In the action comedy “Love and Monsters,” seven years after a “Monsterpocalypse” wipes out most of human civilization, Joel (Dylan O’Brien) learns his high school sweetheart (Jessica Henwick) survived and sets out on a dangerous 85-mile mission to find her. Along the way, he meets a plucky dog he names “Boy,” who saves his life and becomes his traveling companion.
Here’s what you need to know about this scene-stealing sidekick:
- Boy is played by Hero, who is an Australian Kelpie: People magazine. Reader Deb S. weighs in. “Hero is a bench-bred Australian Kelpie. They are a strain divergent to the original working breed, so look a bit different.”
- Dylan and Hero formed an “incredibly intense” bond on set, according to Zelie Bullen, the lead dog trainer on the film. She says it’s the strongest bond she’s ever seen in all her years working with dogs.
- A doggie double named Dodge, also owned and trained by Zelie, was Hero’s stand-in in several scenes. Dylan told Collider that he still talks to Zelie and can’t wait to see her, Hero and Dodge again. “She’s an incredible human being and they’re incredible dogs. They’re like family to me. It was the coolest part of the job.”
- Dylan describes the relationship between his character and Boy in the movie as “the perfect marriage — a kid who’s in over his head and a dog who’s experienced and showing him the ropes.”
- Bullen says Australian Kelpies are “extremely intelligent, versatile, agile, and athletic. They’re known for their loyalty and their companionship.”
- It was once believed the Kelpies were descended from Dingoes, but a 2019 genetic study proved they were not related: Wikipedia
- The breed was named after the mythical Celtic shape-shifting water spirit. Kelpies are said to haunt rivers and streams, often in the shape of a horse, although they can also take on human form. Update: According to reader Deb S., the breed name comes from one of the founding females, a dog named King’s Kelpie, not from the Celtic myth.
- And now the question you really want answered: Does Hero survive until the end of the movie? SPOILER: He does!
Watch the behind-the-scenes interviews with Dylan O’Brien and dog trainer Zelie Bullen: