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Film star Kristen’s dogged demands

ACTORS AND actresses are well known for making diva-like demands whilst on film sets, but Kristen Davis proved to be a refreshing breath of fresh air – the only demands she made were that her character in Disney’s latest film was a dog lover.

Kristin Davis insisted that scriptwriters rewrote her character as a dog lover before she agreed to star in Disney’s remake of the classic film 'The Shaggy Dog'.

The former 'Sex and the City' star - who has five rescued dogs of her own - was adamant she wouldn't be in the movie while her character hated dogs.

She signed on for the film, a simple enough story about a man who is turned into a sheepdog, once writers had reworked the script. In the film, Davis plays the hero’s wife, but originally she had been portrayed as a dog hater to create more ‘dramatic conflict’.

It was recently revealed the brunette - who played uptight Charlotte York in the hit US show - loves dogs so much she doesn't mind smooching them.

She revealed: "I am a dog fanatic. And dog lovers are just different."

Davis added with some exasperation: "On 'Sex and the City' there was a scene in one episode where a dog was licking my lips. The picture was featured in a magazine saying, ‘Don't do that Kristin, it's so rude!’ Those people aren't dog people. They just don't understand."

Meanwhile it was pretty easy for the film’s lead actor Tim Allen to get into the skin of a bearded collie for the title role in 'The Shaggy Dog.' After all, the star grew up with dogs and up until recently had a Labrador retriever named Spot.

"My brothers and I always had dogs and we were always mimicking them," recalls the 52-year-old actor. "We just thought they were hysterical."

Growing up in the 1950s and `60s, Allen used to go see Disney comedies with his family. One of his favourites was 1959`s 'The Shaggy Dog,' starring Tommy Kirk as a teenager who magically transforms into a canine, and Fred MacMurray as his allergy-prone father. A sequel called 'The Shaggy D.A.' hit theatres in 1976.

When Disney gave Allen access to its vaults with an eye towards remaking its Baby Boomer classics, 'The Shaggy Dog' stood out as one of the first Disney comedies to use special effects, although they were, of course, primitive by today’s standards. However, with brand new CGI effects and a brisk updating, the new version of the old classic looks set to stand out as a sure-fire winner for Disney on both sides of the Atlantic.

Allen plays a rising prosecutor who is so engrossed in his career that he pays little attention to his wife (Kristen Davis) and kids, who quietly yearn for his attention. While working on a case involving an animal-testing laboratory, he becomes infected with a top-secret genetic serum. Whenever his heart rate rises dramatically, he morphs into the family’s new dog, a grey-haired bearded collie.

The plotlines about animal testing and genetic ethics are pulled right from today’s headlines. But beneath it all, 'The Shaggy Dog' is a story about a workaholic father who learns to appreciate his family after he becomes a dog.