth chose the girls for being the prettiest and most Cinderella-like.
“It is all a bit overwhelming, but it is exciting and even if they do not get through, it will be a lovely thing to tell them about when they are older.”
Mrs Preston said the twins had endured a tough start in life, with Madison in particular having to overcome health worries.
Both are now fighting fit and could soon be flying the flag for the North-East in Hollywood.
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