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Fun Facts About Annie

December 18, 2014

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Annie, the movie based on the Broadway play, will hit theaters tomorrow and we got some crazy fun facts from director Will Gluck. Did you know that Sandy the dog was a rescue? Want to hear why Cameron Diaz made Gluck wear a dress? Check out some cool tidbits from the making of the film!

Quvenzhané, is a Real Kid

Before I cast Quvenzhané [Wallis] I spent a lot of time with her ­ with whoever we cast, actually ­ to make sure they were up for the challenge. Quvenzhané was definitely up for the challenge. She was terrific. The reason I love Quvenzhané so much is that not only is she a great actor and singer, but more importantly to me, she’s a real kid. She understood what it was ­ and at the end of the day, she’s a ten year old girl like her character was, so she had ten year old kid emotions like my daughter, who is the same age. That’s real, and I don’t want her to shield that. I think kids that try to tamp that stuff down are the ones that you have trouble working with, but Quvenzhané was real in that way.

Quvenzhané Wallis as AnnieQuvenzhané Wallis as AnnieCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Sandy the Dog Was a Rescue

[Sandy] we found the dog in a shelter, basically just by looks, and it had never been trained before, and we took it and started training it ­ not me of course, but the dog trainer started training it the second we chose her with Quvenzhané. So the dog was learning with her ­ her kind of owner was Quvenzhané, so it wasn’t like the dog was trained and passed off to the actor. It was all very organic and even now, today, the dog was at the press junket and she saw Quvenzhané and ran to her. So it was real nice.

Sandy got super lucky!Sandy got super lucky!Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Sandy Was Adopted by Her Trainer

The trainer, it’s his dog now. It’s not like it’s just in his company, it’s his dog. And here’s another fun fact: the trainer of our Sandy is the same trainer who found the original Sandy for the Broadway production. His story is great; he’s a very famous animal trainer on Broadway and all because he was an eighteen year old kid and actor and they needed to have a dog in the original musical and he was asked to go find a dog. And he did, and that’s why he became an animal trainer.

Sandy has a forever homeSandy has a forever homeCourtesy of Sony Pictures

The Orphans Partied and Rehearsed All Night

The first Annie you see in the movie ­ the red-­haired Annie from the first frame of the movie ­ she was Annie on Broadway; Taylor Richardson. All the foster kids, when we shot “Hard Knock Life,” all the kids stayed in a hotel out by where we shot that, and they were supposed to go to bed at eight o’clock because we had a really early call the next morning. At about six in the morning, my choreographer texted me and said “they’ve been rehearsing all night at the hotel.” I said “oh, great, great! What time did they go to bed?” They said, “well, they sent us a video of them rehearsing at three fifteen in the morning.” So they stayed up all night just rehearsing and having a sleepover in one room.

The ladies partied and rehearsed into the nightThe ladies partied and rehearsed into the nightCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Jamie Foxx Was the Biggest Crack Up On Set

Jamie Foxx was the biggest crack up on set. He always got everyone on the crew going. When Jamie and Bobby Cannavale got together, it was hard to get them to focus they were making each other laugh so much. “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” took parts of seventeen days to shoot. We shot it all in pieces, so literally parts we’d shoot for the end of the day for parts and easy reshoots if needed.

Jamie Foxx made everyone laugh on setJamie Foxx made everyone laugh on setCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Cameron Diaz Made the Director Wear a Dress

When Cameron’s singing “Little Girls,” as she walks down the hallway, she kicks a boot with her foot. And right before she did that for the third take, I said, “Cameron, if you can kick the boot and hit the camera, I’ll wear a dress tomorrow.” And we said action, and she came down while singing and when she kicked the boot, it went directly thirty feet into the camera. All the crew held their breath ­ they couldn’t believe it ­ and she went on to finish her song... The crew said cut and the crew and she exploded, and I ran out to check the dailies, check the film to see if it actually did happen. And we’re huddled around like we’re watching a replay of an NFL game, and sure enough, she kicked it right into the camera. And sure enough, the next day, which was the last day of shooting, I wore a dress that Cameron picked out for me the entire day.

Cameron Diaz made the director wear a dress with her football skillsCameron Diaz made the director wear a dress with her football skillsCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Annie is in theaters December 19th!

Annie PosterAnnie PosterCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Have Your Say

Did you guys ever see the original musical Annie? Do you love Quvenzhané in the role? What’s your favorite song from the film? Have your say below!