A Calgary actor whose family starred in the Apple ad that recently won a Creative Arts Emmy award said shooting the commercial was "a wonderful experience."

Chris Ippolito and 22 members of his family from Calgary starred in the commercial, called "Misunderstood," which was filmed in a snowy Edmonton. Ippolito says that no one was expecting the ad to become a viral video.

In fact, Ippolito and his family didn’t even know what the commercial was for when they signed up for the project. They only found out it was an ad for Apple when they finally arrived Edmonton.

“It was a little startling,” Ipplito said. “As soon as it was released, we were looking at over a million hits per day on the internet. It was incredibly overwhelming.”

Mini-vacation for Calgary family 

Ippolito convinced his extended family in Calgary to audition for the commercial after talking to the casting director.

“She said you can’t show up with too many people. So on the day, we ended up convincing 25 of us to all show up to this audition,” said Ippolito. 

Shooting the commercial was “a wonderful experience,” he said. The only person in the commercial who wasn't a member of his family was the teenage boy.

“They gave us a home and just let the kids be kids and the adults be themselves, so we all just got to hang out and have a mini-vacation,” added Ippolito's wife Karen MacKenzie.

The commercial was directed by Lance Acord, who was the cinematographer for the film Lost in Translation. Ippolito wasn’t too surprised when the ad won the Creative Arts Emmy, beating some “tough competition.”

“It reached people’s hearts a little bit more,” Ippolito said. “It was a really raw approach for Apple to suggest this commercial. It was a bold move on their end, I think.”

The couple was not able to fly to the awards ceremony because MacKenzie is eight months pregnant.

Listen to Edmonton AM’s Mark Connolly chat with Chris Ippolito about filming the commercial