‘Dog’: ‘This movie was inspired by my first dog’ – Channing Tatum

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For “Dog,” Channing Tatum stepped behind the camera for the first time in addition to playing the lead role of a combat-wounded veteran. And playing with animals taught him important lessons…far removed from Hollywood and…”Magic Mike.”

“I’ve always had dogs,” Channing Tatum explained during a videoconference press conference attended by the QMI Agency.

“This film was inspired by what I experienced with my first dog. I had Lulu when she was six weeks old – she was a little furry ball – and raised her. He was a mix of pit bull and catahoula leopard dog. She lived 11 years before falling ill and we took a “road trip” during her last days. I learned essential things during these moments with her, especially about acceptance and letting go.

In the film, Lulu’s master is dead and Jackson Briggs (Channing Tatum), who served with him, is tasked with leading his dog to his funeral. “At first, Briggs isn’t particularly happy. But he has no choice. So, like anyone who goes on a road trip, he wants the ride to be fun, but Lulu makes it difficult.”

Dogs like no other

The film’s Lulu was traumatized in battle, can’t stand sudden loud noises, nor does he let Briggs come near. A total of three dogs played this role. But beware, not just any.

“Belgian Shepherds, as well as German Shepherds – they are pretty much the same dogs – are the dogs of choice for specialist military troops. They are considered the ultimate tool. They’re not like other dogs at all, their brains work so fast.”

“These dogs are constantly active. They love to work, they constantly want to be doing something. They make me think of sharks going around in circles, which are always on the move. I now have a German Shepherd and I can’t go to the bathroom without her coming with me.”

“Each dog has its own characteristics and strengths. At first, Briggs doesn’t know anything about Lulu, he doesn’t know her quirks, her habits, or even what she likes or dislikes. He knows very well what Lulu is capable of.

“In the military, these dogs are put on a pedestal. They are considered soldiers, not dogs, and they are even decorated.”

Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin – who directed the film with the actor – knew a lot about these dogs from the elite units of the American army. Indeed, the two men and friends had co-produced the HBO documentary “War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend” in 2017.

“I hope the public will realize the extraordinary relationship that exists between dogs and soldiers and how thin the line is between man and animal,” said Reid Carolin.

Not easy to make…

This is the first time Channing Tatum has made the leap into directing. “My god,” he exclaimed. When you make a film as an actor, it’s constantly chaos. We are never happy with his performance, we never end a scene saying that we have succeeded.

“As for the part of the realization, I believe that I preferred to put everything in place at the time of filming. Actually, I was leading the dog and Reid was leading me. I can’t say I had fun, everything was going so fast. But it was very rewarding. And I can tell you that if I direct another film, I will not act in it.

“Dog” has been shown on cinema screens since February 18.

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