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Puppy Love: Richard Gere Waxes About Dog Movie

The picture below is of the real Hachiko and the Statue in Japan.

— Kenn

HachikoAndStatue

By Marta Falconi For The Associated Press

ROME — Richard Gere said Friday that he “cried like a baby” when he read the script of his new movie — a remake based on a cherished Japanese story about a faithful dog that died at a train station waiting for its owner.

“Hachiko: A Dog’s Story” was so moving, Gere said, he would choke up when talking about it.

“I was telling people over dinner, and I could only get half way through the story and I would start crying,” the Hollywood star told a news conference after the film was screened out of competition at the Rome Film Festival.

The true story of a friendship between the dog Hachiko and his owner is a legend among Japanese, a pet-loving nation that honors self-sacrificing loyalty.

Hachiko used to wait every day at Shibuya train station for its owner, a professor at the University of Tokyo — even for a decade after the professor died. People were so moved they built a statue of Hachiko at the station — now a popular rendezvous spot.

The story of Hachiko, who himself died in 1935, was made into a 1987 Japanese movie.

The new version, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, moves the tale to a station in modern Rhode Island.

“I cried like a baby” when reading the script, Gere said. “I wasn’t sure if it was just a very sensitive reaction I had that day, so I read it again a few days later and had the same reaction.

“This is a love story,” said Gere, who plays the professor. “It has nothing to do with gender or species.”

The canines that play Hachiko in the movie belong to the Japanese breed of Akita dogs — known for being close to wild dogs and very difficult to train.

“We could not train the dogs to do things, but we had to create an environment trustful for them,” Gere said.

The movie had its U.S. premiere in June at the Seattle International Film Festival, and opened in Japan in August.

Other movies screening out of competition at the Rome festival include “Julie & Julia,” starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s film “A Serious Man.”

The fourth edition of the festival, which is becoming part of the international circuit of movie festivals, runs through Oct. 22.

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bigepaz
13 years ago

I'm very familiar and love the story, but I don't know if I can watch this. I don't want to sob during a film. I still haven't seen Marley and Me — and I read the book!

Akitalover619
Akitalover619
13 years ago

I, as well am familiar with Hachiko and feel the same. I just watched the trailer and that was enough to make me cry!! Ditto with Marley, should've read the last couple chapters 1st before I was emotionally invested! I know this movie will be worse for me since I have an Akita(my 4th) and truly understand the traits of this magnificent breed. Like Mr. Gere said, they're not easy to train( I feel it's akin to training a cat) and get bored quickly with repetition. I just hope when this comes out people don't rush to get a puppy as they are not a breed for novice dog owners.

Name
Name
13 years ago

I, too, am familiar with and love this story. I just pray the general, uninformed public doesn't go Akita crazy like they did when “101 Dalmatians” was made into a live action movie. Akita's require a well-informed, experienced owner/guardian, have the reputation for becoming extremely protective of their family, and usually don't do well with cats or small dogs (they have a high prey drive).

Akitalover619
Akitalover619
13 years ago

I, as well am familiar with Hachiko and feel the same. I just watched the trailer and that was enough to make me cry!! Ditto with Marley, should've read the last couple chapters 1st before I was emotionally invested! I know this movie will be worse for me since I have an Akita(my 4th) and truly understand the traits of this magnificent breed. Like Mr. Gere said, they're not easy to train( I feel it's akin to training a cat) and get bored quickly with repetition. I just hope when this comes out people don't rush to get a puppy as they are not a breed for novice dog owners.

Name
Name
13 years ago

I, too, am familiar with and love this story. I just pray the general, uninformed public doesn't go Akita crazy like they did when “101 Dalmatians” was made into a live action movie. Akita's require a well-informed, experienced owner/guardian, have the reputation for becoming extremely protective of their family, and usually don't do well with cats or small dogs (they have a high prey drive).

miriam
13 years ago

I cried watching the trailer – I doubt I will be able to watch the whole movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mhayvilar05
Mhayvilar05
11 years ago

i really cried so much at this movie.. this is the saddest movie i ever watched..  i think this is a good movie to watch when u have something inside yourself that wouldn’t come out. i just couldn’t hold my tears from crying… huhu… 

Mhayvilar05
Mhayvilar05
11 years ago

i really cried so much at this movie.. this is the saddest movie i ever watched..  i think this is a good movie to watch when u have something inside yourself that wouldn’t come out. i just couldn’t hold my tears from crying… huhu… 

Ynal_phil
Ynal_phil
10 years ago

iam watching this movie in the cable right now, this is my 2nd time watching it but iam still crying.. 

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