'John Wick' beagle is 'cutest dog in the world'
by Bryan Alexander
Even the biggest Hollywood star can use a cute-puppy box-office boost.
Enter Andy, the beagle star of John Wick (opening nationwide Friday). The 1-year-old male is so talented that he plays Daisy — a female — who steals star Keanu Reeves' heart.
It's no small task considering Reeves' Wick is a retired assassin. The pooch is a haven of pure puppy cuteness in a movie filled with gruesome killings.
David Leitch says he and co-director Chad Stahelski sought out "the cutest dog in the world" for a purpose. The canine's screen arrival brings humanity to Wick, a gift from beyond the grave from his just-deceased wife.
But Russian mobsters cruelly kill Daisy, pushing Wick over the edge and onto an epic killing spree.
"John Wick started living life with this dog. And immediately that chance of being the person his wife wanted him to be was ripped from him," says Leitch. "After that, he becomes the monster he was before, the anti-hero we like to watch in these kinds of movies. We set up the empathy for John Wick by going all out."
Trainer Kim Krafsky, from Animal Actors International, says Andy provides the "rock star" quality to the role, winning the job over two dozen other beagles when he was 12 weeks old.
"He melts you with his eyes," says Krafsky. "He also has the right temperament. He and Keanu hit it off right away. But, then again, who wouldn't love this puppy?"
Despite his violent onscreen demise (a prop was used), Andy is living the star's life — even walking the John Wick premiere red carpet in New York with Reeves last weekend.
Dave Karger, chief correspondent of the movie ticket site Fandango.com, says the Keanu-beagle team is a winner: "Any sequel should just be him with a puppy.''