Is the Baby in The Family Plan CGI? Who Plays Max?

os the Baby in The Family Plan CGI
Credit: Apple TV

os the Baby in The Family Plan CGI
Credit: Apple TV

The Family Plan is a wholesome family movie, and the baby often steals the show! But is The Family Plan's baby real, and, if so, who plays baby Max?

What is Apple TV's The Family Plan About? Meet The Family

Apple TV's The Family Plan follows Dan Morgan, a former contract killer turned family guy, whose old life comes back to haunt him.

After a tumultous life, Dan (Mark Wahlberg) is now married to Jessica (Michelle Monaghan) and a father of three; Nina (Zoe Colletti), Kyle (Van Crosby), and baby Max.

To save the family he loves, Dan must be an assassin one last time.

Does The Family Plan Use A Real Baby?

Is the baby real in the family plan
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Credit: Apple TV

Some viewers might be surprised to find that baby Max from The Family Plan is a real baby, rather than CGI.

While this practice rarely looks ideal, many movies or series have opted to CGI babies rather than have real babies portray the young characters.

This might save the actors and directors from practical difficulties, as babies are not actors and it's very challenging to make them perform for the needs of a scene, let alone a whole movie.

The Twilight saga is a particularly infamous example due to their poorly CGI-ed baby Renesme that ventures into the uncanny valley.

For The Family Plan, director Simon Cellan Jones went for the more difficult but rewarding option to include a real baby.

baby max
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Credit: Apple tv

Directing a baby is a real challenge and it won't always look perfect, but the actors and director did a great job here. The entire family's chemistry is excellent, but baby Max's reactions are often the most memorable and funny.

In a recent interview Simon Cellan Jones discussed the challenges but also the delights of having a real baby on set:

"Well, we were very patient. The baby was delightful and lovely, but it wasn’t always perfect — let’s be honest.
I think we knew that when the baby was good, which was often, it was just gold dust. So it was worth it.
And I’m really, really grateful to Mark, again, and Michelle [Monaghan] for having the patience to that.
Again, a lot of movie stars will say, “Hey, baby? Forget that. You deal with that.” And he really worked with the baby and was a real sweetheart, and he’s very much responsible for helping that baby be so good."

From the above, we see that having a baby on set, and making it work, is very much a collective effort.

Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Monaghan, in particular, did a great job of helping the baby trust them and work with them.

Just by watching the movie's official trailer, you get a good idea of the results. The scene whereby Dan changes Max's diaper extremely quickly shows his effort in building trust with the film's youngest actor.

Wahlberg has jokingly referred to the fact that baby Max occassionally upstages him.

Who Plays Baby Max?

Who plays baby max the family plan
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Credit: Apple TV

Baby Max is portrayed not by one, but by two babies, twins Iliana and Vienna Norris.

This isn't the first time a very young character is played by a set of twins. Lily from Modern Family was also portrayed by twins, and this is only one of many examples.

Using twins rather than a single baby is often deemed to best option for the filming's timeline due to California's Child Actor's Bill.

This legislation determines that child actors can only work for a limited time compared to their adult counterparts.

Having two identical children on set means that the adult actors can work with one when the other is off, adhering to the legislated hours for young performers while ensuring a timely filiming.

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