Interview with Emma Roberts Hotel For Dogs

The star of Nancy Drew and Wild Child talks about puppy love in her new movie

She made her acting debut as Johnny Depp’s daughter in drug drama “Blow” and now Emma Roberts is set to become the latest American tween sensation – having appeared as the title character in an updated version of teen detective Nancy Drew and as the lead in teen flick “Wild Child”. For her latest film Emma Roberts, niece of Julia Roberts, joins the former Friends star Lisa Kudrow in the heartwarming canine caper “Hotel for Dogs”. Here the 17-year old actress chats about the movie:

Q: When did you know you wanted to be an actress?

A: I remember when I was little, hanging around movie sets sitting in the hair and make-up chair, talking to make-up artists or watching the scenes on the monitor and I thought it seemed like such a fun job. I thought it was a job which gave you so many opportunities and there isn’t anything else like that where you can pretend to be so many different characters.

Q: Give us all the details on what it was like working with so many dogs in this new movie. It must have made for a very interesting set.

A: It was crazy! They say dogs and kids are the hardest things to handle on movies. Our director (Thor Freudenthal) was always trying to make sure we also did our school work and give the dogs their breaks, so getting us all together on set was quite a task (laughs). Everyone had to be prepared. It was always chaotic, but a lot of fun.

Q: What special things did you have to do with the dogs to make sure everything went as smoothly as possible?

A: We had to make sure we always washed our hands. A lot of the people in the movie had dogs, so we had to make sure we weren’t touching our dogs and then touching the dogs on set. Usually when the dogs are trying to focus too, you can’t be in their face. I thought they were so cute, so I’d always be touching them and patting them, so sometimes that wasn’t a good thing, but I couldn’t help it.

Q; How many dogs were on the set?

A: There was a minimum of three all the time, but sometimes there would be 10 or 20. It would depend on what we were shooting that day.

Q: What was your most embarrassing moment on set?

A: It was a take where I had to run out of a building. It had just rained and I slipped, but I had 20 dogs following me and they trampled me because their trainers were standing on the other side of the set with treats and they wanted to get to them (laughs). It was so embarrassing!

Q: Do you have any dogs at home yourself?

A: I have a dog, a little longhaired Chihuahua named Twiggy. I think we went through every name in the book. One day she was Daisy, the next Eadie because my sister and I couldn’t decide what to call her. Then one day, my mum said ‘I’m going to name her Twiggy’ and I thought ‘Great!’

Q: If you could have taken home one dog from the movie, which one would it have been?

A: My favourite was the Border Collie named Shep in the movie. He was the nicest dog and the most well behaved. He was so sweet and I wanted to take him home, but they wouldn’t let me.

Q: Your fan base are quite devoted. What is the one thing you’d like your fans to know about you?

A: A lot of my friends are in the business as well and I’d like everyone to know that we’re just normal kids. We’ve grown up with normal families and it seems weird that almost overnight, young kids admire you in the same way you admired celebrities when you were younger. I remember being eight years old and thinking Lizzie McGuire was the coolest thing in the whole entire world. I idolised Hilary Duff, so to be in somewhat the same position as her now is weird. My sister is seven and all her friends come over and they just stare at me. (laughs)

Q: When you’re not working or going to school, what do you like to do?

A: I love reading, it’s my favourite hobby. I also really love writing and photography too. Writing and photography are the things I hope to pursue in the future as well as acting. Right now I’m reading The Glass Castle, but my favourite books are Girl Interrupted and The Perks of Being A Wallflower.

Q: You have an onscreen kiss in Hotel For Dogs. Was that your first onscreen kiss?

A: No, my first onscreen kiss was on my television show Unfabulous. I remember I was about 13 and I was mortified! I was so embarrassed and I didn’t want to do it. Yeah, as I get older it’s much easier to be friends with the guys and stuff like that. When I was 13 I thought ‘I can’t be friends with a boy.’ (laughs) But as I’ve matured, you become friends with everyone and now, it’s just funny. In this movie, I had to kiss Johnny Simmons and we were just laughing about it beforehand.

Q: Were you nervous at all?
A: Well we didn’t want to do it at first because the way the scene was set up, there were 50 people around including the extras and Don Cheadle. I was so embarrassed Don Cheadle had to see me do my kissing scene! I was nervous though, yeah.



Hotel For Dogs is now showing at Irish Cinemas nationwide.