Tiny children may say the darnedest things, but they lack the ability to tweet these gems. Fortunately, Vancouver-based filmmaker Matthew Clarke found an interesting workaround for getting his young daughter’s thoughts out there, and it’s taken the Internet by storm.
Collaborating with a friend, director Darshan Rickhi, Clarke reenacted a recent conversation he’d had with his 2-year old and posted it online. The twist: In the video, a stubbly-bearded adult male plays the young starlet. Convos With My 2-Year Old found an audience immediately, and in the week leading up to Memorial Day, it accumulated 4 million views on YouTube. A follow-up video debuted on May 29 and is already well on the way to matching its predecessor. All thanks to a little girl who speaks her mind.
“I was talking to my daughter months ago, and for a moment I just sort of stepped outside the situation and I realized that this was a crazy conversation,” Clarke says. “If she had been three feet taller, it would have been completely absurd. But because she’s 2, it was the most normal thing in the world. I thought, ‘There’s comedic potential in that. I should write these down.'”
It took little-to-no persuasion for Clarke to bring his wife on board to play herself in the video. The two have been working together creatively for over a decade–with adventurous projects that include a band, films, and theater–basically taking turns roping each other into participating in their ideas.
Part of the fun of this latest idea is the depiction of Clarke’s daughter Coco as a somewhat tyrannical ruler of the two parents, who dictates the course of events in the family house. Any sense of malice, though, comes through in the performance of actor David Milchard as the 2-year old toddler. Although the content of the conversation is unchanged in its fictional incarnation, Milchard took certain liberties with his role.
“The tone of the original interaction with my daughter was much different. She was much more charming about it,” Clarke says. “I think I was smiling through the original conversation. It’s hard not to most of the time. You know she’s not ill-intentioned or trying to be malicious in any way. She’s just 2.”
The filmmaker’s daughter won’t be an adorably precocious 2-year old forever, but for as long as she remains that way, she will likely continue providing fodder for future videos.
“I’m not sure exactly how many we’ll do at this point, but there will be a number of them, for sure,” Clarke says. “I think there’s a lot of potential and material, but we’re really just taking it as it comes. The whole thing was really just a fun experiment that’s gone totally bonkers. So I think it’s important to keep that spirit about it.”
Watch the original Convos With My 2-Year Old below.