Three of the actresses on the set of “One Life to Live” have their meals fed to them and their rear ends cleaned several times a day. But they aren’t spoiled; they’re just babies.
The Sullivan triplets of Hoboken – Molly, Madeline, and Tess – celebrated their first birthdays in May.
They’ve been playing “Baby Chloe” on the soap opera for a year now.
Their proud parents, Jennifer and Dennis Sullivan, weren’t really worried about passing on any “childhood actor” bug to their young lasses. Jennifer made light of the situation last year on a blog she’s been keeping for the multiples: “As Dennis has joked, I may have just created the next ‘Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.’ Let’s hope not!”
“I thought it was going to be a little more glamorous than it was,” she said last week. She said she had hoped they might get a few meals and some help with the babies from their days on the set. “We’re lucky if we get a cup of coffee,” she said.Casting the kids
A friend and fellow triplet mother recommended to Jennifer last September that she and Dennis consider taking the girls to auditions.
After some deliberation, the young couple contacted an agent and lined up a few auditions. The girls sat for photo shoots for Fisher Price and try-outs for “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”
The girls were cast in the latter, and Jennifer said the family is along for the ride as far as it takes them. They don’t have a contract, so they could be axed at any time.
“Aging can happen pretty quickly on soap operas,” she said. The girls only appear on the set from time to time, Jennifer said. “It’s steady. Not every week and not every day.”
In the meantime, the couple is putting away the money for their college funds.Three is better than one
The couple has roots in Binghamton, N.Y., but have called Hoboken home for over five years.
They married in 2005 and began the sometimes long and hard process of starting a family. They sought help from fertility treatments, and on the final attempt, doctors told them that they would have a chance of twins, and a 1 percent chance of triplets.
At that point, the Sullivans were just hoping for one healthy baby. They got three.
It took a few weeks to discern the three babies in the womb, but they were there.
Now the three toddlers are a blessing. “Three times the love,” Jennifer said. “With one pregnancy, you get three babies.”
She said the family has gotten used to the attention of bringing up multiples.
Jennifer said there are many challenges, like finding a grocery cart to fit the three little gals. “Everyday things are hard,” she admitted.
The acting gig came about to fill her day because she couldn’t engage in many of the one-on-one activities around town.
“ ‘Mommy-and-me’ classes are hard for me to do,” she said. “Just being outnumbered on a daily basis is tough. Even Dennis and I are outnumbered.”
She said her husband gets up early before work to eat breakfast with the girls and spends an hour or so at night with them.
“He’s very involved,” she said. “You kind of have to be with triplets.”
With what amounts to three full-time jobs, Jennifer said people still ask her if she misses having a nine-to-five.
“I don’t even have time to think about missing work,” she said.
She writes of their exploits on www.hobokentriplets.blogspot.com.Three individuals emerging
The three girls are beginning to show their differences, Jennifer said.
Molly, the first one out, is acting just like the oldest child already.
“She’s the leader of the pack,” Jennifer said. So far, Molly is very independent, curious, and brave.
Madeline, or Maddy, is “feisty,” according to mom. “She’s either extremely happy or very angry,” Jennifer said. “She has an exuberant personality.”
Tess, the youngest, is laid back. But Jennifer said Tess has been starting some fights with her sisters lately. “She loves to kiss them and loves to bite them.”
The Sullivans are moving to Rutherford soon, but their time in Hoboken will have been memorable. Three times over.