Crimson Peak: Fluffy

picturepetsWhile many of the great animal actors stood over two and a half feet tall, the shorter actors, actually, often steal the entire film. Remember Whitey, the gorgeous ingénue from Fatal Attraction? At 6 inches tall, she delivered a death performance that is still being talked about nearly 30 years later. And let’s not forget Toto the Terrier (née Terry), who, to this day, is stealing the hearts of audiences in her iconic role as Toto in 1939’s Wizard of Oz, stood just shy of a foot tall.

fluffyThese pint size personalities were never kept back by their diminutive size. And the star of Crimson Peak, papillon canine Fluffy, epitomizes that fact.

Standing a pocket-sized 8 inches tall, Fluffy dominates every scene in which he appears in the gothic romance. However, despite his spectacular performance, the eccentric power-house asked to remain uncredited. This is just one in a long line of grand demonstrations that some call venerable, and others insist are publicity stunts.

Fluffy is well-known to be the great-great-great-great grand sire of Sir Walter Snuffles, famously owned by Joan Fontaine’s gardener. So Hollywood is in his blood. However, he has often shied away from the limelight, despite his inborn acting abilities. After his brief appearance in Hotel for Dogs, he was so admired by the auteurs of Tinseltown, directors from Tarantino to Anderson to Howard sought papillon-centric scripts to tempt him onto their sets.

It was not till his dear friend, director Guillermo del Toro, got into a scrape, that he ventured back onto the silver screen.

Apparently, in the film Crimson Peak, del Toro originally cast an unknown cocker spaniel to play the role of Thomas Sharpe’s dead wife’s dog. However, when the short-lived fame went to the spaniel’s head, and TMZ discovered him at a hotel with a prostipooch, he was dropped from the film. And del Toro was up a creek.

According to sources close to Fluffy, during lunch with Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston let slip the entire ordeal, and Cumberbatch slipped him an elusive cell phone number that connected the actor with Fluffy’s handler. After some cajoling on the part of Hiddleston and del Toro, Fluffy relented, and agreed to help them out.

And the rest is movie history.

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Without Fluffy’s dynamic performance, this little film was destined to slip quietly into obscurity. He dominated every scene, whether he was whimpering at a closed door, chasing a thrown ball, or barking his heart out at a scarlet ghost, Fluffy gave the part his all.

“I’ve worked with a lot of talented actors. I’ve been honored to share scenes with absolute dynamos. Just having a dialogue with, say, Matt Damon, you can just feel the electricity in the air,” Jessica Chastain confided in an interview, “but I have to say that nothing compares to acting opposite Fluffy.”

Tears stand out in her eyes, and the emotion is clear in her lovely face, “He’s like a supernova. But instead of destroying everything in his path, he encourages us all to be our best.”

The Oscar-nominated actress says that her biggest career goal is to get to work with Fluffy again one day.

Many in the industry yearn for Fluffy to make a return to his career in show business, but according to friends and family, he is most content living a quiet farm life, away from glitz and glamour.


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