Mushu the pug is on the case once again. Men in Black’s brightest star returns to the cast for an encore performance of the role he originated. He jumps, he hides and even investigates; this time wearing several new costumes and a great headset that is nothing to fold your ears down over.
The plot is being kept close to collar but rumor has it at the dog park, it’s about agents protecting the earth from aliens and intergalactic war.
Mushu is in a class all his own. According to his trainer from Animal Actors of Hollywood Inc., Cristie Miele, he’sat home on the set. “It’s rare that you find a special dogwho loves to act,” said Miele, “I’ve been doing this for 15 years. Unlike most dogs, he is very serious about his work and enjoys doing it.”
Mushu leads a dual life as pet and professional. He not only lives with his trainer on a 20 acre ranch with 8 other dogs, but goes to work with her as well. Training Mushu for Men in Black was challenging because he was considered a “green dog”- meaning he had to learn all the basic tricks from scratch. According to Miele, short but frequent training sessions are key so that the dogs can take breaks, have fun, and don’t feel overworked.
Miele says that Mushu is a real ‘natural’ with the sit, stay, lay, go with, and speak out commands. His most complicated scene in the new film is when he has to climb up and hide inside the body of a huge tentacle-laden dead alien, while wearing a headset to radio back to Men in Black headquarters which is under attack. A tough job for some — but not this pug.
“Will Smith was great with them (Mushu and the other backup pugs). Sometimes it can be tough if the human actors and the animal actors don’t get along.” Not the case here. Mushu, who was quite fond of Will, would go with him on cue, a perfect canine sidekick. Each time, the two would hit their mark together.
Mushu spent some time in the makeup and hair chair because he has aged a bit since the first Men In Black that was filmed when he was just a puppy. Now his beard is graying. Some waterproof black mascara does just the trick. It makes him look like a young pup again, yet with the skills of a seasoned professional.
Men in Black 2 is scheduled to premier July 3rd and stars Will Smith, Lara Flynn Boyle, and Tommy Lee Jones. Mushu will be attending the premier and can’t wait to see all of his friends, and we can’t wait to see what he wears!