Hotel for Dogs star Lisa Kudrow is quite busy of late. Hotel for Dogs opens January 16 and Kudrow and co-star Kevin Dillon share set secrets.
Dog’s best Friends
The actress who is probably best known for her portrayal of Phoebe on Friends has carved a terrific post-Friends career. When Kudrow was offered the part of the somewhat-evil Lois Scudder in Hotel for Dogs, her decision was a no-brainer.
What drew her to film was the opportunity to star opposite the fantastic lead in Nancy Drew, Julia Roberts’ niece — the delightful Emma Roberts. “I saw Nancy Drew and I was instantly a huge fan,” Kudrow says. “I think she’s incredible…she’s incredible. That was one of the draws…and Don Cheadle!”
Another Kudrow draw to Hotel for Dogs was her ability to portray someone in Lois who hardly savory. “She’s such an idiot and her husband Carl is even a bigger idiot,” Kudrow says.
Does Kudrow ever worry about audiences believing she herself is less than smart? After all, her role on Friends was no Nobel Prize winner.
“No, hopefully you’re just laughing,” Kudrow says and laughs. “These kids (in the film) are so much smarter than them.”
The ‘cuteness’ factor
Throw in a cast of a hundred dogs and Kudrow could not resist. Who could?
“One day we were shooting a scene with these long bistro tables and chairs filled with dogs,” Kudrow stops to laugh.
“Ah, I almost couldn’t concentrate from the cuteness. They’re so cute! There’re two pugs sitting at the table,” she stops again to laugh. “They’re just so cute!”
Dillon and Kudrow’s comic chemistry
Joining Kudrow on her Hotel for Dogs escapade is Entourage scene-stealer Kevin Dillon. Matt’s brother has a blast in the role of Carl Scudder, a too old for school rocker who refuses do give up on his music dreams, however far-fetched as they may be from reality.
“Carl’s a rock n’ roll guy who’s a little old and he’s trying to get his rock n’ roll career going still at this age,” Dillon says.
Dillon believes Carl and Lois adopt the children who serve as the film’s main characters out of selfish desires. “I think they take these kids in is not so much that they care for the kids, it brings a little income in so they can keep the band practice going,” Dillon adds.
Kudrow and Dillon’s band in Hotel for Dogs is a source of humor in their impeccable ability to capture terrible rock songs. “We worked really hard at making bad music,” Dillon says and laughs. “That was one of the things that was the most fun was the insanely bad guitar playing and some of the lyrics of the songs are hilarious. I can belt them out and really get into it. I found the more I got into it, the funnier they are — that to me has been the best.”
Dillon’s wardrobe also fueled his character’s foibles. “It’s a funny thing wardrobe. Actors start to feel their characters when they put this stuff on. I’ve got the chops and the extensions on my mustache, that’s when I really start to fell this guy Carl. It’s a transformation, my walk changes — your whole attitude changes,” Dillon adds.
As much joy as Dillon paints about the set, Kudrow admits she at times found it difficult to maintain composure from Dillon’s spontaneous humor. “I heard Kevin Dillon was playing my husband and I thought ‘this is really turning out to be good.’ He’s hilarious,” Kudrow says. “Every time he opens his mouth, I have to fight to not laugh. He’s so funny.”
Helping dogs in need
Kudrow tells a story of Hotel for Dogs that paints a picture of the perfect family film. “We discover this abandoned hotel where there are already two dogs living and our characters figure they can leave their dog there for safe-keeping,” Kudrow dishes. “Since one of the foster kids, Bruce (Austin), is such a whiz kid and a really great gadget inventor, he comes up with all these appliances that help feed the dogs. They do everything for the dogs, even provide amusement. Dog hotel is like dog resort.”
The ‘perfect’ family film
Both Kudrow and Dillon, as parents, believe that Hotel for Dogs fits the movie mold that a family with diverse likes and dislikes will emerge from the theater with smiles.
“Parents are always trying to see a movie with their kids that they too could enjoy,” Kudrow says. “Hotel for Dogs is one of those.”
Dillon concurs and sites proof close to home. “I have a 16-year-old daughter and she enjoys it too. This film is good for everyone,” Dillon says. “I have an 18-month old daughter who is going to get a kick out of it. Watching kids, watching dogs and watching daddy up there – it’s a perfect movie!”
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