Dog Days is one of those movies that will definitely tug at your heart strings. It stars a boatload of adorable dogs and oh yeah, some humans too.
Directed by Ken Marino, Dog Days follows a group of interconnected people in Los Angeles who are brought together by their lovable canine companions.
Our own Bonnie Laufer caught up with director Ken Marino and some of the film’s ensemble cast including Nina Dobrev (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) and comedian Tone Bell (Disjointed) to find out more about their canine co-stars.
Original-Cin: It’s nice to see a film that the whole family can actually enjoy together. Was that something that was most important to you when you set out to direct
Ken Marino: “When I made How to be a Latin Lover last year, we really wanted to make sure it was something that families could go see. After I did that, I wanted to do another one because I was able to bring my whole family on board to help with the process.
“It worked out perfectly as I was able to bring my kids into the editing room to get their input, plus my son has a small part in the movie. My daughter got involved and my wife is co-writer on it. And so, not only did I get to make something that other families can enjoy together, but it turned into a big family bonding project for me.”
OC: Eva, did you grow up having a pet dog?
Eva Longoria: “Yes I had so many dogs growing up. I grew up on a ranch so we had a lot of animals. We had dogs, cows, sheep, a pet deer and even a pet snake. But there were always a lot of dogs in the house and they were at the top of my pet list.”
KM: “We were going to do Snake Days, but we didn't think we would pull in as many people.”
OC: Eva, making this film must have really hit home for you especially now that you are a new mom.
EL: “It was Interesting, because I was newly pregnant when we started the film, and I was so tired. Ken was literally one of the only people in the world who knew that I was pregnant, because I didn't want him to think that I was lazy. But I got through it.
“it was fun playing this role because it was about a woman trying to be a mom and all of those doubts that go along with it. I didn’t have as many of those doubts in my life as my character Grace did. But I have to say it was great preparation for me and it gave me a few things to think about.”
Nina Dobrev and Tone Bell
OC: I would think that when you get the casting call for a movie like this if you’re not a dog lover then you need not apply.
Nina Dobrev: “Yeah absolutely. Actually, who isn’t? If you're not a dog lover then you're a psychopath. Who doesn’t love dogs?”
Tone Bell: “You’re saying that if you don’t love dogs you’re a serial killer?”
ND: “Pretty much. If you don’t love dogs then you don’t have soul.”
OC: I’d say after watching this film and it's pretty hard not to walk out of there going, 'I think I might have to adopt a dog.'
TB:“I totally felt that way after working on this and seeing it for the first time. All the dogs in this film were great to work with, they were so disciplined and well behaved. Plus Nina had her dog Maverick with us on set every day it really got me thinking about getting one.”
OC: What is it about dogs that brings people together?
ND:“It’s almost like when people who have kids meet up with other people who have kids, they have that connection. A dog is like a child to a lot of people and they find that common thing that connects them, so it starts an unspoken bond.”
TB: “I know for me, especially after making this film, if I got to a park and see someone playing with their dog, I just want to join in and throw the ball or frisbee around. Dogs give you unconditional love and I think that is what is so fantastic about them. Whoever made up the phrase dog is man’s best friend was a genius!”
Adam Pally and Vanessa Hudgens
OC: Adam, when you were growing up did you have a pet dog?
Adam Pally:“Oh yes. My mom actually originally had cats, but then we shifted to dogs and quickly realized how crazy it was to have cats in our family.”
OC: Why is it so different having a cat as a pet opposed to a dog?
AP: “Well, cats are serial killers. They have no souls.”
Vanessa Hudgens: “They are spawn of Satan.”
AP: “They are the Spawn of Satan. A cat will kill you in your sleep and you don’t even have to motivate it I just like dogs better, there’s give and take with a dog, cat’s just take.”
VH: “I’ve always loved dogs but I didn’t have the best of luck with dogs growing up. They never stayed around for too long unfortunately. The dog that I have now is literally the light of my life. She’s my princess and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.”
OC: What do think it is about dogs that brings people together?
AP: “It’s like anything in life when you find a like-minded interest. You’re willing to learn more about that person because you share that one thing.
“With dogs, I think it goes even deeper, because you’re bound by the sense that you have take care of something, and that their life depends on you. So it makes it easy to become a kind of clique that way.”
OC: It’s been said never work with kids and animals, so were there any puppy mishaps on the set?
VH: “To be truthful, there really wasn’t. The dogs were all so well behaved and professional they were really a joy to work with.”
OC: Oh come on, really?
VH: “Yes, honestly. They are such intelligent creatures, they were very well trained and it was easy to work with them.”
AP: “It’s true, the dog I spent most of my scenes with was amazing.”
OC: So, I guess what you’re saying is that it’s much better to work with animals that it is with humans?
AP: “It can be, for sure. I knew that in my scenes with the dogs they weren’t going to mess up their lines.”
OC: Yeah, but they could mess up something else.
AP: “Touche, very nice, but they don’t. They are very professional. I have more of a chance of peeing on the floor than they do.”