It’s perfectly normal, though morally questionable, not to be a cat person, but being such a person becomes uniquely difficult when one’s job requires you to interact with cats. Take, for example, Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, who spend a bit of time in the movie sharing scenes with the feline actors portraying Goose the cat.
At a recent press conference our sister site io9 attended, co-director Anna Boden, Larson, and Jackson reflected on what it’s like working with actors from a species of animal well known for not being particularly good at taking directions. Despite Larson being severely allergic to cats, the Goose we see in the film was actually portrayed by four furry actors (the main cat actor is named “Reggie”) because, Boden explained, the filmmakers wanted to be sure to capture Goose doing the sort of random cat things that happen organically when you just leave them alone:
There’s something about getting a cat to just do what he normally does, and it was part of the struggle, actually, of having a very well-trained, very directable cat on screen. Sometimes we just wanted him to like, you know, do the random thing that a cat’s going to do, like lick his paw or go rub up against somebody.
So, we sometimes had to be, you know, kind of suggest to the trainer, maybe we should just let him do his thing for a little while, because there’s something about the spontaneity of like, what an animal can do.
In the newer Captain Marvel ads, we see a much younger, and seemingly friendlier Nick Fury taking an uncharacteristic shine to Goose, which Jackson sells, though not because of any particular fondness he has for animals. While he acknowledged that Reggie is the feline whose face you probably most strongly associate with Goose, the other three cats were tasked with doing Reggie’s stunts:
No, I am not a cat person. But I’m also not a dog, bird or a fish person, either. I don’t engage pets. You know, Reggie is like most animals that people bring to set that have been trained to do this, that, or the other — he’s snack-oriented. You give him something to eat, he shows up. You give him something to eat, you talk softly and nice to him, give him something to eat again. They love you. You know, so, it works out. And… there were actually four cats, but Reggie did the majority of the heavy lifting most of the time.
The takeaway from all of this is that Goose is apparently going to have a lot to do in Captain Marvel when the movie hits theatres on March 7, and any and all future Marvel pets are really going to have a lot to live up to with Goose and Inhumans’ Lockjaw behind them.