Working like a dog

Director duo Sajid - Farhad talk about zeroing in on the perfect dog and the reason why their film’s lead protagonist, Junior, a golden retriever was treated like a star on the sets of Entertainment

Written by Priya Adivarekar | Mumbai | Published: August 1, 2014 1:00 am
Akshay Kumar treats Junior aka Entertainment to some music Akshay Kumar treats Junior aka Entertainment to some music

It’s interesting how debutant directors, Farhad and Sajid, have chosen a subject for their film, Entertainment, whose main protagonist is a dog. Before starting off the shoot, the directors, along with the film’s co-producer Ramesh Taurani, had auditioned more than 50-60 dogs in Bangkok (where major part of the film is shot), before zeroing in on the golden retriever Junior, to play the title role of Entertainment. “There were a lot of factors we had to keep in mind before choosing the dog. We wanted the dog to be endearing, active and expressive. Junior was the first dog to audition and after testing several other dogs, both Farhad and I agreed that Junior fits the bill. Also, he was a local dog from Bangkok, which also made things easier. On the sets, Junior was the most pampered star. Usually, A-list actors make people wait for the shot. But here, the entire cast would be present and the last one to arrive would be Junior,” stated Sajid.
Akshay Kumar, who plays the lead, confessed that the hardest part of the shoot was on the last day in Bangkok, when we had bid Junior goodbye. “I think he is one co-star with whom I have enjoyed a crackling chemistry, which eventually translated on screen,” mentioned the actor. Keeping in mind the fact that animals have to be well taken care of on the sets, Junior had seven- eight body doubles and all of them were provided with an air-conditioned vanity van, apart from good food.
A particular scene in the film required 100 dogs, including Junior, which was quite a task for the makers. “We had to assemble dogs from different breeds, which included pug, german shepard, st.bernard among others. Each dog had a team of five, which comprised of a nurse, two trainers and care-takers, looking after it. We had to shoot according to their convenience and having 100 dogs around certainly wasn’t easy. We could have easily opted for VFX, but we are glad the scene eventually worked out. Issi scene pe maximum seetiyaan padengi,” mentioned Sajid. Co-produced by Tips Industries Ltd. and Jayantilal Gada (Pen), Entertainment will release on August 8.



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