On June 26th, an amazing movie called Max is going to be released in theaters!
Max is about a United States service dog who comes back from Afghanistan after witnessing a heart- wrenching tragedy. Upon his return home, Max is adopted by his deceased handler’s family where Max starts to rehabilitate with the help of Justin Wincott (played by Josh Wiggins)
We had the chance to interview Josh Wiggins about the movie, how it was having a dog as a co- star, and what this role meant to him!
Josh is no stranger to canines, he actually grew up with furry friends back at his home in Houston, TX:
” I actually have three dogs. I have a Rottweiler, a black lab mix, and a little Chiwennie- which is a Chihuahua and a Weiner dog mixed. So I have all levels of the dog spectrum!”
Josh and his family participate in fostering dogs without homes and adopting:
“We found our black lab on the street, he followed my brother home after a run one day and so we kept him. We would cycle in foster dogs and take care of them until they found an owner. But Tyrion [the Chiwennie, named after Game of Thrones] we ended up keeping and the Rottweiler we got from a breeder so her story is very uninteresting.”
We also got the inside scoop on Carlos, the main dog that played Max in the movie! Josh said, “Carlos is a Prima Donna, he was a huge diva.” Then when asked what celebrity Carlos acted the most like, Josh appropriately responded: “Madonna.”
“We would tell him to do certain things and he would just sit there and ignore them, but there would be times, like one take a day, where he would be golden and do exactly what they say and do one take per scene, an amazing take out of no where after doing absolutely nothing and not listening to the trainers at all!”
When asked what Josh thought of getting this role, or if he had ever worked with service dogs before, Josh answered:
“I was definitely excited. My dad is a K9 bomb dog handler for the Houston Police Department. Before I left to go shoot I would run the dogs at the facility. So I was prepared a little bit but it is different when you’re actually doing it.”
Since Josh has loved dogs his whole life, he also donates to shelters and charities that help dogs or other service members!
“I usually donate part of my paychecks to the Wounded Warriors and Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward, which is where we got Tyrion from… it’s a shelter in the Houston area, right where I live.”
Max is definitely a heart- wrenching movie that details the accounts of a dog returning from war and tragedy. Josh on Max and its impact on him:
“The movie definitely opens your eyes, especially to service dogs. I knew they existed but you get a new appreciation for everything they go through. I did after this movie because its something that is not really talked about that much. A lot of people don’t really understand what these dogs go through a lot of the times, they do the same things that people do.”
Josh also may of had a hard time controlling his doggy fever on set!
“The dogs were really sweet. A lot of the people were encouraged not to interact too much because they are working dogs and it could be too distracting. But as the shoot went on, they got more lenient and of course everyone wants to see a dog, or pet them, and interact with them. So yeah they were more lenient towards the end, especially with me because I was with them for pretty much the majority of what I was shooting.”
In the future, Josh said he would be open to working with dogs again on set: “It requires a ton of focus to work with dogs and animals in general, but it was awesome and I love dogs, so getting to play with one was pretty cool and I would obviously be open to doing it again if the role calls for it.”
Go see Max in theaters this Friday!
This movie shines a much needed light on service dogs and what they go through and how they handle it. Join us, and Josh, support service dogs in the United States!
You can also donate to Pets for Vets, an organization that pairs rescued dogs with emotionally or physically injured military veterans so that these dogs can get a second chance at life and the veterans can get a second chance at happiness! Donate here!
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