To be superheroes, feline actors Reggie (who stole most of the show), Archie, Rizzo and Gonzo had to face something that probably freaks out plenty of humans: the Skrulls. Now try being a cat that has no idea what makeup and prosthetics are. Thankfully, big green Skrull suit or not, Ben Mendelsohn is a legit cat whisperer.
“We let Reggie go to him and explore on his own volition, and pretty soon, he realized Ben was just like us, but he just looked different,” Captain Marvel animal trainer Ursula Brauner told Vulture in a recent interview. “It’s about taking the time to stop. And it shows onscreen.”
Ben Mendelsohn must have had supernatural powers when it came to forging trust between human and animal. Brauner recalled how the actors were in a really tight space on set, Skrulls and all, when Reggie started to grow nervous. Co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck actually put everything on pause to get him more used to the whole alien thing.
“‘It was awesome,” Brauner said. “One of those surreal moments where you go, ‘Yeah, I dunno, I’m getting my cat used to a Skrull now.’ I guess if they see another one in the wild, they’ll be fine.”
Brauner further explained that if animals give you the sort of expression that questions whether something is really okay (understandable when faced with green aliens), you need to take a moment to reassure them they won’t get eaten alive. But…does that tone down the typical diva-ness you’d expect from a cat in the spotlight?
“They’ve always been divas,” she said. "They always think they’re the bomb. They’re cats.”