RAJA GOSNELL - Director
Raja Gosnell is the film's Director and has a history of highly successful
including SCOOBY DOO, THE SMURFS, BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHA and BIG MOMMA'S
When Raja received the script he said it felt like "a fun throwback movie"
"live action family movies are somewhat of an endangered species these days as
family entertainment is now animated" so when the opportunity to direct SHOW
came his way, it felt like a "fun challenge" that he wanted to be a part of.
Raja talks about his experience of working with Will Arnett saying, "Working
with Will Arnett
is an absolute joy. He's so professional and understands the camera and the
the set. He's known for his outlandish characters but in SHOW DOGS he's a
leading man and has all the charm, insecurities, bravado and vulnerability that
you want in a
Natasha Lyonne plays Mattie, an "FBI canine consultant and is from the canini
there to help Max and Frank navigate their way through the world of high end dog
Raja explains how Natasha welcomed the opportunity to show her "softer
"play more of the comedy that she's been known for.'' Raja describes how he
"delightful in this role."
Raja goes on to talk us through the voice-over cast starting with lead dog Max,
and why they
went with Chris "Ludacris" Bridges to voice him. "Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges was
choice. He has a warmth and humanity to his voice." He goes on to describe Max's
important character arc; "Max is an ill-tempered, grumpy loner and his journey
is to learn to
work with someone else. The lesson's that Max learns are some of the most heart
things in the whole movie."
Stanley Tucci (Philippe) is "a character who, despite being thrown out of the
dog show world
in disgrace, still has an immense love for it and understands the huge gravitas
of the show
dog world." For Raja it was an "honor" working with Stanley and describes how
accent is "amazing" and he predicts that Phillipe is "going to be one of the
characters" of the movie.
Karma, played by Shaquille O'Neal, is a "very cool character who drops in and
nuggets of wisdom." Shaq has "so much personality and is so funny and brings his
quirks to the character of Karma."
Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias is "an amazing comedian" and his voice "pairs
brilliantly with the
hyperactive pug, (Sprinkles) who is always enthusiastic and happy." Raja goes on
to say, "the
amount of words per second that Gabriel can get out along with his explosive
delivery makes for an amazing combination."
Alan Cumming (Dante) - Raja and Alan had worked together on The Smurfs so we
reunited in the world of dog shows. Here in SHOW DOGS, "Dante represents the
exclusive nature of the Canini. He plays a very proper, cutting English show
dog. He's the
five time champion who regards Max as an outsider."
When asked about the experience of working with dogs, Raja talked about the joy
and how unique the experience was saying, "These dogs come onto the set and they
they're the stars of the movie. They're like athletes, they train for certain
things that they
have to do and come onto set with so much joy and enthusiasm. It gave me so much
for these dogs and their innate personalities but also for the trainers and
coaches that work
with them. They have such a unique bond with the dogs and their ability to
with them is jaw dropping."
When asked how much work the dogs were in post-production, Raja explains "the
things we're doing in post-production, in terms of the dog's performance, is
mouth and a few eye shapes. The rest is 100% the dog's performance."
When asked what he loves the most about the film, he explains that it's the
of the movie. He loves the idea that "a child, a parent and a grandparent can
all sit together
laughing at the same joke, enjoying the same moment." The movie has "a lot of
that are just flat out fun." He really hopes the audience will "enjoy the ride."
WILL ARNETT - Frank
When asked what attracted him to the project Will said, "I tend to do a lot of
shows and projects, and it was one of those movies I told my kids about and I
the idea and they loved it. It's fun for me to be able to do something I feel
like they, their
friends and people that age will really respond to."
Arnett describes his character as, "Frank is an FBI agent who susses out that
there are some
bad guys who are trafficking animals. The investigation leads to a dog show in
Las Vegas -
Frank has to go there and that's when he gets teamed up with a Rottweiler named
Frank begrudgingly takes Max on as his partner and they set off on an adventure
to enter the dog show and capture the animal traffickers."
Talking of his co-star Natasha, Arnett was highly complementary. "Working with
great. She's a lot of energy in a small package because she's physically quite
small but she's
got this ferocious personality in the best way. She brings a ton of energy and
funny. She's one of the funniest, smartest people I know."
Commenting on the unique experience of working on SHOW DOGS, Arnett said,
work every day and getting to work with all these great dogs is really, really
fun. I'm a dog
lover and I have to sometimes stop myself from constantly petting the dogs
because I forget
they're working. I've got to say, working with these dogs in a lot of ways is
working with humans. They're much more respectful and their needs are very
just want to eat and make everybody happy. They're constantly smiling, it seems.
just having a good time."
When asked if he had a favorite dog, Arnett found it tricky to answer. "I really
love a lot of
the dogs. The dog that plays Daisy is an Australian Shepherd and she's so
young. She's only a puppy. She's a really a sweet dog and has so much energy but
and eager to get it right. You have Razor who's this little Chihuahua and he's
got such a
funny temperament. Q is the dog that I spend the most amount of time with on set
really grown to love him."
Working with filmmakers was a highly collaborate experience saying, "Our
director, Raja, is
just the loveliest guy. He is incredibly inclusive and open to new ideas. He
always has a
pretty firm shot list but within that framework he's very flexible and I love
that part of it.
The producers have done a great job of creating an environment where that can
us the time and the resources. It's been awesome. Deepak, the producer, has got
experience over so many different projects, and he is a real lover of life. He
everybody to be able to reach their fullest potential."
Commenting of the overall appeal of the film, Arnett said, "I think what
audiences will enjoy
about this film is they can go as a family and there will be something in it for
"Some people have described this movie as Miss Congeniality for dogs. It's a
really a fun
twist on an action film, and a fun adventure film the whole family can enjoy."
NATASHA LYONNE - Mattie Smith
"It's sort of my dream movie. I love dogs and really felt like my entire life
has been leading
up to this moment." Natasha Lyonne talks of her enthusiasm for the SHOW DOGS
project. "It's clearly the role I was born for. I'm a huge fan of Will's,
Stanley Tucci and Chris
'Ludacris' Bridges, Alan Cummings and Shaquille O'Neal. These are really my
so I was just really excited."
Natasha Lyonne stars in SHOW DOGS as Mattie Smith, describing her character as,
has won Best In Show many times and this is her world. Will's character comes
looking for help. Mattie is tasked with assisting Frank and Max to blend into
show. It's a bit of a challenge but she's up to it, as long as he plays by her
Talking of her co-star, she joked, "Will Arnett is so well suited to the role
because I really
believe he works for the FBI. Really, Will is a blast to work with and play off
of. It makes my
job very easy and fun."
Although Daisy is her number one, Lyonne confesses a passion for Rottweiler's.
"I will say
that Max, played by Q, is a sensational Rottweiler. I grew up with Rottweiler's
so I'm sort of
predisposed to really loving them. I get right in a Rottweiler's face. I like to
put my hands
right in their jaw and Q seems to really enjoy that sort of manhandling
Working with the director Raja was a treat for Lyonne explaining, "Who is better
to make SHOW DOGS than the man who made BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA? Nobody is the
answer! I really love that this is a movie I'd have no idea how to make. They're
bringing in the VFX globes and everything is about how they are going to CGI
that. He's made these kinds of films before and that experience level makes for
a very calm,
safe environment. It's such a specific skill to be able to make these movies and
Lyonne shares her hopes for the SHOW DOGS audiences. "Something that we've
attention to is trying to make sure that Mattie is a good foil for Frank. We
talk a lot about
Tracey and Hepburn, those kind of dynamics, where the woman is an equal match
give him a run for his money.
"Also, the bad guys in the movie are really doing a horrible thing, trying to
species. Hopefully that will be part of the takeaway; a reminder of just how
real animals are
and how important it is to take care of them.
"Finally, I hope the takeaway is really to remember that it's always better to
be weird than it
is to not be. If your inner person is a show dog type, go ahead and be one
because you may
as well honor your inner self. Respect the show dog."
OMAR CHAPARRO - Senor Gabriel
Omar Chaparro describes his villainous character of Senor Gabriel as "a very
but a liar. He always looks good but he is someone you don't want to trust and
want to mess with him. He's kind of dangerous."
Chaparro describes himself completely different than his character
emphasizing his love for
dogs. "These dogs, I love them. I work with the dog Karma, who is a Komondor
breed - he is
huge and looks like a massive mop." He compared working with dogs vs. humans
"I've never worked with dogs before. Someone is talking to you, you talk back.
With a dog
it's different, they have different complications. What I was surprised about is
aren't any human leading characters in this movie, all the leading roles are for
When discussing working his with his human co-stars Will Arnett and Natasha
Chaparro said, "They are very nice guys, fun to work with. Natasha is always
around. And Will is a very nice guy to talk to. They're both very professional.
I'm so happy
to work with them. I feel so grateful and lucky to be in this project."
Chaparro hopes that audiences will enjoy SHOW DOGS and see a different
saying, "As humans we think we're the smart ones but, in this movie, you're
going to realize
it's the opposite and it's a very fun thing to watch. I love the script. The
writer is very clever
because he wrote this story to be watched by everyone, not only kids but adults
too. It's a
family movie, a great movie, very funny and it's going to make you laugh for
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