It’s showtime for a lucky tabby kitten. Well, seven lucky tabbies.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s new movie “Keanu” places a kitten at the center of the action, and the Hollywood Reporter has revealed some of the little stars’ secrets. The first one we learn is that there were, in fact, seven little stars who took on the eponymous role in the film, which debuts April 29.
Larry Payne of Birds and Animals Unlimited and April Mackin trained all the “Keanu” kittens. Each actor/actress had to portray the heart of the movie: the missing cat that Key and Peele venture out on a dangerous mission to reclaim. Payne laid out three tips to getting these cats to act on cue.
First: Moar kittehs. Cats have different talents, as we know, so multiple cats were able to tackle different aspects of the title character. Hence: seven kittens. (In tiny trailers? We can only hope.)
Second: Noms rule everything around us. Using buzzers and food rewards, the kittens learned to walk, run and sit on marks. Payne got the kittens to walk over to a buzzer with repeated treats. A kitten gave Peele’s face a kiss with the motivation of a little baby food on the target. Hollywood secret!
Third: Location, location, location. Each kitten went to the New Orleans set at only a few weeks of age so they could grow accustomed to the noise and chaos of the movie set. This enabled everyone — cats and people alike — to grow comfortable with the surroundings and make everybody/kitty feel at ease.
According to Payne, quoted in the Hollywood Reporter story, the kittens “were treated like little stars.” As well they should be. Even better — all the Keanus were adopted.
That’s a happy ending.