New Again: Hot Hollywood Dogs

With a big thanks to Interview‘s former Editor-in-Chief Ingrid Sischy, each of our May and June 2000 issues were dedicated entirely to celebrities and their pets—with every single photograph taken by Bruce Weber. Today is National Dog Day, so in honor of man’s best friend, we bring to you “Hot Hollywood Dogs,” a feature from the June 2000 issue that includes Brendan Fraser, Snoop Dogg, Paul Walker, and Edward Furlong. In the portfolio, each subject discusses their then-current projects, but more importantly, their connection with dogs, alongside photos with their furry friends.

Hot Hollywood Dogs
Their careers are sizzling—we serve them to you with relish.

By Sam Hamm

SAM HAMM: I need your counsel. I have a new beagle in the house. How do I establish dominance?

BRENDAN FRASER: Well, there’s always the old Navajo Indian trick of crying and begging. [laughs] As you know, I have a Chihuahua I acquired while working on the set of Monkeybone.

HAMM: How did you acquire her exactly?

FRASER: There was a kid standing right at the exit to the parking lot who had a bucket of these dogs, and he was looking more hangdog than the puppy was. I didn’t know if the Chihuahua would get on well with Wylie, my other dog. So to try it out I struck a deal…I gave them all the cash in my wallet, which was like 60 bucks, and said, “Can I just rent the dog?” So the dog came home with me and she and Lucy are now fast friends.

HAMM: Let’s talk about work. Actors today tend to find a niche, but you’ve had great success in a variety of genres.

FRASER: I think you should be able to do a little bit of everything. I’m looking for projects that combine all the things I love.

HAMM: A lot of people are kind of shocked when they see how terrific you are in Gods and Monsters. And in both The Mummy and Monkeybone [to be released in the fall] you give remarkably focused performances with characters whom you basically have to imagine.

FRASER: Oh, thank you very much, Sam.

HAMM: Ow! I just broke my nose on your ass! Do you have a special technique or are you just prone to hallucination?

FRASER: [laughs] The answer is yes. I think probably there has to be some combination of shameless risk-taking and excellent writing…Do you hear that dog?

HAMM: Yes.

FRASER: Okay, that would be Lucy. Someone is at the door. She’s bored with me kissing my own ass.

HAMM: Boy, she’s got a big, surly voice for a Chihuahua. We ought to devote a word or two here to Monkeybone, actually being the movie that we shot this year [and which Hamm wrote]. You’re now in the middle of shooting Bedazzled, yet through the miracle of stop-motion animation, Bedazzled will probably come out first. In Bedazzled you get to work with Elizabeth Hurley, who is very much alive, and in Monkeybone you’re playing across a stop-motion animated monkey.

FRASER: I think the name we had for the monkey on set, a green ball of tape, was The Booger.

HAMM: The Green Booger, yes. Without giving too much of the plot away, it’s a story of a man possessed by his own creation…a man who, for a long stretch of the picture, has the soul of a monkey and gets to unleash all of his bizarre impulses.

FRASER: I think he makes a pretty good monkey in and of himself.

HAMM: See, nobody believes me when tell them that this picture is autobiographical. There’s a monkey within all of us.

By Carl Hancock Rux

CARL HANCOCK RUX: I guess you’re in the studio right now—judging from that furious bass line. Are you working on a new track for your next album, The Last Meal?

SNOOP DOGG: Yeah. Ain’t got no name for it yet.

HANCOCK RUX: If it’s the last track, how about “The Last Meal Before the Next Meal,” because there has to be something said for a rapper of your status who actually survives it all and keeps moving forward. What’s this last join you’re doing for Master P’s label, No Limit, going to be like?

SNOOP DOGG: I’m just trying to five P a hot album that mothafuckas ain’t heard in a long time. there’s a message behind everything I do, and the message on this one is that young artists need to know that you gonna get tooken. It’s the way of the game. You just gotta be smart enough to stay in the game long enough and be successful enough to change that.

HANCOCK RUX: You’re changing from being an artist, to also being an executive in the music industry with your own new label. Do you feel like it’s really possible to change the game?

SNOOP DOGG: Ah, shit. All my artists will get all of their publishing [rights] off the top. And that’s something unheard of. Record labels look at you as talent, and they’re like, “We can take advantage of you.” I look at you as talent, and I’m like, “You should take advantage of ya own self.” I’m just taking the and I learned from Death Row and the good I learned from No Limit and putting them both together into formulating my own thing—trying to help and give back.

HANCOCK RUX: You’re acting in yoru first movie right now, a horror called Bones, which also stars Pam Grier. With all that on your plate, are you looking forward to doing this N.W.A. reunited/reinvented project with Dre and Ice Cube and MC Ren?

SNOOP DOGG: I’m trying to make history with this new stuff and let people know that we care continuing to make music—like the great James Brown, people like that who continue to make hits year after year.

HANCOCK RUX: James Brown: We can listen to the music he made 40 years ago, and it still works.

SNOOP DOGG: He made music about havin’ a good time, about our people, ad about us being proud of who we are. And I’m just doing what I do best and that’s what makes good music, and that’s how you can relate to people.

HANCOCK RUX: I just got my first pit bull. I know you have a few. How many dogs do you have?

SNOOP DOGG: Shit, about five now.

HANCOCK RUX: My dog reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. He’s really mild-mannered, but if he doesn’t like you, he lets you know it. How are your dogs’ personalities?

SNOOP DOGG: Just like mine…cool, friendly, you can chill around them and everything. They’re cool around kids. Mine don’t trip on nobody for no reason. Not for no reason at all.

By Scott Caan

SCOTT CAAN: Okay, let’s talk about Paul Walker. So an executive comes up to you and says, “I want to make a movie with you; here’s $25 million—pick your writer; pick your director; and pick four actors.” Who would they be?

PAUL WALKER: I love the Coen brothers. They do some sick and twisted stuff. Raising Arizona [1987] is one of my all-time favorite movies. I would also give them first crack at writing. As far as actors, I think a winning combination would be you, of course, Giovanni Ribisi, and Erik MacArthur. We could do something awesome.

CAAN: I’m actually driving to the beach right now to surf. I’ve surfed since I was a kid, but you influenced me to continue because you’re such a hardcore surfer. If you were offered a beach house, where waves broke all day long and someone would take care of you, would you continue acting?

WALKER: There’s no way I could just surf. Sometime within the last four years, I realized there’s more to life than surfing. I never took acting seriously as a profession, but then things fell into place. Now, I really jones for it. And what’s disturbing and fun at the same time is that it’s a learning process. Basically, everyone sucks. No one’s a master. People like De Niro and Pacino are at the top of their game…but they’re always learning, always getting better. No one’s a big dog.

CAAN: Oh, I heard you got a little golden retriever puppy. Now I’m sure everyone who reads this interview is going to think it’s adorable that you have a puppy.

WALKER: Yeah, yeah. It’s actually a Labrador.

CAAN: Anyway, so you think an actor just gets better as he goes along?

WALKER: I think the ones that don’t are the ones left by the wayside.

CAAN: I just did Gone in Sixty Seconds with Bobby Duvall, and what was so cool to watch is that he still loves acting so much.

WALKER: You know who else I say that about? Jon Voight. When you and I were working on Varsity Blues, remember how we lived the life of vampires going to work at 6 PM and not wrapping until sun-up? Well, Jon would go up into the stands, and sign autographs. I couldn’t help but think, “This has to be getting to him, too: We’re in our third week of night shoots, and my energy level is really, really low. It is miserable. I’m getting pasty white.” So, I walk up to him and say, “Hey Jon, how are you doing?” He says, “Oh, I’m doing pretty good, Paul, how are you doing?” “Well,” I say, “These nights, man, they’re just really wearing on me.” And he looks at me, and he goes, “For me, it’s all great. My days become my nights and my nights become my days, but the bottom line is, I love what I do.”

CAAN: Right.

WALKER: And I felt like the biggest idiot. I wished I could have taken my words back. But it was a lesson. If I’m around for ahalf as long as he is, I hope to god that I still have that outlook.

By Joseph Steuer

JOSEPH STEUER: You’re shooting Knights of the Quest in Italy now?

EDWARD FURLONG: Yes. It’s a movie directed by Pupi Avati, who is a huge Italian director. This is kind of his breakthrough film in the United States…maybe. I play a knight. I’m a crusader who is not necessarily strong but is able to survive because of his faith in God. It’s about God and Satan, and I like that stuff even though I’m not religious.

STEUER: Is this your first action film since Terminator 2 [1991]?


STEUER: Do you like action?

FURLONG: I do. This is a lot different than Terminator, though. It takes place in 1271 A.D. I thought it would be really fun to play a knight—use a sword and have fights and jousts. It’s a blast.

STEUER: Are you riding horses?

FURLONG: Yes, except I don’t like riding horses. They scare the fuck out of me.

STEUER: You love dogs, though. Tell me about [your dog] Smoke.

FURLONG: He’s a Neapolitan mastiff, and I got him at a pet store. My girlfriend [Natasha Lyonne] and I saw him and had to have him. We didn’t realize how big he was gonna get. He’s huge. He’s like one of those creatures you see in Star Wars. My friend is bringing him over here to be on the set. I’m going to try to keep him with me throughout the movie—in Italy, France, and Tunisia.

STEUER: Is this your biggest role?

FURLONG: You know what? Yes. I hope the movie translates well in America.

STEUER: Will it make you a bigger star than ever?

FURLONG: I don’t want to be a bigger star than ever. I don’t want my life to be surrounded by that. Being a star takes too much of my time.

STEUER: You enjoy acting, though?

FURLONG: I’d love to act forever, till the day I die. But I try to keep calm.

STEUER: What about your [upcoming] movie, Animal Factory?

FURLONG: It was a great script; it was a great experience. Steve Buscemi is a great director to work with. I play a drug dealer, who gets caught and sent to prison for two years. And my character is someone who really doesn’t want to be in prison, because I’m, like, a pretty little guy, and I might easily be turned into a “punk,” which is a prison term for someone they use to just…you know…fuck. But in the picture Willem Dafoe takes me under his wing.

STEUER: Did Dafoe teach you anything about acting?

FURLONG: People always ask me that. He is a great actor. But I pick up things subtly, so I can never say exactly what they taught me.

STEUER: People must always ask you about Terminator 3, so here I go: Will there be one?

FURLONG: It’s sounding like there might be.

STEUER: Would you be up for it?

FURLONG: Oh, yeah.

STEUER: What would you like to do next?

FURLONG: I don’t know. The movie I’m on is like a four-month shoot, so I’m kind of focused on this.


New Again runs every Wednesday. For more, click here.