We got the inside scoop!
Based on the IRL friendship between a Jack Russel Terrier and rescued miniature horse, “Adventures of Dally & Spanky” follows a 17-year-old, Addy, who inherits a mini horse (named Spanky) from her father before he passes away. Mourning the tragic loss of her dad, she finds joy in Spanky’s newly-sparked relationship with the her family dog Dally, and enters them in a pet talent show in the hopes of rescuing her parents from financial debt.
To celebrate the heartwarming flick releasing on DVD and digital tomorrow, we caught up with the actress behind Addy, Brenna D’Amico (who you’ll probably recognize as Jane from the “Descendants” trilogy), to find out what working with the IRL Dally and Spanky on set was *really* like!
Keep scrolling to catch the 411: from Brenna’s favorite animal-induced blooper, to her first memory of meeting the dynamic duo and everything in between!
What was having a dog and horse as costars like?
Brenna: Working with these animals was so much fun! It was an adventure every single day…When we had free time…we would braid Spanky’s hair and we would cuddle with Dally all day. Spanky, was is so cute but was so moody! If he didn’t get as many carrots or hay as he wanted, he would literally sit in the corner of the yard and pout and stare at everybody. It was the funniest thing!
What was your first impression of Dally and Spanky when you initially met them?
Brenna: Honestly, I was so nervous. It was a week into filming. They came over to the house and there was a huge backyard, and they were placed there and me and Reylynn [Caster] were both in the house waiting to meet them so we both went out and met them. And we could hear Spanky whinnying…and Dally barking. We went outside and they were so sweet; they ran right up to us! They let us pet them and Dally kissed us on the cheeks and did little tricks for us. We just started playing with them immediately, creating that bond.
What surprised you the most?
Brenna: There are a lot of bloopers! A lot of bloopers of the horse and the little dog not doing what they were supposed to do or us messing up the training or the signals. I was very surprised by how many takes we had to do because we all had to learn to work together. They had to learn how to work with us and we had to work with them for the first time. Lots of retakes, lots of reshoots, and lots of time was spent with them.
Do you have a favorite blooper?
Brenna: I was standing still and Spanky was supposed to be standing next to me, but he kept backing up for no reason and nibbling on my thigh. It was so funny! Every time he would nibble at my thigh or back up we would have to retake it. He was moody because he didn’t have his carrot!
What was the training process like?
Brenna: We had a mini Dally-Spanky bootcamp training session every time before we filmed a scene so that it was really fresh and really memorized and ingrained in their brains and our brains. We would be the only ones training them before we started filming so that they would listen to us the most. It took 30 or 40 minutes for every training scene to work with them.
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