Alexandra Shipp, best known for her role as the iconic mohawked super heroine Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse, plays a different kind of heroine in Columbia Pictures’ new heartwarming family adventure A Dog’s Way Home.
In the film, based on author W. Bruce Cameron’s beloved novel of the same name, the young actress plays Olivia, an animal rights activist who rescues Bella, A Dog’s Way Home’s canine star, in an abandoned broken down house.
“The main thing that attracted me to Olivia was how passionate she was and how strong she is,” she says. “She’s smart, she knows exactly what she’s talking about, and she wants to help. It’s exciting to play characters that do the random act of kindness, who are just trying to be helpful, who are just trying to be of service.”
A Dog’s Way Home is an emotionally charged and uplifting spiritual odyssey that follows the adventure of Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human, Lucas (played by Jonah Hauer-King), an aspiring med student and VA hospital volunteer. Bella touches the lives of many during her unwavering quest; from an orphaned mountain lion cub to a homeless veteran down on his luck, Bella brings joy and comfort to everyone she meets with her unique spirit and faith.
“The best way to describe Shelby, the rescue dog who plays Bella, is kind,” says Shipp. “She is just the sweetest dog. She’s been training for this job only since she was rescued [last year], and I think that is going to open up a lot of viewpoints and mindsets when it comes to rescue dogs because a lot of people think that you can’t teach new dogs old tricks.”
Though Shipp plays a love interest for Hauer-King’s Lucas, the highlight of the movie for her is Bella’s relationship with Lucas. “This movie shows you what unconditional love really does look like, and the fact that dogs have such a capacity for it, on a level that humans just can’t even fathom. I mean, don’t get me wrong: Lucas is cute but I wouldn’t be running miles of rocky terrain for him,” jokes Shipp. “But Bella does. And I think any dog would at least try and do that for their owner.”
Now playing in Philippine cinemas nationwide, A Dog’s Way Home is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #ADogsWayHome