by Terry Rogers
In February, viewers of the Fox television show “The Resident,” which stars Matt Czuchry, Emily VanCamp, Manish Dayal and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, also saw two Milford High School graduates in one of the storylines in the episode. Robbie and Paul Rescigno portrayed twins who swapped insurance information in order to obtain treatment.
“My character, Brent Trainor, committed insurance fraud,” Robbie said. “Brent was suffering from stomach pain and used his brother, Milo’s, insurance information for treatment. It turned out that my stomach pain was due to appendicitis but the hospital was stumped since Milo, played by Paul, had his appendix out many years ago. I got to spend a great deal of time in a hospital bed wearing my pajamas. I got to sleep a lot in this role which was kind of a bonus. It is never a bad thing to work all day in your pajamas. I also had the role that made it okay for me to look terrible.”
The Rescigno’s were contacted by an agent who sent them on an audition. They heard on Monday they had the role and were on a plane to Atlanta on Wednesday. The twins shot the episode on the last two days before the cast left on their holiday break so the atmosphere on the set was relaxed.
“This was a lot of fun, it was really a great set to work on,” Paul said. “The cast was absolutely wonderful and generally amazing. It was a very warm set to work on.” Robbie joked that it may have been because the cast was looking forward to their break.
Robbie felt that the biggest challenge to the role was falling asleep and waking up during a scene when he was supposed to be unconscious. He explained that, at one point, they were hooking him up to equipment that gave the appearance of helping him breathe and they warned him it would be uncomfortable.
“I told them that I doubted it because I would probably be asleep most of the time,” Robbie laughed. “There were so many scenes where I had no idea what happened because I literally slept through them. I was coming down with a cold as well and, on the flight, my ears popped so I couldn’t’ hear well. That was challenging as well.”
Robbie and Paul have a comedy show that they have performed in New York for ten years and have brought to Sussex County a few times. The last time, they performed their holiday show at the Milton Theatre. The twins have performed in some off-Broadway productions and host a charity event each year that raises money for clinics in Africa as well as for Native Americans in the United States. They will be performing their show again in New York on March 15 and are currently writing for that.
The Rescignos do not always perform as a team, although they did appear on the ABC show “Black Box” together. Robbie has appeared on “The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt” while Paul appeared on “Mozart in the Jungle”. Paul worked for David Letterman for eight years, working with the audience and writing jokes for Letterman’s monologue. He also appeared in a few sketches on the show.
“We both love doing it,” Robbie said. “We didn’t think about acting as a career at first. I actually wanted to be a teacher. Our sister studied theater in college. We applied to a lot of colleges, but we both got into Syracuse where we studied theater. It brings us a great deal of joy, although trying to pursue a career in the arts can be a challenge. I mean, who needs financial security and a retirement fund?”
Paul explained that being considered “one of the twins” was never a problem, stating that when they attended Milford High School, there were several twins. To them, being a twin is just normal and it never seemed to be a big deal when they were in Milford. When they arrived at Syracuse, they found it odd how many people were fascinated with them.
“So many people asked all the “twin” questions, like who was born first,” Paul said. “We were like “oh, right, people want to know those things.” Now, I’ll see people who look at me or come up to me as if they know me and I will say “oh, you probably know my brother, Robbie.” It is just the way life is for us and it seems pretty normal.”
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