When Captain Marvel was screened early for critics last month, one of the main takeaways was that the Carol Danver’s cat Goose (played by a cast of four rotating live cats) is apparently quite the scene stealer in the comic book action flick. Moreover, people were quick to praise Goose’s adorable onscreen chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson — who can be seen doting on his feline costar in the film’s trailer.
Lest anyone think Jackson’s kitty camaraderie came naturally, however, he was quick to rectify that point in a recent press junket. As it turns out Nick Fury mostly just tolerated Reggie, the primary cat the cast worked with, via io9:
“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.”
Co-director Anna Boden also addressed the conceivable difficulties with working with cats in a film, as the phrase “herding cats” is a thing for a reason. She explained that with even a well-trained cat it was a struggle to get him do random, normal cat things, 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,” she added.
In either case, Jackson clearly got off easier than Brie Larson, who is severely allergic to cats and had to be equipped with a realistic cat puppet she could hold without sneezing in her scenes with Goose. “It became this joke because the crew would watch me all day doing crazy stunts,” she recently joked to EW. “But then the cat showed up on set and I was like, ‘We need to have a plan! We need to have a conversation!’”
It seems as though the end result will have been worth it, as Captain Marvel is almost definitely going to see cat people coming out to theaters in droves.