Bradley Cooper, Tiffany Haddish and More Stars Who Fell in Love With Their Furry Costars
A four-legged star was born on the set of A Star Is Born. Bradley Cooper, who makes his directorial debut with the film, picked his own dog, Charlie, to play the pet his character shares with Lady Gaga’s Ally. “There was no nepotism,” Cooper told PEOPLE. “I wanted this relationship with the dog.” The history between the star and his lovable dog came through on-screen — but Cooper joked that after his big break, Charlie stopped taking his calls.
By the time her Game of Thrones character’s dire wolf, Lady, met a sad fate on-screen, Sophie Turner had fallen in love with the dog that played her, a Mahlek Northern Inuit dog named Zunni. "We knew Lady died and they wanted to re-home her,” Turner told the Coventry Telegraph in 2013. “My mum persuaded them to let us adopt her." Turner and fiancé Joe Jonas have since added two more pups to their pack.
It took a while for Will Smith to win over Abbey, his canine costar in I Am Legend. Trainer Steve Berens told Entertainment Weekly that Abbey barked at Smith when they first met. But the two went on to form a bond so tight that by the end of the film, the actor was begging Berens (unsuccessfully) to let him keep the dog. “She has her own family now,” Smith said on Access Hollywood. “It was just another one of those fleeting Hollywood romances.”
Self-professed dog lover Tom Hardy told Vulture in 2014 that “the love of the dog” drew him to his character in The Drop, who opens up thanks to a pit bull named Rocco. Hardy bonded with the pups playing Rocco so much that he even convinced the handler to let him take one home “to cuddle,” a rare treat given how protective handlers are of the dogs on set. “I’d turn up at the apartment,” Hardy recalled, “and I’d have him over my shoulder, in my puffy jacket and my hood.”
A total of seven kittens played the scene-stealing feline in 2016’s Keanu, and one of them went home with star Tiffany Haddish. “It was named Clementine,” trainer Larry Payne told PEOPLE, “but I think she changed it to Catatonic.” The tabby, now grown, is a regular guest star on Haddish’s Instagram account.
Though the dog in the first John Wick didn’t last long, Reeves had plenty of time to embrace his new canine costar in John Wick: Chapter 2. The actor told MTV News that he had spent plenty of time “hanging out” with the pit bull to develop a rapport. As director Chad Stahelski put it, the dog had "the most gentle personality you could imagine for a pit bull."
The beloved pup who went over the rainbow with Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz was listed in the credits as Toto, but the terrier’s actual name was Terry — and she suffered a serious injury when an actor playing a Winkie guard stepped on her foot, breaking it. Garland took Terry to her house to recover, and she grew so attached that she asked trainer Carl Spitz to let her adopt the dog. Spitz refused Garland’s offer, and Terry went on to appear in films for another three years.
Robert Downey Jr.
His character hated the dog in Due Date, but behind the scenes, Robert Downey Jr. fell in love with his canine costar. “In between takes, he would put her in his lap and sit with her,” trainer Mark Harden told PEOPLE. Downey asked about adopting the French Bulldog, but Harden turned him down, which the actor took in stride. “He said that maybe when he was more settled he would give me a call to see about finding him another dog,” Harden recalled.
Marti, an adorable Golden Retriever-Chow rescue, was chosen to play Annie’s loyal dog, Sandy, in the 2014 film version of Annie because she bonded with star Quvenzhané Wallis right away. “Quvenzhané happened to come into the office the day I was there, and she sat on the floor and Marti started licking her face,” trainer Bill Berloni told VetStreet. “She had this instant bond. So we continued to facilitate Quvenzhané’s natural instincts with Marti, and they just became friends.”
When Novak, star of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, played a witch in 1958’s Bell Book and Candle, she fell in love with the Siamese cat that played her character’s pet. The actress adopted the cat and regularly posed with her in photographs for years.
McGregor was immediately taken by his canine costar in Beginners, a Jack Russell terrier named Cosmo. “A lot of actors like dogs, and they’re happy to be in scenes with them, but they won’t go out of their way to have this relationship with them,” trainer Mathilde de Cagny told PEOPLE. “Ewan did right away.” McGregor wanted to adopt Cosmo, but De Cagny couldn’t part with the pup, so the actor went to a shelter and adopted a dog of his own: a hypoallergenic poodle-terrier mix named Sid.