Recently, we've been fed the b.s. story about Rin Tin Tin being the actual first Best Actor Academy Award winner. Now comes another canine story, this one starring Uggie, the four-legged scene-stealer in Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist. We're told that Uggie could have been a contender for the British Academy of Film and Television Awards – the BAFTAs – in the Best Supporting Actor category. Could is the word, as The Artist's UK-based publicity firm Premiere PR has recently sent the following information to the British Academy members:
“We have received a number of inquiries regarding the eligibility of Uggie, the Jack Russell, in the role of 'DOG' for Actor in a Supporting Role in The Artist. Regretfully, we must advise that as he is not a human being and as his unique motivation as an actor was sausages, Uggie is not qualified to compete for the BAFTA in this category. We thank you on his behalf for your support and will pass your compliments along to him.”
I should add that Uggie hasn't been included in the BAFTA longlist for Best Supporting Actor. Perhaps because he isn't a Hollywood star, as BAFTA voters clearly love Hollywood celebrities much more than they love dogs.
Now, according to one blogger who went to a Los Angeles screening of The Artist, Uggie was in attendance, "shivering and scared." [Addendum: I'd initially remarked that "treating a dog that way is something that definitely doesn't merit any awards." Now, Uggie is 10 years old and according to Premiere PR's Liz Miller, he trembles even in his sleep. Miller adds that "his owner/trainer, Omar, clearly loves Uggie and would never allow him to suffer in any way." Please check out her comment below.]
Premiere PR quote via Variety
Jean Dujardin/Uggie/The Artist photo: The Weinstein Company.