For young British actor Jonah Hauer-King, working with his canine costar in Columbia Pictures’ family adventure A Dog’s Way Home was a rewarding experience — especially given that it was his first time working with animals.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but she’s kind of the dream dog,” Hauer-King says of Shelby, the rescue dog that plays Bella, the dog whose journey the film is about. “She’s kind, loving, and warm. It was fascinating to learn how the trainers work with her — but more than anything else, it was a joy.”
In the film, based on the W. Bruce Cameron novel of the same name, Hauer-King plays Lucas, an aspiring med student and VA hospital volunteer who finds Bella, voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard, and takes her home with him. One day, while Lucas is out, Bella jumps out of the window chasing a squirrel, and she gets lost along the way. The film chronicles her heartwarming and inspiring 400-mile journey back to Lucas and his mother, Terri, played by Ashley Judd.
Working with Judd was one of the film’s highlights for Hauer-King, whose acting credits include BBC’s Little Women, Old Boys, and Howards End. “I was very excited to meet Ashley, because she’s such a figure and she has such an amazing body of work behind her,” he says. “To get to work with people like that is a dream for a young actor. She’s just been very welcoming, giving me tips and answering all my questions. She’s been great.”
Hauer-King is also all praises for director Charles Martin Smith. “Charles is the best,” says Hauer-King. “The great thing about Charles’s work is that he was an actor before he directed, so he’s really an actor’s director. He understands that people have their different processes. He’s very sympathetic to actors and understands what they need for a scene. It was one of the best experiences that I’ve had with a director.”
In Philippine cinemas February 6, A Dog’s Way Home is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #ADogsWayHome
About Jonah Hauer-King
JONAH HAUER-KING (Lucas) is currently shooting the new BBC Series “World on Fire” with Lesley Manville and Helen Hunt, and Francois Girard’s The Song of Names with Clive Owen and Tim Roth. Earlier this year, Hauer-King shot opposite Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale in James DeMonaco’s Once Upon a Time in Staten Island. Hauer-King can currently be seen in BBC’s “Little Women,” with Maya Hawke, and in “Old Boys” with Alex Lawther. Up next, Hauer-King will be seen starring in Ashes in Snow, opening in January. He was also in the West End’s run of “The Entertainer” starring opposite Kenneth Branagh. He studied at Cambridge University, which has produced the likes of Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston.
About A Dog’s Way Home
A Dog’s Way Home chronicles the heartwarming adventure of Bella, a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human, Lucas, an aspiring med student and VA hospital volunteer. Bella touches the lives of many during her unwavering quest; from an orphaned mountain lion cub to a homeless veteran down on his luck, Bella brings joy and comfort to everyone she meets with her unique spirit and faith. Based on the bestselling novel by the beloved author of A Dog’s Purpose, A Dog’s Way Home is an emotionally charged and uplifting spiritual odyssey that follows one dog’s journey home that highlights the power of unconditional love between a dog and her owner.
Directed by Charles Martin Smith, the film stars Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp, Wes Studi, and Bryce Dallas Howard as the voice of Bella.