Four Legs Good: 10 Celebs and Their Famous Pooches


President Obama recently took some time out of his busy schedule to tell CNN’s Chris Cuomo about the latest addition to the First Family: a puppy named Sunny, who is Bo’s new playmate. It seems that if anything can distract us from the task at hand, it’s our canine companions. But often they are central to the task at hand, like Andy Warhol’s dachsunds, who were depicted in his paintings and were also regular subjects in his diaries. Here’s a look at ten famous Fidos—some of which have stolen the show from their celebrity guardians.

Alan Cumming, Honey and Leon

Actor Alan Cumming, who has two dogs—Honey, a Collie-Shepherd mix, and Leon, a shorthaired Chihuahua—claims his friends don’t think he’s a crazy dog person, although he admits, "My day is kind of focused around them." He may not be crazy, but his melodramatic Masterpiece Mystery! introductions—usually featuring arrestingly effective eyebrow raises, sideways glances and duck faces—hint at a wild and crazy guy within.

Rachael Ray and Isaboo

Rachael Ray brought her beloved dog Isaboo on her talk show to get microchipped in front of a live studio audience, urging all dog guardians to do the same with their precious pups. I honestly never gave much thought to Ray until I saw this segment and found out more about her work helping shelter dogs. I’ll have to try whipping up her Marsala Mushroom Ragout after all.


Picasso and Lump

This cute little animation by Raza Shah features Pablo Picasso’s famous line drawing of a dachshund (thought to be the artist’s own beloved dog Lump). In 2006, photographer David Douglas Duncan published the book Picasso and Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey, which revealed the duo’s close relationship through photographs taken in 1957 at the artist’s mansion in Cannes. Apparently, Lump was in charge.

Louis C.K.: An Old Woman and Her Dog

OK, so this clip isn’t about a celebrity and their dog. But it’s a celebrity talking about a dog; specifically it’s a bit about an old lady and her dog that comedian Louis C.K. performed in Phoenix in February that is pretty damn funny. Not sure if Louie is lucky enough to have a dog. I’ve seen him walking with his daughters, though. He was in a rush and all sweaty, kind of like his character in his awesome FX television series, Louie.

In the excellent heist film High Sierra (1941), Humphrey Bogart’s character Roy is befriended by a homeless mutt named Pard, played by the actor’s own dog, Zero.

Parker Posey and Gracie

The fact that I’ve seen Parker Posey and her dog Gracie walking around my neighborhood on several occasions isn’t surprising. According to Gawker, "everyone’s had a run-in with Parker Posey’s devil-dog"—though I’ve never seen anything other than a cute little canine behaving very well. But I’d hate to see what happens if Gracie ever lost her squeaky toy.

Ryan Gosling and George

Note to celebrities who don’t like talking about themselves on talk shows: Bring your dog. In 2011, when Ryan Gosling was a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the actor brought along his dog George. "He’s more interesting than I am," said Gosling, "so I thought it would be helpful."

Susan Sarandon, Penny and Rigby

When she stopped by The View, Susan Sarandon brought her two dogs, Penny, who was in at least two of the Academy Award winner’s films: Arbitrage and Cloud Atlas, and Rigby, "who just got out of rehab."

Kevin Spacey and Boston

In May, actor Kevin Spacey adopted a shelter dog from the Surry County Animal Shelter in North Carolina. The two-time Academy Award winner named her Boston in honor of the city. Two more reasons to love this guy.

The Obamas, Bo and Sunny

The White House recently unveiled the newest member to the First Family, Sunny, who seems to enjoy the first First Dog, Bo. Both of them are Portuguese Water Dogs, chosen partly because they are hypoallergenic, as Malia’s allergies require a breed that doesn’t shed. "Bo was starting to look a little down in the dumps inside the house," the pack leader-in-chief told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. "And Sunny, the new dog. she’s only a year old, and the truth is, she’s faster than he is. She jumps higher, she’s friskier…[Bo] is trying to keep up. But I think that ultimately, he’s loving it. I think that ultimately, it’s going to be great for him in the long term."

Parker Posey on How Sundance Has Changed

Parker Posey, the ‘90’s “Queen of the Indies,” was back in Utah this year with her first screening at Sundance in five years, Price Check. She was all over Park City, helping Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s hitRECord: A Night at the Movies and was set to host the awards before falling sick.  According to her, the festival has changed since her heyday.

Outspoken and over-the-top, you would think it would take a lot to freak Posey out.  Nope, just offer her a free bag. “You do these photographs in these [gifting suites], and someone came up to me and said, ‘Hello. Can I give you this leather bag?’” Posey tells the Daily Beast, likening the mix of corporate and indie to The Twilight Zone. “I said, ‘No, I don’t need a bag. I already have one.’ It was a room as big as a hotel room but there was a lemonade stand, a Chex Mix, a martini bar, mints, and then this bag. I move along, and then the guy behind the bar says, ‘Hi. Can I take a picture of you shaking a vodka martini?’ Again, I said, ‘No.’ It’s so weird.”

As far as the state of her own personal indie sensibilities, things have also  changed. “They love putting me in the ‘indie queen’ box. I had some high standards in my 20s that I don’t have anymore. Hire me.”

Hear that casting directors?  Hire her!  And someone please get started on Party Girl 2.

Where Celebs Go Out: Hugh Jackman, Parker Posey, Reshma Shetty

At the premiere of City Island:

● ANDY GARCIA – “In New York there are so many great restaurants. There’s an old one I’ve gone here for many years that I like to visit, just out of nostalgia. It’s a very good restaurant. It’s called Il Vagabondo. It has a bocce court in it. It’s just a very picturesque place; very, good food. Cipriani’s. There’s a new one called Nino’s. Scalinatella — a lot of Italian restaurants, you can tell. I always pop my head into Victor’s Cafe. And then, I’ve got to have a Gray’s Papaya hot dog here.” Any plans to visit Cuba? “Oh, I dream about visiting Cuba every day. But some people have to leave there first.” ● HUGH JACKMAN – “I’m a real junkie for Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I love his cooking. I just went to his place up in The Mark, and I was lucky enough to go to his new restaurant down at ABC Carpet and Home — all organic, every ingredient’s within an 100-mile radius. The food is just unbelievable there, so … Any special dish? Chicken. He told me his secret: brine. You got to brine your chicken.” ● VERA WANG –“I like Morimoto, and I like Bar Masa, and I love the new Mark Hotel, and Sant Ambroeus, uptown and downtown, Mr. Chow’s. I go out to eat a lot — you can tell.”

● SANDRA BERNHARD – “I love Cookshop, which is downtown. I love BLT Fish, one of my favorite restaurants. Babbo. Of course, I love 2nd Avenue Deli. I’m very into trying to eat locally, sustainably grown food. I’m doing more and more cooking at home because of my daughter. And I’ve always eaten very balanced and healthy, but, to me, it’s about really preserving the environment, as well.” ● ZOE KRAVITZ –Five Leaves in Brooklyn, in Greenpoint. Delicious.” ● PARKER POSEY – “I’m trying to give a good recommendation for something. Mary’s Fish Camp.” ● DOMINIK GARCIA-LORIDO – “Oh, wow! I’m, like, so not a club person anymore. I’m pretty much a homebody. I live in L.A., so … I like more dive bars and chill spots where you can hear good music. I don’t like really sceney places. I don’t like where you have to dress up. I’m more, have a beer and chill; watch a game. I have to give a shout-out to the guy I work for, as a waitress. I still work there. It’s a lounge in Studio City, California, called Next Door Tapas. It’s attached to an Italian restaurant, La Loggia. It’s a really chill, tapas bar in the Valley. It’s got good drinks and good food.” ● STEVEN STRAIT –The Smile on Bond Street — really, really cool place; a little coffee shop that’s got great food, great coffee; really relaxed, cool place. I grew up here, but I don’t live here anymore. I love staying at the Chelsea Hotel. It’s got so much character; really, amazing history; inspiring place. It’s really kept to its roots. The city’s expanded around it. It’s really held firm. I appreciate that.” ● RESHMA SHETTY – “My favorite restaurant, at the moment, is Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar. I love that place. Bar-wise, the Russian Vodka Room does a mean apple martini. And they have a fabulous happy hour: $5, 4-6.” ● GRAHAM PHILLIPS – “One thing that’s been fun is that I’ve noticed is that all the best pizzerias are in Brooklyn, and I used to never really go to Brooklyn, but now that the show [The Good Wife] films in Brooklyn, I’ve been going to all these pizzerias. I have a list on my phone. Someone sent it to me. I’ve just been trying to check ’em all off my list. Joe’s Pizza, Bleecker and Carmine, unbelievable! Di Fara, Brooklyn, Avenue J — I tried that. That was unbelievable! I also tried Grimaldi’s. And they were all unbelievable. They’re all in the same genre of this authentic New York pizza, but they all have their little twist to it.”

Movie Reviews: ‘Greenberg’, ‘She’s Out of My League’, ‘Happy Tears’

Happy Tears – We grow old. It goes without saying, and yet, we don’t say it much. Happy Tears contends with this inevitability. Parker Posey and Demi Moore play sisters who return home to care for their increasingly delusional father (Rip Torn). Mitchell Lichtenstein, director of vagina dentata classic Teeth, honors his own father, late pop-art star Roy Lichtenstein, by crafting whimsical fantasy sequences that mimic his work. Posey and Moore aren’t always believable as kin and, poetically, it’s left to the old folks to steal the show: Torn’s peculiar brand of crazy — unlike his character — never gets old, while Ellen Barkin is downright resplendent as an aging sexpot who claims to be his nurse. (Think: Elle Woods in 30 years, rocking a prop stethoscope.) — Eiseley Tauginas

Shutter Island – In the latest offering from Scorsese-DiCaprio, the legendary director quells his epic ambitions (The Aviator, Gangs of New York) and goes straight for the jugular (Goodfellas, The Departed). The ageless DiCaprio plays Teddy Daniels, a U.S. Marshal sent to investigate the disappearance of an inmate (Emily Mortimer) at an insane asylum. Less cerebral than what we’ve come to expect from the creator of Taxi Driver, it’s still a thrill to watch him revel in B-movie jolts. Anchored by strong performances from a cast that includes Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley, Shutter Island mines suspense thriller tropes all the way down to the twist ending. It’s a popcorn movie from a master. — Ben Barna

She’s Out of My League – Following Judd Apatow’s not-so-secret recipe — equal parts fart and heart — is harder than it looks. Director Jim Field Smith serves up the story of a dorky string bean (Jay Baruchel, an Apatow protégé) who lands himself a Maxim-ready dream girl (newcomer Alice Eve), and it doesn’t go down easy. Peppered with recycled ingredients, League features the stereotypical abusive quarterback brother, trashy ex-girlfriend and obligatory body-hair-removal scene. There’s even a final breathless run to the airport. Baruchel is charming and self-deprecating enough, but he can’t seem to figure out why his curly-haired best friend isn’t Seth Rogen. — B.B.

The Exploding Girl – Let’s just come right out and say it: despite its title, not much happens in The Exploding Girl. (Still, don’t Google the title, ever.) It’s a languid, dreamy two-hour nap, in the best possible way. Zoe Kazan commands each scene as a college co-ed whiling away her summer break. Torn between an existing relationship with her distracted boyfriend and new feelings for her best friend, she captures with glorious lethargy the stumbling hesitance of young love. With the exception of her character’s epilepsy, which does give the film a streak of Degrassi, there are no histrionics, just plenty of minor disappointments, quiet kindnesses and inarticulate dialogue. — Nick Haramis

Greenberg– Do overgrown man-boys inspire your compassion or ire? Do you empathize with lost, emotionally stunted, over-privileged, brutally honest 40-somethings — or do they make you want to throw popcorn at the screen? These are some of the questions raised by Greenberg, the latest therapy session from The Squid and The Whale director Noah Baumbach [see page 48]. The film stars an extremely convincing Ben Stiller as Roger Greenberg. A bumbling, neurotic New Yorker with an ambition deficit, he returns to Los Angeles to behave awkwardly while dating his brother’s much younger dog-walker Florence, the immensely appealing mumblecore queen Greta Gerwig. True to Baumbach form, the film feels oppressively honest. — Willa Paskin

Trailer Freeze: When Famous Actors Make Stupid Faces

You don’t realize it, but throughout the course of a movie, actors contort their faces in all kinds of freakish ways. It lasts a split second, so blink and you’ll miss it. But since we hear at BlackBook are committed to reducing the Hollywood glitterati into piles of stupid-looking rubble, here is our second round of Trailer Freeze, where famous actors make stupid faces. (That’s Sigourney Weaver up top, who to her credit, isn’t trying to hide it.)










Batman Casting: Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Kristen Bell, Cher

imageAre you still holding onto that list of possible Batman replacements? Superb. Because we just may need to consult it, as Christian Bale stated that if Chris Nolan doesn’t come back to direct the next installment of the superhero saga, then he won’t return to star in it — although the airtight legalese in his contract negotiations mandates it. But even if Nolan does back out, the franchise has a willing and able villain in Johnny Depp, who is interested in stepping in as the Riddler, a role previously occupied by Jim Carrey and initially by a guy that more recently played a character named Reverend Love on General Hospital.

There’s no shortage of love though, as Bale, who currently shares screen time in Public Enemies, has given his blessing to Depp on the Riddler role. “I think he’s a wonderful actor, and I think he could achieve that greatly, but I’m not the man to ask.” Adds Bale on his obligation of having to do a third Batman sans Nolan, “The fact is, I have to [make a third movie]. I’ve signed up! Chris [Nolan] doesn’t. So I’m in a bit of a fix if he says he doesn’t want to!” Oh, Christian! We both know that’s never the case with you.

And to fuel the fires of other Batman rumors: Either Cher or Parker Posey as Catwoman; Kristen Bell as Joker accomplice Harley Quinn; and quite possibly Neil Patrick Harris as the Music Meister, a villain who aims to take over the world one song at a time.

Celebrity Survival Strategies for 2009

imageLast year was all about death. Be it physical (R.I.P Bettie Page, Eartha Kitt, and Radar) or metaphorical (Joaquin Phoenix’s acting career), America’s social conscience resembled the cratered ruins of ancient Rome. But a few celebrities — Barack Obama, say — inspired hope through revival. This leaves the better part of 2009 for us to learn how to cope with the state of things from their examples, making this year all about Darwinism. Survival tips after the jump!

Overshare. As Tori Spelling and Courtney Love both demonstrated, anyone with a diary, MySpace, Livejournal, or Xanga possesses the stuff that makes a modern memoir. Everyone loves a proper memoir, and it’s always a failsafe way to stretch fame. As John Mayer demonstrated, anyone who’s a toolbelt should have their Internet service disconnected.

Consider a career change. While the jury’s still out on Phoenix’s leap into music, a career change in an era which demands that i-bankers learn to fend for themselves may be an excellent way to explore fallback talents. For example, Jason Schwartzman’s endeavors give him a solid backup plan should Wes Anderson weary of him. But by all means, don’t ever consider swapping the silver screen for the small one — even if it means landing your own starring vehicle. Film darlings Parker Posey and Julianna Margulies both learned that lesson the hard way.

Stage a comeback. It doesn’t matter if it’s your third one in two years or your first since your group disbanded. Nothing spells “$ucce$$” like a nostalgia-fueled media assault. Bonus points if you can get the former Mr. Jessica Simpson to record a cover version of your song. But avoid seeking assistance from a hot hip-hop producer who’s already been around the block. It hasn’t helped Madonna tremendously.

Pretend to be stupid. As Sarah Palin handily proved, well, everywhere, if you feign (or sincerely exhibit) ignorance and make sure every public misstep is more dire than the last, people will lower their expectations of you. This way, you’ll be rewarded when you finally do something right.

Attempt self-improvement. Your friends at US Weekly have slapped together an index of celebrities’ resolutions for this year. Take heart knowing that when you inevitably fall off the wagon and burn through a pack of Pall Malls on an unfortunate afternoon sometime before Valentine’s Day, you won’t be alone.

Nightswimming: Patti Smith’s Dream

“Patti Smith is such a goddess. I could never talk to her,” Parker Posey confided at a small cocktail reception for the legendary rock ’n’ roll poet last week in the outdoor sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art. At said moment, Smith came lunging in for Posey, lavishing praise on the indie queen for her hilarious roles in Christopher Guest movies. It couldn’t have been a better-scripted scene if Guest wrote it himself. Luckily, Posey overcame her goddess-shyness and lit right up in Smith’s presence. The occasion was a screening of Patti Smith: Dream of Life, a poignant biopic from fashion photographer Stephen Sebring that hit theaters this week, after eleven years of filming.

Sebring catalogued Smith’s re-emergence onto the public stage after the death of her husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith, which followed a long period of domesticity in the wilds of upper Michigan. I caught up with Smith in Paris earlier this summer for a one-on-one talk about rock ’n’ roll, fashion, life and art for BlackBook’s September issue, which hits stands in just a few weeks. During the making of the film, Smith told me she felt like she and her two children, Jackson and Jesse, were “on an adventure — which was to find out who we were and how we could conduct our life without Fred. I feel like I know what I’m doing now. The film ends where I really start beginning to know who I am. Again.”

After the screening, Smith, with the support of her daughter Jesse on keyboards, and longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye, played a brief, spirited set under the stars outside, concluding with the songs “Wing” and “Grateful.” Smith said she was grateful for the many friends and family who were in attendance and grateful to play in the wonderful setting of MoMA’s sculpture garden. We were grateful for the abundance of cheese breadsticks, too.

“Nightswimming” is the blog of Ray Rogers, BlackBook Editor in Chief.