Last week, 4-year-old Blue Belle was simply a sweet dog in need of a home at Richmond Animal Care and Control. This week she’s a film star with an appearance in Wonder Woman 1984. The feature film has been filming in Alexandria area this summer.
The film brings critically acclaimed director Patty Jenkins back to the helm, and will once again star Gal Gadot in the lead role, alongside Kristin Wiig and Pedro Pascal. The movie is scheduled for release on November 1, 2019. (As a side note, Gadot, dressed in her Wonder Woman attire, visited the Inova Children’s Hospital in Annandale this past Sunday.)
As Hollywood starlet stories go, Blue Belle was discovered by one of RACC’s volunteers who also fosters dogs for the shelter. “Our volunteer sent me an email saying she had a part in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie where she is walking five dogs,” says RACC’s director Christie Chipps Peters. “She told me she had four dogs, but what a cool idea it would be to have one of the dogs be a shelter dog from RACC!”
Peters immediately started picking out dogs that would fit the film’s requirements. The dog had to walk well on a leash, had to be good with other dogs. and have a temperament that would allow the dog to function well with the chaos of a movie set.
Peters narrowed it down to three shelter dogs, one of which was Blue Belle, a 55-pound American bulldog and pit bull mix that has been at RACC since May 25. “We found her running loose off Richmond-Henrico Turnpike,” Peters says. “She had some health issues that we treated.”
One of the three dogs was adopted before filming. From the two remaining dogs, the volunteer chose Blue Belle. “Blue Belle has a super-good temperament,” Peters says.
“She is great on a leash and is housebroken. She has an old soul. She’s relaxed. She’s just a nice, easy dog.”
Blue Belle is a great representative of RACC, she adds. “If you had to pick a poster child of what RACC gets in every day, Blue Belle would be that poster child. She has a nice rags-to-riches story.”
RACC’s volunteer picked Blue Belle up last Friday and will be bringing her back to Richmond today. Luckily for Blue Belle, she already had an adopter lined up before she became a movie star. RACC stipulated to the adoptee that Blue Belle wouldn’t be ready to go home until she had done her movie shoot.
Word is that Blue Belle did a great job in Wonder Woman. “Our volunteer said she was really proud of Blue Belle,” Peters says. “The staff and the team on the movie loved her.”
If Blue Belle’s performance is in the movie and doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor, her name will appear in the final credits noting she came from RACC. A little advertising goes a long way for the shelter.
RACC typically takes in up to 3,500 animals a year, the bulk of which are dogs. “We have about two thousand dogs a year,” Peters says, adding that most are pit bulls. “We never drop below an 85 percent pit bull population. This movie will showcase them in a great light.”
Because they do turn over so many dogs, the shelter is always in need of fosters, adopters, volunteers and donations to help support the emergency medical care of the animals. For more information, visit the RACC website.