Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.
Courtney Howard // Film Critic
Someone who has thankfully not gone missing in the (excuse us) “meow-velous” CAPTAIN MARVEL marketing campaign is Goose the Cat. Not only did the frisky feline get a cute character poster, the cat was the central focus of the recent National Love Your Pet Day promo. And can you really blame the studio for pushing this furry fwend into the spotlight?! We can’t. Just look at that adorably whiskered orange face!
The fantastic feature itself has Goose, played by animal actors Reggie, Gonzo, Rizzo and Archie, coming along for the ride, taking center stage and garnering more close-ups than some of his very famous human co-stars. Those big saucer eyes, slinky cattitude and furry appearance demands it. At the Los Angeles press conference, Co-director Anna Boden mentioned that it was important they cast a live cat in the part – and that it not be completely CG.
There’s something about getting a cat to do what he normally does – something about spontaneity of what an animal can do. It was part of the struggle of having a very well-trained, very direct-able cat on-screen. Sometimes we just wanted him to do the random thing that a cat’s going to do – like lick his paw, or go rub up against somebody. We had to suggest to the trainer, “Maybe let him do his thing for a while.”
The cast and crew would make sure to give the cat his personal space and keep the noise down to a minimum. Boden later stated,
The set got very, very quiet and respectful whenever Reggie came on.
But occasionally, his co-stars forgot that he wasn’t a normal cat. Brie Larson, who – in real life – has a cat allergy, said,
I got in trouble because I ran, screaming, “Shake Shack!” right next to the cat. And they were like, “The cat’s working right now!” That was my one very unprofessional moment.
Samuel L. Jackson, playing a younger version of the Nick Fury we know and love, pointed out that the trick to getting his four-legged co-star to hit his marks involved many treats.
Reggie is like most animals that are brought to set and have been trained to do this, that, or the other. He’s snack oriented. Give him something to eat and he shows up. Talk softly and say something nice to him and give him something to eat again.
Though there were four cats playing one part, only one carried most of the heavy lifting on his tiny fuzzy shoulders. Boden elucidated,
The other cats were more like Reggie’s stunt double. I’m not going to say Reggie did everything in the movie. For instance, there’s a moment where he’s being held by the scruff and we did not [have to direct] anything.
CAPTAIN MARVEL opens on March 9.