Steven Spielberg and other industry luminaries are calling for awards for animal movie performers.
Centre stage was Uggie, the scene-stealing Jack Russell in The Artist. For while his film garnered six nominations at the Globes, Uggie has yet to receive any official recognition. Hollywood names, including Steven Spielberg – in London for the premiere of his film War Horse last week – and the actor James Cromwell have backed calls to honour animals at the Oscars.
10 year old Uggie, the Jack Russell Terrier.
Uggie and adorable Frenchman/Best Actor winner Jean DuJardin.
One of the 10 horses to feature in War Horse was on the red carpet at the Leicester Square premiere and has also starred in a Vanity Fair photoshoot. Asked if animals should be recognised at the Oscars, Spielberg replied: “Yes."
The British Academy of Film and Television wrote to members following enquiries to explain that “regretfully” Uggie could not be considered for Best Supporting Actor “as he is not a human being and his unique motivation as an actor was sausages”.
Uggie giving some love to his trainer, who saved him from the dog pound by adopting him after his first two owners had abandoned him for being "too wild".
Gill Raddings, who has trained animals for films such as Sherlock Holmes II and Inception, said: “I'd love to see them honoured – but what the animals are doing is not acting.” A “Consider Uggie” campaign has been started by the website Movieline. It said the terrier had an emotional range that matched his co-stars' and “handily outperforms” Leonardo DiCaprio – nominated for Best Actor for J Edgar. This is not the first controversy over a dog's role at the Oscars. Legend has it that Rin Tin Tin received the most votes for Best Actor at the first Oscars in 1929 but organisers instead gave it to German Emil Jannings.
Among other talents, Uggie knows how to skateboard. Youtube it for reals.
Uggie, being the best.
Susan Orlean, who has written a biography of the dog, insisted: “Rinty received the most votes ... in terms of popularity Rin Tin Tin didn't have a peer.” The German shepherd starred in 27 movies and at his peak earned £30,000 a week, in today's money. Other animals to have won plaudits for recent films have included another Jack Russell, Cosmo, in Beginners, alongside Ewan McGregor, and Crystal, the chain-smoking monkey in The Hangover Part II.
However, Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, has refrained from jumping on the bandwagon for fear the success could go to Uggie's head. “You know how actors are,” he joked.
What do you think about acting awards for animals, ONTD?