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Shooting any film with a dog is notoriously difficult, but the one in Wiener-Dog was especially rough.
“It’s hard to get a dog to do anything,” Julie Delpy told The Hollywood Reporter at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, as Zosia Mamet, Danny Devito and Kieran Culkin noted that their movie starred show dogs who are somewhat new to shooting films.
“This one dog, we couldn’t get the dog to do any of those things!” DeVito said of basic tricks.
And though Wiener-Dog chronicles the life of a dog as it travels around the country, spreading comfort and joy, the owner of the show dogs avoided playtime with Mamet’s own pet on set due to a stomach ache. “You can just say you don’t want your fancy dog to play with my mutt,” she said. “You think you’re too good for my dog?!”
It turns out the trick to working with animals is in postproduction: “You edit,” whispered director Todd Solondz, who was inspired by the films Au Hasard Balthazar and Benji.
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