CreamofBritish ASD Australian Labradoodles UK
Tinka and Dafny were on set too but didn't get into the film. Sadly we've never received the photo's that we were promissed even though Phoenix was scanned by Disney. Anyone who has been involved with filming big screen productions will appreciate that we were sworn to secrecy, so we didn't utter a word for 16 months after filming at Pinewood Studios, it wasn't easy but we thought that we'd receive the photo's. I feel sorry for Su Eld Weaver the amazingly talented International groomer that turned the girls into buffalo, they looked so good that people on the set were asking ''What is that under the buffalo?'' they didn't comprehend that they were dogs, they truly looked like something from an alien planet and of course they were from Jakku. We didn't even take photo's of the dogs for ourselves as it was part of the contract, the only ones I have are of Phoenix many weeks after filming had finished and you can only see a slight resemblence to a buffalo and Dafny a few weeks after filming.
Su, myself and my dear friend Jane Whiteley will hold our memories forever. Most of our two weeks of filming was spent inside of a container, especially poor Su but we took turns to go outside and watch the film being made. It was the strangest experience to be sitting on the sand dunes on the planet Jakku with four buffalo sitting on my lap watching the film unfold in front of us with actors like Harrison Ford and Max Von Sydow standing next to us. We'd watch the Stormtroopers raging through Jakku and then after the take they would lift their helmets and drink coffee to keep themselves alert, we drunk lots of coffee on those cold nights.
I ended up in the film by default as it was decided that I would be the best person to work with my dogs, I was sent to wardrobe and make up and transformed into a villiage elder, however Julie Tottman from Birds And Animals told me I was going to be the Queen of the villiage, being gullible I believed her, she calls me Queenie now :)
I will never forget the young man who had the task of fitting my wig asking me ''Have you had your make up done?'' bless him, I looked about 90 :) I had been whisked away without Su and Jane realising and when I came back to the container as a crusty old villiager in rags they absolutely fell on the floor, we certainly had some fun.
The two buffalo were put into a pen on the edge of the villiage right where the Stormtroopers came through and I was an old lady tending to them. The highlight for me was J.J. Abrams walking up to me and my buffalo and shaking my hand commending me on our acting skills, what a lovely man, he didn't have to do that but he made me feel special and appreciated, I didn't wash my hand for two days :)
Dafny & Tinka were also going to be in the film and were with us throughout the two weeks, we were going to do a scene where the buffalo run though the villiage when Jakku was under attack and we'd rehearsed the scene a few times but unfortunately we turned up for filming one night to see an air ambulance landing, everything was hush hush and filming was abandoned but of course we later learnt with the rest of the world that Harrison Ford had crushed his leg on the door of The Millennium Falcon and that was the end of our filming of Star Wars and quite possibly my acting career, I did suggest in one of my emails to Julie that they might consider me to replace Daisy Ridley, I'm still waiting.
All that said if you look at the photo below, that's us in the red circle, perhaps one day we will be fortunate enough to get the photo's that we were promissed but I won't forget the experience, not many people can tell their children and grandchildren that they were in Star Wars, thank you Su for giving me that once in a lifetime experience and Jane for sharing yet another wonderful life experience with me. x
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Su Eld Weaver