Sandy The Dog
Meet Sandy - the best friend a kid could ever ask for. She's not just a pretty
face - she'll be there in thick and thin.
From the comic strip to Broadway to the movies, Annie's constant companion
throughout her adventures has been her big, shaggy dog Sandy. To cast such an
important role, producer/co-writer/director Will Gluck turned to William Berloni,
the animal trainer who has found and trained all the dogs that have appeared as
Sandy on Broadway.
"I was fortunate enough to be involved with 'Annie' from the very first
production on Broadway, in 1977," Berloni says. "I trained the original Sandy,
and have trained all the Sandys for all the major productions ever since. So I'm
really happy to finally be working on a major motion picture."
"I think one of the things we love about Annie is that she loves everybody -
even an orphaned dog she runs into on the street," Berloni continues. Like the
other Sandys that Berloni cast and trained for Broadway, this Sandy was to be
true to character: she would be a rescue dog.
However, Berloni's search for Annie's Sandy in shelters throughout the New York
area had an added challenge for the trainer: Gluck had asked Berloni to find a
dog that didn't look anything like the previous Sandys.
Berloni's hunt for a new Sandy culminated in May, 2013, when he found Marti, a
beautiful tan-colored mutt who had been in an Armonk, New York shelter. Most
likely a golden retriever/chow mix, Marti was smaller than previous Sandys, with
a smoother coat. It was both her unique look and her winning personality that
got her cast in the role of Annie's best friend. Naming the dog after Martin
Charnin, who, Berloni says, gave the trainer his start in show business, Berloni
would train Marti for three months to portray Sandy.
"She's got very bright eyes," describes Berloni. "She's always smiling. She
loves children, and is a wonderfully sweet dog, very smart." Berloni trained
Marti for about six weeks prior to filming, acclimatizing her to the sights and
sounds of a film set, and taught her to perform on cue.
Marti may have been the most popular actor on set with the kids. "The
relationship between Quvenzhane and Marti was almost instantaneous," Berloni
says. Wallis, who has dogs of her own, was inseparable from Marti for the three
months they were together on the set.
"She's very loveable and huggable and she's just so cute," the young actress
gushes about her canine co-star. When the dog first came in for her audition
with Wallis, the two immediately hit it off - even as the dog tried to eat
Wallis' book. "She tried to flip the page over with her tongue. It was very
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