'Russell Madness' Actor Impressed by Animal Co-Stars25 Feb, 2015 By: John Latchem
The “Air Bud” films are famous for their high concept stories of a dog besting people at various sports. That tradition continues in Russell Madness, the latest dog-playing-sports movie produced by Air Bud Entertainment. Following a limited theatrical run, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment releases the film on Blu-ray and DVD March 10.
The film tells the story of an undersized terrier named Russell who runs away from the pet store and is taken in by a family that runs a pro-wrestling arena, where he discovers his great wrestling skills. The pooch takes on a monkey named Hunk as his coach and becomes a famous pro wrestler, though fame brings its share of trouble.
“It’s a fun family story,” said star David Milchard. “Parents will enjoy the family values instilled in it.”
Milchard is no stranger to family friendly entertainment, having starred on the popular YouTube series “Convos With My 2-Year-Old.”
“It’s a kids movie, but I think also a movie for everyone,” Milchard said. “It has a lot of good movie qualities, there’s a cuteness factor, plenty of action with the wrestling. It’s sweet, witty, filled with slapstick humor. I think it will surprise people.”
Milchard said he had a lot of fun working with the animals on the film, and was impressed by the skill of the animal trainers.
“I’ve worked on a couple other movies with animals, but to be there every day and to see what the animal trainers are capable of, everyone on the set was in awe,” Milchard said. “You just have to know and except you’ll never be more charming than any of these animals.”
Hunk is played by Crystal the Monkey, who has had notable appearances in the “Night at the Museum” films and The Hangover Part II, among other well-known roles.
“It was pretty cool working with the same monkey as Ben Stiller and Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper,” Milchard said. “Now I can start playing ‘Six Degrees of Crystal.’”
As for the film’s wrestling subplot, Milchard said he used to watch wrestling as a kid, so working in the arena set was something of a dream come true.
“They did an incredible job building this vintage wrestling arena,” Milchard said. “It was kind of a shame when they had to take it down at the end.”