Bobby the dog had spent his life begging for food on the streets of Cyprus, severely underweight and covered in scars. But two-years-ago, he was rescued by a local charity, Rehoming Cyprus Dogs, run by Briton Helen McGarry.
Immediately spotting his talent, the charity contacted Hollywood animal trainer, Julie Tottman, and she took Bobby under her wing.
Ms Tottman told the Mirror: “When they found him he was extremely underweight, and nervous of men, indicating he had been mistreated.
“He was a typical scabby street dog, he has still got scars.”
Despite not being a dalmatian, Bobby’s shaggy fur and gingery ears were a hit with the Disney casting agents and they gave him the starring role as the sidekick of Cruella De Vil, played by Emma Stone.
Ms Tottman added: “Bobby is one of the easiest rescue animals I have worked with. He is so natural, he picks the acting up and he thrives doing it.
“You get a bit more on set from a rescue animal because it is like they have seen the bad and are so grateful, and they love and adore you for saving them.
“I always cry, it is lovely when they do their first scene knowing where they have come from.
“The world writes them off but I know from experience that rescues are often the hardest working, most loyal and loving animals.”
For Bobby, this included learning to catch a necklace Emma Stone would throw to him, crawl under a table and carry a sandwich bag to deliver her lunch.
His biggest moment took a month of training when the rescue dog had to turn rescuer, saving Cruella, tied up with rope to a chair, from a fire.
This involved takes with a blue screen and body double, and some with Emma with flame machines.
“She falls on the floor and they wanted him pulling on the ropes.
“He really did untie her, obviously I tied it in a dog-friendly way, but he was pulling it apart and tugging on it.”
According to Ms Tottman, Bobby has already secured his next film role but “is not allowed to say what”.
Additional reporting by Emily Retter.
Published at Fri, 04 Jun 2021 11:17:26 +0000