Brow Beat

A Dog Movie Star Demonstrates the Art of Canine Acting

Lilli (Zsófia Psotta) and Hagen (Bodie) in White God

Lili (Zsófia Psotta) and Hagen (Bodie) in White God.

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Check out all Slate’s interviews from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

In the upcoming movie White God, which won the Un Certain Regard award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, canine actor Bodie plays Hagen, a mutt that—after he is separated from his owner—leads an uprising of hundreds of dogs against the men who mistreat and abuse them.

The film is made with virtually no CGI, and Bodie’s naturalistic performance (this is no Uggie) takes his character from sadness to ferocious anger to, ultimately, triumph. We asked Bodie and trainer Teresa Ann Miller to show us how Bodie gets into character.


Slate Sessions video edited by Rob Naylor. Interview booked by Raquel Bruno. Executive produced by Ayana Morali.

How the Makers of White God Staged an Animal Uprising With 200 Dogs