Skip to main content

Celebrities Are Important Because...

In this weeks 'Celebrities Are Important Because...' column, Jessica Furst reports from the Cannes Film Festival giving us an exclusive interview with Baby Boy, the dog actor from 'Behind The Candelabra', the biopic of Liberace.
Screen shot 2013-05-23 at 1.46.25 PM

Baby Boy plays the dog on the right

Celebrities get to go to Cannes Film Festival. Normally seen as one of the most glamorous events of the year, it’s so far rained a lot and people keep getting their expensive jewelry stolen. The Great Gatsby opened this year’s festival to the sound of crickets and Eva Longoria thought it was perfectly appropriate to not wear underwear and then hike her dress up on the red carpet.

This week’s column focuses on Baby Boy. Let’s be clear from the offset; Baby Boy is a dog. But not just any dog. He’s in the running for the Palm Dog Award at this year’s Festival for his starring role in 'Behind The Candelabra', the biopic of Liberace starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

Because I care about this column so much, I flew to Cannes and interviewed Baby Boy. Once I’d got through the agents, the publicist, the manager and then the lawyer with their demands [no direct eye contact, only three treats to be given throughout the whole interview, don’t mention Uggie from The Artist and don’t say anything if he pees], my five minutes commenced.

Yes, before you ask, he does speak English.

Below is the transcript.

J: Hi Baby Boy. Congratulations on your nomination. How does it feel to be the favourite to take home the coveted prize? 

BB: Thank you. It’s such a shock! I can’t believe it. I couldn’t have done it without Michael and Matt. They were so welcoming to me. But saying that, I probably did work harder than them and I certainly cost a lot less.

J: What was your first day like on set with these two great actors?

BB: It was actually really funny. They both came to my trailer to say hi – it was a bit embarrassing actually because my groomer was there – everyone wants to look their best and there I was with my ass hanging out and my hair all messy. But thankfully they were both dressed in character and so they looked more stupid than I did. They were very gracious and stroked me a lot. I only bit Michael once and that’s because he kept harping on about Catherine [Zeta Jones, Michael’s wife] and I don’t care about her, or humans in general really.

J: You had a lot of direction in this film, were you good at remembering where you were supposed to be and what you were meant to be doing, especially as you’re supposed to be blind?

BB: Don’t be a moron. Of course I did. I’m a professional actor. I tend to follow Daniel Day-Lewis’ mode and become the character. It’s very liberating and at the same time disorientating because, obviously, I was blind. So my trainer put a blindfold over my eyes for six months and apart from bumping into things, it really helped me encapsulate my character.

J: OK. Sorry. Have a treat [BB eats this out of my hand]. What’s next for you?

BB: Let’s put it this way, I’m being sent a lot of scripts. It’s pretty overwhelming actually. I don’t want to be typecast, so I may do something that no one would expect. I just read a script actually with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a renegade Army General who has to battle the government after a terrorist impersonates the President and tries to take over the world. It sounds really original and exciting and I would play his sidekick. I’d have to have weapons training. Apparently they’re thinking of inventing special guns for dogs to use, which I think makes total sense.

J: Right...  Do you think it was Lassie who paved the way for dogs like you to make a healthy living in Hollywood?

BB: Oh please. Listen, if you think for one minute Lassie did his own stunts then you’re a stupid bitch [I didn’t really take this as an insult, more of an observation of my gender, given BB is a dog and all]. He pranced around with his trainer behind the camera waving some meat at him so he would look the right way. You call that acting? I went to drama school. I’ve paid my dues in theatre and petting zoos and children’s parties. Hitting the big time is a culmination of all my years of hard work.

J: What about Beethoven? He was cool…[interrupted by BB]…

BB: Give me a break. That massive hunk of drool. What a loser.

[I sense I’m losing him, so switch back to talking about Cannes]

J: What will you do if you win this award?

BB: Look, let’s be honest, no one likes to say they’ll actually win before they’ve won. I mean, did you see how well Ben Affleck did during the Oscars? He kept his mouth shut. So I’m doing the same. But I have thought about a few words to say when I do win and unlike some, though I would never mention names, I won’t be tripping up the stairs [he coughs and it sounds suspiciously like he saysJennifer] or wearing a dress that falls down.

J: Have you planned an outfit? Will you be following Uggie’s example wearing black tie?

BB: Don’t say his name in front of me.

[This is where the interview ended because he bit me. I think he’s just jealous because Uggie has his own Wikipedia page. I was then thrown out of the hotel room and told to delete the interview. Luckily for you, I didn’t. You’re welcome.]