Your two newest dogs, Dutch and Sippie, were rescued in Mississippi. What was their story?
"I was filming The Help in Greenwood, MS, and had too many days off in a row. So I started looking at the Petfinder app, for cattle dogs, and I saw Dutch -- this teeny puppy with the largest ears. He was at a kill shelter. They put him in my arms, and I fell in love. They said, 'Well, he has a sister.' I said, 'Let’s do it.' I had to move out of the Alluvian Hotel, so the puppies and I stayed with [director] Tate Taylor, and they proceeded to poop all over everything."
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What does your first dog, Addie, think about the new kids?
"Addie couldn’t have been more upset with me. It took about 6 months."
Who’s in charge?
"I’m not a great alpha dog. They rule the roost here. I sometimes sit on the couch to watch the news while the dogs are running all over. It’s like Jurassic Park. Dutch is a jumper, and I haven’t discouraged him because I think it’s great -- I’m so tall and he can leap up to my mouth to give me a kiss."
When you’re stressed out, is one of them your go-to dog?
"Addie is this gracious, loving dog with a peaceful energy, like a Buddha dog. So she calms me. Dutch won’t get in bed with me at night, but at some point I wake up to him flapping his ears by my head, and that’s my signal to lift up the covers and let him in. It’s sweet -- like he doesn't want the girls to know he’s a mama’s boy."
What kinds of conversations do you have with them?
"They don't like it when I rehearse my lines out loud. Dutch will get up and run out of the room. What? Was that a bad line? Are you my coach now? They get freaked out by it. I just wish they could talk to me. I don’t really have conversations with them. It’s more silly things like, 'Company meeting. Let's go, in the office! OK, game plan for the day.' I do it to make my assistant laugh. She wasn’t a dog person, and now she has two. I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs."
What’s your morning ritual?
"I get on the bed with Addie, start hugging her and giving her kisses, and Dutch dive-bombs his way between us. There's a lot of hard things about having dogs, but that moment in the morning makes me feel loved, and I’m grateful. Then I go and get my coffee, and Dutch starts leaping around like we’re going for a walk, and I’m like, 'Not. Yet.' I start running the bath water, and all the dogs are like, 'Okaaay.' They know it’s going to be another 20 minutes. That buys me some time before the craziness begins."