Ben is Back

A mother helps her drug addicted son settle his debts with dangerous drug dealers from his past.     

  • Starring: Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges
  • Director(s): Peter Hedges
  • Producer(s): Peter Hedges, Nina Jacobson, Teddy Schwarzman, Brad Simpson
  • Screenwriter(s): Peter Hedges
  • Distributor: LD Entertainment
  • Animal Coordinator: William Berloni's Theatrical Animals
  • Release Date: Friday, December 07, 2018

Featured Animal Action

Throughout the film, the family in Ben is Back has a pet dog, who is seen performing such mild action as sitting/standing/lying, being held or petted, and walking/running on or off leash. For all of these scenes, trainers used hand signals and verbal commands to cue the mild action, which the trained dog was accustomed to performing. The barking/growling was also a trained behavior.



In the scene when Ben looked inside the window of his house and saw the dog in the living room who barks at him. The dog’s trainers carried the dog to set and held him off frame. On action, she let go of the dog and the other trainer cued him to walk to the window and bark. In order to get the dog to put his paws on the window sill and bark a trainer walked outside and cued the dog to look at him and bark.



In the scene where the actor drives the car with the dog in his lap, the dog and actor had a good rapport. Police held traffic during the shots. The trainer placed the dog on the passenger seat. On action the dog sat in the car as the actor walked out of the pharmacy and entered the car. Subsequently, when the dog went through the drive-thru, gets the bag and drives off w/ the dog in the passenger’s seat, the trainers were off camera, cuing the dog to remain still. The dog was rewarded with treats after shooting the scene.



In the scene where the actress opens the car door and the dog jumps out and runs, the trainer stood off camera. When the car pulled up and the actress opened the door, the trainer cued the dog w/ a toy to run towards him. When the actress ran after the dog into the barn and eventually upstairs to the other actor, with the dog barking, the trainer walked the dog on leash to the set. Prior to shooting the scene, the trainer placed the dog on his mark at the top of the stairs. The trainer held the dog’s toy near the bottom of stairs and told him to speak. On action the trainer signaled him to bark, while the actor entered frame at bottom of stairs and hurried up the stairs following the dog



Due to limited resources, American Humane Association did not monitor some of the dog action.