We met one of our new favorite Disney actresses, G Hanelius, who stars as Avery Jennings in the show "Dog With a Blog," at the Disney offices in Manhattan recently.
What animations do you use to make it look like the dog is talking in "Dog With aBlog"?
It's a little TV magic. Mostly CGI [computer-generated imagery], as far as I know. I'm not sure of the entire process, but they got a little formula that they use.
What is it like working with a dog as a fellow actor? Is it harder or easier than working with people?
I think it's different, obviously from working with a person because it is a dog, but you definitely have to have a lot of patience, and there's a lot of standing around, and you need a few extra takes for the dog to get it right. But that's OK, because the end result is so amazing. Patience is key.
Is it difficult to get the dog to cry for you, and have you ever had anything happen on the set as a result?
The dog is well trained. But we've had other animals on the show. We've had a 750- pound pig in one of the episodes, which was pretty crazy. His name was Bob. He just has to be eating all the time. Obviously, that's why he's 750 pounds. But we also had a parrot in the latest episode. And the funny thing that happened with that parrot was pooping all over the place. He pooped on Beth [Littleford], who plays Ellen on the show. He pooped on her head, which was not funny in the moment, but it was funny afterward. We've had some funny guest stars.
What are your dreams?
I want the show to do well. I think we put in so much hard work, and I hope that everyone likes it. We had that holiday break, so now we're airing episodes and . . . [we're] really proud of them. I hope that everyone likes them.
Do you get recognized when you're out doing regular things?
I do. Often, when I'm going to the mall or ice skating or just doing random things like that. But I really like it. I like when people come up to me and say, "You know, you're so great, you inspire me . . . "
Why do you go by your first initial G instead of your name, Genevieve?
When I was little, people would write congratulations cards to my parents, and they would write Baby G, and my parents started calling me Baby G instead of Genevieve, and from that everyone just started calling me G, all my friends. I feel like it suits me, Maybe I'll go by Genevieve when I'm older. I like G.
Is it more challenging to work on set with a dog in "Dog with a Blog" or a baby, like in "Good Luck Charlie?"
It's kind of similar. Actually, Charlie's older now, so I'm sure she's awesome, but it's definitely different. I don't think one's like better or worse. They're very different and both very talented, and you just really have to be patient and cooperate with their needs.
What's it like being an employee of Disney?
I quite like it. Mickey Mouse is my boss. That's pretty cool. Yeah, I really like it. It's fun, but I get to do a show.
Do you feel a responsibility to be a role model and does that affect your everyday choices?
You have to focus more on what you say to people, because people are listening. There are some awesome people who are fans of me on Twitter and things like that. I try to tweet things that maybe inspire them or make their day or feel a little better. So you definitely think a little more about what you say.
Which character that you play reflects you the most and why?
I think Avery is probably the character that is most similar to me.
We love watching "Dog With a Blog"; it looks so much fun. Is it fun working on the show and making different episodes?
Yes, it's so much fun. I'm glad you like it. It's super fun, and every episode is a new adventure, and the writers are always coming up with fun stuff for us to do; and funny guest stars, we were talking about before. So yeah, it's so much fun making a new episode, and I'm always excited. I want everyone to see it just like as soon as I film it . . . I want everyone to see it, because that one was great. But, yeah, they're all so much fun.
When you're doing scenes with the dog, do you do the actor's voice and the dog's lines, or is that added afterward?
I actually do. Stephen Full plays the dog, and he's so amazing. When we're shooting, he'll be off to the side with a microphone, and he'll have a script, and he'll stand right off to the side of the camera, and he'll be reading the lines as the dog is moving around in the scene, and that's so helpful to the actors that you don't have to pretend that the dog is saying something. So it's really nice that he does that. When we're actually rehearsing, if the dog needs to get down on the floor and grab a slipper, Stephen gets down on the floor and grabs the slipper because he actually acts with us during rehearsal just so the dog can have a break. The dog only works on shooting days.