Gilbert Speaks on ‘Hero Dog: The Journey Home’

I am big fan of Richard Boddington’s films. Join me for a review of Hero Dog: The Journey Home followed by an interview with Richard Boddington and Zackary Arthur.

Plot

Royce Davis (Steve Byers), blinded during his tour in Afghanistan, has returned from a business trip to pick up his children, Max (Zackary Arthur) and Erin (Morgan Dipietrantonio). The children had been living in the Canadian wilderness with Royce’s sister Susan (Natasha Henstridge). After renting a boat that is also transporting Susan’s Alaskan Malamute, Chinook, back home…trouble hits. What starts out as a short, boat trip, soon ends in disaster when Captain Boggs (Colin Fox) suffers a heart attack.

Left to fend for himself after the boat crashes aground in the wilderness, Royce has no options but to depend on Chinook to find medical treatment for Boggs. Royce only has what he was able to salvage: a flare gun, a bottle of water, and some beef jerky. Although Chinook is not trained as a seeing-eye dog, he leads Royce while dealing with the elements and a particularly scary mountain lion.

After the authorities, led by Captain Walker (John Tench), fail to find Royce, Max and Erin, decide to go find their dad. The good news: Max has excellent survivalist skills and his backpack has everything he needs for shelter and food. The bad news: Erin is somewhat of a klutz, and here is where the adventure starts. Luckily for everyone, Chinook is part of this adventure.

Conclusion

As with all his films, Boddington offers his fans great family adventures with enough drama to keep us on the edge of our seats while also delivering a gentle message on the importance of preserving our natural resources.

RICHARD BODDINGTON INTERVIEW

Marie Gilbert: Hi Richard, as always, I am never disappointed in your films. I was happy to see Chinook in this film, as well as Natasha Henstridge, and John Tench. I was curious if the filming suffered any setbacks due to the Covid pandemic?

Richard Boddington:  We closed down the shoot in October of 2019, the pandemic hit in March of 2020, so we were well clear of it, thankfully.

Gilbert: What was the hardest part of filming Hero Dog?

Boddington: The weather really played havoc with our filming schedule!  I had to change the schedule daily and through out the day to make sure the scenes matched in the final edit of the movie.  This is of course never fun for the cast and crew, who make to shoot one set of scenes, and end up shooting another.  Luckily in the end it cut together seamlessly.

Gilbert: What is the next project that you are working on, and will Chinook be in the film?

Boddington: Chinook has decided he no longer wishes to travel with humans as he always ends up saving them in the end, so this is his last movie. *jokes*

Right now I am working on a large scale feature film about the life of Richard the Lionheart.  And a new family adventure called, Wickensburg, about two kids that unravel a dark secret hidden in a small town.

ZACKARY ARTHUR INTERVIEW

Gilbert: Hi Zackary. First off, welcome to the pop culture site, Biff Bam Pop, and secondly, I hope to see you in more of Richard Boddington’s films. What was the hardest part of working in Hero Dog? Did you enjoy working in a wilderness setting?

Zackary Arthur: Thank you for having me here.  There wasn’t really a hard part, but we had to do a lot of running to keep up with the dog.  I enjoyed working in the wilderness setting, it was really fun to get down and gritty and to put myself in the shoes of the character.  I learned a lot of survival skills, like how to start a fire, and catch fish. 

Gilbert: You have been acting since you were six years old. What do you like best about acting, and what don’t you like?

Arthur:  There’s two things that I do like, you get to meet so many amazing people and that includes people that are working on set.  And the people in the scripts the people that are fictional characters.  I think every script that you read, and from the part that you play, pieces of that resonate inside of you and make you a better person.  You learn lessons from every different script.  I love becoming characters and telling a story.  I love everything about acting and I will never stop doing it!

Gilbert: This is a two-part question: What are you working on now, and if you had the chance…what type of films are your favorite to work in?

Arthur: I am currently acting in a new series based on the Chucky movies, shooting in Toronto.  Doing this role for Chucky is a dream come true, it’s my first series regular role, and it’s been a dream of mine since I started acting.  Another role I would like to play is some sort of superhero in a Marvel movie.  Robert Downey Jr is my greatest inspiration, and I love all of his movies.

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