Cruella, Disney’s latest live-action film, seems like it would be all about the Dalmatians. After all, the movie is an origin story for Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians. Plus, one of the starring Dalmatians in the modern adaptation is a rescue dog!
However, the Dalmatians weren’t the only fan-favorites in this new film. Instead, a Chihuahua character named Wink stole the spotlight. Wink wears a tiny eyepatch and helps his humans with elaborate plans, so filming wasn’t easy. Behind-the-scenes staff revealed a shocking surprise about how Wink’s acting scenes were completed so successfully.
Wink Steals the Show
Unlike the 1961 film, Cruella doesn’t show the dogs as victims. In fact, Cruella de Vil works with two dogs, and she even befriends the three Dalmatians featured in the film. Wink is the canine with the biggest role in the movie. He’s Horace and Jasper’s canine companion, so he helps the duo with crimes like pickpocketing.
Wink’s signature eyepatch is cute enough as is, but every scene he’s in is a treat. Horace often dressed Wink up in disguises, including one scene where Wink pretends to be a rat. Even the producers couldn’t get enough of the cuteness.
“It’s funny, we were shooting that scene at the Black and White Ball, and there was a shot of Wink, in the rat outfit and the eye patch, and we’re pushing in on him and he’s growling at the camera,” said director Craig Gillespie. “I was just focused on getting the shot, pushing in, and getting the growl at the right time. I stopped and turned around, and the crew behind me was just cracking up. My continuity script person was in tears and I was like, ‘What’s going on? Did I miss something?’ They were like, ‘No, the shot is just so damn adorable.’ He really became a star, at that point. Once he put on that rat outfit, that was it.”
Behind-The-Scenes Secret Revealed
Filming a dog in a movie can often be as tedious and unpredictable as filming a kid. So, dog trainer April Mackin revealed how she trained the dog for the role. The secret is that Wink wasn’t just played by one dog; he was played by five! It’s sort of like how some toddlers on TV are played by twins.
Mackin said that each Wink actor had their own personality, and some are even rescue dogs. Bluebell and Narla were the two with the most screen time for different reasons.
“Bluebell is like a princess, and she really wants to do things, but she doesn’t know where her feet are sometimes,” Mackin said. “Narla is like a big dog personality in a little dog’s body.”
Many dog lovers were hesitant about Cruella due to the cruel habits of the villain in the original film. Yet, this live action story strays away from that storyline and shows a dog-loving side to the famous Disney character. While Cruella de Vil might be the main character, Wink is the real star! All five Chihuahua actors did an excellent job bringing his character to life.