Thank you to LD Entertainment for inviting me to LA to cover the Dog Days premiere. All opinions expressed in this interview are 100% my own.
While in LA for the Dog Days World Premiere, I found out I was going to be talking with some of the cast. I was super excited to be chatting with the stars of the film: Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Adam Pally, Eva Longoria, Tone Bell, and the Director (who also has a small role in the film), Ken Marino. This was a group interview which shows us just how much chemistry these guys really have. It was so much fun, Adam, of course, had us cracking up. But Nina got in some pretty great zingers as well. Read on about 10 fun facts I learned about the movie and the cast, in this great interview!
The Dogs Were Cast Before The Humans
Something that I found really interesting is that all the dog actors were chosen before the human cast of the film. Nina let us know this during the interview. “Fun fact: every single one of the dogs was cast before any of the cast members. Because I tried, believe me. I met with Ken.” Apparently Maverick was a little too late to the party to be part of the doggie cast.
Ken told us a bit about the dog hiring process, and let us know the dogs hired are all rock stars. “The animals came from this great dog trainer, Mark Harden. When we cast the dogs, one of the things I asked him, because we were moving so quickly, was who are your rock star dogs. The first dog we cast was Adam Pally’s co-star Charlie and he said this dog is wonderful, odd, quirky, and goofy. We cast him, and then we cast all the other dogs based on his look. They all had something special. They were easy to work with.”
Nina Snuck Her Dog In The Background of Scenes
So even though the dog cast was full when Nina joined the cast, it didn’t stop her from sneaking Maverick in to the background of pretty much every scene. “That didn’t stop me from sneaking her into the back of every single shot.” Eva then joked Nina was a stage mom, to which Nina replied “100 percent.” Now I can’t wait to see Dog Days again, because I am going to have my eyes peeled for Maverick!
Vanessa Played with the Dogs Between Set Ups
When asked the hardest part about working with the dogs, Vanessa immediately jumped in with the perfect answer. “Not being distracted and wanting to cuddle them all day. They’re just so cute and they’re so well behaved and so smart. In between set-ups I would sneak away and try to play with the dogs.” I would be right there with you girl!
Ken added in “dog breath“, which made us all crack up. Tone Bell then added in that they always had doggie mints on hand for that. To which Adam replied. “Here’s a hot tip. Doggie mints don’t work. Flat out. That is a product that lies to you.” Again, we were all rolling.
Tone Bell Fell More In Love With Dogs While Filming
In the interview, Tone Bell admitted he doesn’t have a dog. But he said he “definitely fell more in love with the furry friends during the process and after. All my scenes were with Nina and Maverick is like my niece now.” Nina laughed and added, “it’s true.” How sweet is that?
Adam Pally is a Huge Fan of Ken Marino
When the cast was asked how they got involved in the project, Adam Pally jumped in by admitting it was because of Ken Marino. “Ken is one of my idols from when I first started watching comedy and getting into comedy. From The State, Wet Hot American Summer, and everything he has done since. We had worked together a little bit on Happy Endings. I jumped at the chance – even if this was a cat movie I would have done it. That’s saying a lot because cat people are crazy.” Tone Bell let us know that he also signed on because of Ken.
Eva Longoria Loves Working With An Actor/Director
Eva said that she also signed on for this movie because of Ken. “Ken and I did a pilot together. I called him and was like ‘if you don’t put me in this movie, I will tweet those photos’. So I blackmailed him, he had to put me in the movie. It is so great to have an actor director because they speak your language. There are so many directors that can’t articulate what they want. I love Ken’s kind of funny; he’s my kind of funny. I knew I would be in good hands. Even though I have nothing funny in the movie. I’m the tear person.”
Vanessa Hudgens Sees Herself in Her Character
We asked the cast if any of them related to their character in Dog Days. Vanessa let us know that she really does relate. “Me personally, when I woke up at 27, I felt like I had no idea who I was and what I was doing with my life. That’s kind of where you meet Tara. I think that we, in a sense, are all looking for our greater purpose.”
Nina added in that she relates to her character Elizabeth as well. “Everyone seems put together, but we are all quietly falling apart on the inside. She is constantly trying to prove to the world that she is fine. Even when she gets heartbroken, she won’t even admit to the dog therapist that she is talking about herself. She doesn’t trust anybody. Once you have your heart broken it is to trust again. Until you find the person that makes you believe.”
Adam’s Dog Partner REALLY Liked Him
Of course we just had to ask if there were any doggy mishaps on set. Nina immediately jumped in with a pretty good zinger that Adam Pally joked we all would have thought he would be the one to throw out the line – “No, only three or four dogs died, right?” Ken did let us know about something pretty funny that did happen on set though, “The dog who plays Charlie, every once in a while got a little excited in some of the scenes and took it out on Adam – on his leg.” You know Adam never misses a beat, so he added in “I wouldn’t say ‘took it out’, I would say he showed his affection. I’m not gonna press charges or anything.”
It Is Important to Ken to Make A Family Friendly Movie
Ken let us know how important it was for him to make a family friendly movie. “Right now the world is a crazy place. I had just come off of directing How To Be A Latin Lover, which is a family movie. What was nice about that movie was I able to bring my kids into the editing room. Talk to them about the movie and what jokes they liked. That just made me want to do another movie that I can share with my children. This movie came along and I just liked all of the relationships.”
“I’m a big dog lover. We have two rescues at home. I thought it was a good time to do it. I feel like right now it is important to have movies where you can bring your whole family and escape the madness out there. Watch a movie that is funny and might make you cry once or twice. It’s for adults and kids. My friend described it as a Pixar movie – jokes for adults and stuff for kids in there.” I have to agree, this movie made me cry – straight up ugly cry – at least five times. This movie has heart, but is also hilarious, which can be pretty rare.
Nina Felt Alone Before She Rescued Maverick
The story of Nina and Maverick is a bit like the movie, Dog Days. A little bit heartbreaking and a lot heartwarming. “I was a cat lady for 18 years. I got her when I was 9, and when she passed away when I was 27 it was the first time that I had ever truly been alone, I realized. Then I also realized how co-dependent I was and that I needed a furry friend to get through my days. I’ve always loved dogs but because of my cat couldn’t get a dog. I started following all the rescue shelters on Instagram. I was at Coachella scrolling through my feed when Maverick popped up – her and her brother. I went immediately. I knew Maverick was the name, but I fell in love with her and she was a girl but that didn’t change my prospective.” She also added that Maverick has her own Instagram account, and told us all to check it out.
Dog Days is in theaters August 8th and trust me, you don’t want to miss it!
About Dog Days
From acclaimed production company LD Entertainment (The Zookeeper’s Wife, Jackie, and Megan Leavey) and Director Ken Marino comes Dog Days. Dog Days is a hilarious and heartfelt ensemble comedy that follows the lives of multiple dog owners and their beloved fluffy pals around sunny Los Angeles. When these human and canine’s paths start to intertwine, their lives begin changing in ways they never expected.
Cast: Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Eva Longoria, Finn Wolfhard, Adam Pally, Rob Corddry, Tone Bell, Jon Bass, Michael Cassidy, Thomas Lennon, Tig Notaro, Ron Cephas