Harrison Ford had an interesting time on the set of his new movie Call Of The Wild, pretending a former Cirque du Soleil regular was a dog.
Terry Notary, who has become a top movement choreographer in Hollywood, was recruited to ape the mannerisms of canine character Buck in the film and help Ford believe he was acting alongside man’s best friend.
Notary studied dogs and perfected their mannerisms and movements, so director Chris Sanders wouldn’t have to rely on a real mutt.
“One of the most interesting details of shooting this film is that there were no dogs to work with,” Ford tells WENN. “There was a human stand-in for Buck, to organize my eye line and to give me someone to participate with emotionally.
“It was at first a bit challenging, but then became quite good fun. I spent more time with Terry than I did with anyone else on this film. We helped each other accomplish what the other needed. I was acting for him as he was acting for me. We were there for each other.”
Producer Ryan Stafford admits the odd idea of employing a human to play an off-camera dog really paid off: “It worked out so terrifically because we’re also looking for timing and size and eye placement,” he explains. “It gives the actors something to perform against.
“I’ve done a lot of motion-capture movies, and you get high quality performances out of actors when they are acting with something, and the moment you take that away and they’re performing to nothing, it sacrifices the performance. It’s really hard to act to empty space, especially in moments of high drama.”