Beethoven (The Dog)

Look who's Eating Louisville Music News

By Paul Turner

With the acclaim he has garnished recently from his new movie "Beethoven" - completed with the movies' obvious musical ties (or collars, if you dog lovers prefer), Louisville Music News told Paul Turner (nicely) to fetch an interview with the rising star himself. Although Paul couldn't find a translator that spoke English and Dog, he retrieved the following nevertheless.

LMN: First of all, I understand your real name is Chris.

Chris: Yes, that's right. Beethoven is just the character's name. In fact, there was a dispute whether to even list my real name in the credits or nut to publicity conflicts - a situation with Beethoven marketing concept - actually my registered name is Christopher von Braunheimer.

LMN: How has your new fortune and fame affected you since your movie.

Chris: Well, the 'Rocky Syndrome' doesn't really apply here. It's not my movie, so to bark, just the lead role. The original Beethoven concept was written for and even cast for a Cocker Spaniel, but Karl Miller my handler (and agent) talked to Ivan Reitman the producer and persuaded him to use me. Now it's Gravy Train all the way. No more Brand X in my dog bowl. Also I recently purchased a dog bed company.

LMN: Are the beds comfortable? This is a great commercial spot.

Chris: I wish I could say they were. I don't know. The extra large size is even too small for me.

LMN: Since this a musically focused paper - what type of music do you prefer?

Chris: I don't like much popular music - it's much too high strung. I enjoy some classical - Brahms in particular. Leon Redbone is a favorite of mine - and I hear he's got something new coming out.

Also I turn up my nose at the Pet Shop Boys, the Stray Cats.

Other favorite bands are Toto and Three Dog Night.

LMN: Do you play any musical instruments yourself and are they difficult for you to play?

Chris: I rarely bite off my than I can chew. I play a mean cello, but I've also got some serious harmonica chops. Guess I'm lucky. Mine doesn't get dry when I play. In fact I have to order my harmonica custom-made with a large drool valve.

LMN: Back to the movie. Was it difficult to make?

Chris: Well, it's my first so I don't have anything to compare it to. But next time I'm not doing my own stunts. That's work. I'm a lover not a fighter.

LMN: I understand you to say a sequel is being planned?

Chris: Ooops.

LMN: Any other comments regarding the movie?

Chris: Yeah. Dean Jones is great to work with - well, all of the human actors were, but he and I spent quite a bit of time together between shoots. He's very interesting but not very tasty! I told him he should choose a different cologne and he did!

I though parts of all the movie were bit stretched. First of all, I am a dry mouth Bernard, distinctly different from the wet mouth variety, but I had to do that wet mouth stereotype thing. They made me drink this paste stuff so I'd drool a lot.

Also while I was in bed with Charles Grodin and he thought I was his wife (!), I had to lick his neck for about fifteen seconds - per ****. I think there were about a dozen takes. Really probably only four or five but it seemed like twelve or fifteen. Yuck!

And again when Grodin found pee in his shoe under the bed and emptied out the suff onto the carpet for effect. Get real! Maybe a chow or a dachshund, but not me. You're good size - have you ever peed in a shoe under a bed?

LMN: uh . . . no, I haven't. Not to change the subject but in closing would you care to add something philosophical?

Chris: Year. This dog's life is great.

Author's Note: Special thanks to Stuart Sherwood with Loew's Theater in River Falls Mall for making this article possible. Beethoven is an unusual picture.