'Turner & Hooch' star Josh Peck talks about the new series
The 'Turner & Hooch' star joins his fellow cast members to talk about their new series on Disney+.
Read on for the full interview with Josh Peck.
Moviefone: I want you to set the scene for me. What is Scott's life like? How is he living? I'm talking about pre-Hooch. When we first meet him.
Josh Peck: So when we meet Scott Turner, he's a career man. He's very driven, very ambitious. He wants to be the chief of the US Marshals, and he's got a psychotically clean apartment, and his best friend is a Roomba. And he's got this very cute little life that immediately gets disrupted by the wrecking ball that is 150 pound French mastiff in Hooch.
MF: So you would say that we agree that Scott is a very type-A personality. Hooch is not, and that first time together is quite disastrous.
Peck: You make a great point. Yeah. When I first meet Hooch, he completely makes the space his own in a way. And our McG who directed our pilot, who was a dream, and I had so much fun with. He was so smart where I think he basically put a million things in Scott's apartment that could be utterly destroyed by Hooch. Then had the camera same back and said to the dog trainers, let the dogs have at it, go nuts. Josh, you chase after the dog. Comedy will ensue. And it sure did.
MF: Was that difficult? Because I'm sure most dogs are trained to not destroy household items. So was that difficult? For these trainers to train these dogs or because I guess there's more than one Hooch, right? So was there one specific dog that was trained to just destroy household items?
Peck: You know, each dog had their own specialty. And so like OB was our elder statement. He was six years old, and he was just great at chilling in scenes. If we needed Hooch to just look up and look to the side and not make a peep. That was OB. Then there was Hammer, who was young. He was less than two years old and literally pulled my arm out of his socket. He had one speed and one speed only. And that was pulling me across a room or chasing after a bad guy. And then we had someone like Mimi who was an army female dog, who was literally our specialist. Who was perfect at grabbing something off the table or jumping really high. So each dog kind of offered something different.
MF: Who gives Hooch to Scott? And why does she do that?
Peck: My sister, Lyndsy Fonseca, is the actress, and she plays Laura, my sister on the show. She gives Scott this gigantic French mastiff, Hooch, because I think her and her family, and especially her father, knew that Scott needed something to disrupt him and sort of break his routine to make him realize that there's a life outside of himself and to sort of turn his eyes outward. So what we find throughout the season was that this was sort of a concerted effort from Scott's family to help break him out of his shell.
MF: Now this series is a sequel, a legacy sequel to the 1989 movie. Tell me where the series picks up.
Peck: The series picks up right when we meet Scott again, and I'm playing Scott Jr, who's the son of Tom Hanks, his character from the movie from 1989. And basically, my father's passed away. I'm sort of dealing with the aftermath of grieving for him and while also being so ambitious, and so dead set on this beautiful little life I've set up for myself. And a third of the way into the first episode I get Hooch and I realized the dog that I never wanted, might be the dog that I always needed. Because in addition to all the other great things that Hooch offers me, he's actually kind of good at solving crimes.
MF: Kind of. So there is a canine dog trainer with the Marshals and that Scott turns to for help. And she's really good with their dogs. Also, Scott is also very oblivious to the way Erica feels about him.
Peck: You're right. I mean, yes, Vanessa Lengies, who plays Erica Mouniere, who's the dog trainer for the US Marshals. And what I think each character in the show has is that she's this great dichotomy of, she's this brilliant dog trainer who knows the smallest nuance of what animals are able to do. And she helped Scott. And without her, he'd be totally lost with utilizing Hooch to help solve crimes. But then in the same breath, she's utterly hapless when it comes to love and her crush on Scott, and how to show her feelings if it's even possible. And Scott is in his bit of his self-centered pattern. Is completely oblivious to Erica's feelings for him through most of the season, but then there's a little glimpse where he kind of clues into the idea that maybe there're some sparks there.
MF: You know, there's a saying, "Don't ever work with kids or animals." Is it really hard on set to work with the dogs? That dog is with you all the time.
Peck: Well, as a former kid actor, I would be a jerk if I lived up to that saying, but you're right. I've heard it before, and it can be true. But I think you have to embrace what working with an animal offers you. Which is that it breaks you out of your plans, and it forces you into the moment, and it forces you to sort of adapt to what they're doing. And they're always going to be truthful. They're always going to be in the moment. So if you're meeting them on that level, you too are in the moment and present. And to me, that's when an actor is the most interesting. So, there were definitely moments on a 13-, 14-hour day, where you're praying that the dog does the thing that you need them to do. And they almost always did.
'Turner & Hooch' is on Disney+.