Maria Sharapova Stars in TV Commercial with Dog

Tennis ace Maria Sharapova explains why a dog actor had to stand in for her real dog.

Tennis ace Maria Sharapova is in love – with her dog, Pomeranian Dolce.

The pooch costars with Sharapova in a new TV commercial for the Canon PowerShot digital camera. “We wanted to get beyond Maria, the tennis player, to Maria, the person, and one of the things Maria loves most is her dog Dolce,” says Mike Wilson, the executive responsible for the ad, in an interview with USA Today.

The ad features Sharapova and Dolce – played by a professional dog actor named Beowulf from Castaic, Calif.-based Studio Animal Services – trading barbs during an impromptu photo shoot on a tennis court.

Why the professional stand-in for one-year-old Dolce? “[Beowulf] had the right snarky touch to take Maria off a pedestal and show her with a beautiful sense of humor,” Wilson says.

And though Sharapova says she loves taking “tons of photos” of the real Dolce, Sharapova admits that the dog hates to travel and would rather be at home than on a professional photo shoot. “He’s a homebody,” she says.

To view the ad, visit http://www.usa.canon.com/app/html/Maria_Sharapova/Maria_2007/pg_tvc.html#

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