Halle Berry learned new dog tricks for John Wick 3
'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum' director Chad Stahelski told Halle Berry she would need to master dog training for her role in the action film.
Dogs play a key role in the action franchise, in particular to the lead character - who is played by Keanu Reeves - and before Halle signed on for her role as assassin Sofia the 50-year-old filmmaker told her that she would be required to work very closely with her canine co-stars so the human/animal relationship was as close as possible on screen.
In an interview with Collider, Chad said: "We didn't want a trainer hiding behind a set piece or a prop or something like that. We wanted Halle - or, Sophia, our character - to be our on screen dog trainer. So it wasn't acting like these were her dogs, these actually were her dogs. When we cast Halle we had the big talk. Halle actually came, after all her fight rehearsals and gun rehearsals, she would go sit, and work, and play with the dogs for months on end so the dogs on-screen actually obey Halle. They're not looking at a trainer. That was really fun."
Chad spent months audition different stunt dogs for the film and eventually settled on five German Shepherds who shared the shots.
The director worked with 'Game of Thrones' wolf trainer Andrew Simpson to pick the right pooches for the part and get them ready for their scenes.
He explained: "When you see a dog attack on screen or in a film, the dog doesn't know it's a movie. It's an animal attacking a human in the mentality of, 'I'm gonna bite and chew this person up.' So we wanted to find a trainer who was willing to take younger or adolescent animals or puppies and train them so that ... the interaction with the stunt people was fun. It was a game. It wasn't life or death, it wasn't an animal protection himself or anything like that. Lo and behold, we were able to find someone who was willing to go through that."