Animals Run Amok On Hollywood Sets

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz’s new flick, “Knight & Day,” is currently filming in Spain. For one of the film’s scenes, seven bulls were recently corralled in downtown Cadiz, but a few of those crafty bulls managed to escape and run away to a nearby beach, just like anyone ditching work would do. But as the bulls charged for freedom, they “slightly injured” two women, whatever that means. Filming has been suspended for the time being. [Associated Press]

Obviously, it’s hard enough to get actors to behave themselves, let alone try to control animals. So we found some more instances of animals gone wild on movie sets …

  • This “behind-the-scenes” video from “Evan Almighty” was much funnier than the film itself, which involved a Noah’s Ark worth of animals. Steve Carell explains the disagreement he got into with a baboon and Wanda Sykes says she was told not to look at the animals at all. “I just kept looking away,” she says. “I wasn’t going to have some animal say to me, ‘Are you looking at me?'” It’s pretty amazing how many animals had to be separated from their predators on set. [Itchmo]
  • After the filming of “Free Willy,” Willy (or Keiko) was actually freed in 2002 after being airlifted from the Oregon coast to Iceland. But after his release, Keiko apparently missed human interaction and swam 870 miles to Norway where he played with locals until animal authorities banned them from approaching the Orca. Keiko was then watched over by whale keepers. Who knew all this time that Willy never wanted to be free? [Biography]
  • Apparently, the critics weren’t the only ones who didn’t enjoy “Speed Racer.” Emile Hirsch’s sidekick in the movie, a chimp named Chim Chim, got peeved and bit one of the human actors. Oh, and there were allegations that Chim Chim was beaten on set. PETA went after Warner Brothers, urging them to use animatronics instead of live animals in movies. I can’t imagine what their excuse was given that absolutely nothing else in the movie was realistic at all. [MSNBC]
  • During the filming of “Semi-Pro,” someone had the brilliant idea that Will Ferrell should wrestle a live bear. Rocky, the grizzly bear later attacked and killed his trainer Randy Miller. Seems like an even larger catastrophic tragedy given how awful the movie was. [PETA]
  • The 1969 movie “Rascal” was based on Sterling North’s book of the same name, about a boy who befriends a raccoon when his mother dies. Sterling owned the animal actor, Rascal, and had a wooden highchair for his pet where he would sit and eat sugar cubes in between takes. Sounds like a pretty ideal existence. [Biography]
  • There is no hard evidence, but plenty of rumors circulated about what went down on the set of one of my favorite childhood films, “Milo and Otis,” or “Koneko Monogatari: The Adventures of Chatran,” which was the original Japanese version. According to UK Economist, foul play was at hand. “Chatran’s life is full of trials and tribulations. Many of them to do with being soaked to the skin, like falling over a waterfall in a wooden box or plummeting from a cliff into the sea. It is hard to see how he survived. Indeed, according to Japan’s biggest animal-rights group, he did not. Or, to be accurate, a third of the 30 Chatrans used did not.” The credits ended with: “The animals used were filmed under strict supervision with the utmost care for their safety and well-being.” Which while it is a finely-crafted sentence, is a far cry from “no animals were harmed.” And ta-da! All your happy childhood memories are tarnished. [The Cultural Gutter]