The real stars of the indie road trip film “Boundaries” are the rescue cats and dogs. Apologies to more famous human actors Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer. (Read the Moviepaws review here.)
Like her onscreen alter-ego Laura (Farmiga), writer-director Shana Feste is an unapologetic animal nut: “I’m what’s called a ‘bottle-feeder.’ We foster baby animals that need to be fed every two hours, day and night. I dedicated the film to animals. I’m a huge animal rescuer, and at all times I probably have five or six revolving dogs and cats at my house. I hope that people see this film and rescue more animals, and adopt as opposed to buying purebreds.”
One of the dogs, Loretta, is Feste’s own therapy dog in real life. Here’s the backstory on all the dogs and cats from the film’s press kit.
Director of Photography Sara Mishara admitted it was challenging working with so many animals. “You just have to have a lot of patience. We were lucky our actors were extremely patient with them, and the burden is more on them, the actors, than us, the crew — they have to keep their concentration with these wriggling creatures that don’t necessarily behave when it’s time for them to deliver their lines.”
Loretta, a terrier rescue loved working with her mom, director Shana Feste. Except when Feste would yell, “Action!” Loretta would immediately run to her behind the camera, so the first AD had to call action in the scenes Loretta stars in. Loretta gets the most screen time and even gets to kiss Christopher Plummer. Thanks to her therapy dog training, Loretta’s presence on set had a calming, if slightly distracting, effect; everyone wanted to pet and hang out with her.
Cabela is a Border Collie who loves dock diving, swimming and long hikes in the woods. Cabela provided a real calmness on set, so much so that Lewis MacDougall (who plays 12-year-old Henry) claims he never had to act when he was with her since he really fell in love with her.
Liquorice (who is found in the film during the road trip) is the oldest dog in the film. He is a blind and deaf poodle and loves to be held and cuddled, which is why you will always see him in someone’s arms throughout the film.
Alfie (another road-trip rescue in the movie) is an older terrier mix of unknown age. He has never met a person he didn’t think was his best friend. He always walks with a little spring in his step and a madly wagging tail. Alfie spent a lot of time in that Rolls Royce with Loretta and some say a romance blossomed behind the scenes.
Princess Tia is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She doesn’t let her uncontrollable tongue stop her from living life. She loves to be held by her mom. She was happy to sit in a corner and watch all the chaos unfold before her.
Violet (who doesn’t make the road trip) is a hairless cat. She talks endlessly and has tons of confidence for a cat with no hair. She didn’t socialize much with the other working animals on set, preferring to be alone in her carrier, or in the arms of her obedient owner.
Squirt plays the part of “rescue puppy” along with his similar-looking litter mates. The pups were sixteen-week-old chihuahua mixes and got a ton of attention behind the scenes. So much so that the animal wrangler had to act as security when too many crew members swarmed around them. In the film, Laura entrusts him to her coworker, Serg (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).
Hank is a “one-take wonder!” He was supposed to roll all over a suit and leave a coat of hair behind and he did it perfectly on his first try. Once his scene was finished, he continued to “rehearse” with the crew. He is a big, lovable softy that adores new people.