He’s been across the Bridge to Terabithia, stuck in an RV with Robin Williams, been to outer space with Zathura, and now the young star Josh Hutcherson lets it all go to the dogs in his upcoming film Firehouse Dog. With so many films and television appearances under his belt, Hutcherson found time to sit down with Animal Fair to discuss his canine co-star(s) in his new film, his real life Boxer named Diesel, and why working with dogs on the set is not as easy as a walk in the park.
AF: What kind of dog is Diesel and why did you give him that name?
JH: Diesel is a Boxer. I looked up names on the internet. Don’t know why, I could have just simply thought of one, but I looked on the internet and found a couple I liked. Diesel was one of them. I think I also like Guinness so I had to decide between Diesel and Guinness and I went with Diesel.
AF: So were there any funny stories that happened on the set of Firehouse Dog?
JH: Oh yeah, we had times when the dogs would just randomly run away. We were right in the middle of a scene filming, and [the dog would] just get up and walk off the set. We thought he was going back to his trailer again or something. That happened a lot and that was pretty funny, we’d always make jokes about it!
AF: Was it hard working with a dog as a co-star?
JH: There were times when it was hard because I’d be acting in a really emotional scene and I’d have a dog trainer looking over my shoulder saying, “Sit, good, stay, good dog. Alright look over here, look over here, over here”. I’d have to interrupt and say, “Hey, hi I’m just acting over here!” It was difficult sometimes, but I had to work with it. I got better throughout the entire shoot.
AF: So what’s your role in Firehouse Dog?
JH: My role is Shane and he’s a rebel. He likes to ditch school and he’s a skateboarder kind of guy, so he has that sort of rebellious feel to him. THen the dog Rex comes along and kind of starts to make his life more miserable than it already is. And eventually throughout the movie they become really good friends.
With Hutcherson’s young career all ablaze, the only fires he and Diesel will be putting out will be in the movies.
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