It’s an age-old question that defines friendships and divides nations; romances live or die by the answer: are you a CAT or DOG person?
Last week, Hotel for Dogs opened in theaters, so Scholastic and THE STACKS caught this exclusive interview with one of the stars, Emma Roberts. Get the DL on what it’s like to film a movie with animals and learn all about Emma, directly from Emma herself!
Emma on Hotel for Dogs:
Had you read the book it was based on?
I hadn’t. But it was funny because the author [Lois Duncan] actually came to set, and she said to me, “You’re much prettier and much skinnier than the Andi I imagined in the book.” I was like, “Oh, okay, thank you.” She was just so sweet; she was the sweetest woman . . . I was really glad because she wrote it; it’s really personal to her, so I’m glad she liked what she saw.
[Nancy] The movie is based on a novel written by Lois Duncan in 1971. Yes, that young adult author Lois Duncan, who up until this point I only knew as the author of thrillers for teens. And this April (38 years after the original!), the first sequel , News for Dogs is being published. You learn something everyday . . . By the way, I did some sleuthing on the web, and Lois Duncan cameos in one of the crowd scenes in the movie — look out for her! If you don’t know what she looks like, here’s a picture of her at the movie premiere:
Do you identify with Andi at all?
I definitely identify with her in some scenes. She kind of felt awkward in social settings sometimes, and I think we all feel like that at some point. You know, in high school, you go to a party and you don’t really know anyone and you feel uncomfortable. I could definitely relate to her in that way.
[Nancy] Whoa, I can’t imagine Emma feeling awkward in a social setting (but she does act it wonderfully). Also, make sure not to confuse Andi with Annie, played by Shenae Grimes on the new 90210. I did for a sec — I think they look alike. What do you guys think?
Andi is really responsible and loves and takes care of her little brother. Do you tend to do that or are you more of a loner?
She’s definitely responsible. I’m responsible too. She’s more responsible than me, though, I think. I’m very forgetful. She’s not. I have a little sister that I try to look after, but she’s very mature for her age and doesn’t need much looking after from me. [My sister is] 7, almost 8.
[Nancy] In Duncan’s original story, Andi is actually 10 years old, and Bruce (played in the movie by Wizards of Waverly Place actor Jake T. Austin) is supposed to be 12 — in the movie, Andi is 16. They updated this just so Emma could star.
What was the most fun part of the movie?
The cast was really fun, the dogs were great to work with, and the other kids in the movie were so much fun. For me, that’s great — to be able to go to work and get along with people and hang out during breaks and on lunch. That’s really important ’cause it keeps the mood up on set.
What was the highlight of working with Don [Cheadle]?
He was great. He has such a great sense of humor, and he’s really fun. He’s a sweet guy. He has kids, and he knows how to work with kids.
What do you hope kids take away from this?
I hope they go out of the movie with a smile, having enjoyed it . . . There are so many messages in it . . . just be comfortable with yourself, and it’s important to look after other people and not just think about yourself and be selfish. That’s what I really liked about the movie.