A Star is Born – Tucker Cameron: From Cardboard Box to Red Carpet

Muffin Top: A Love Story Movie Screening Comes to Traverse City, Starring Tucker Cameron

Photo credits: Cathryn Michon and Muffin Top Facebook pages

a_tucker on floor

Pet Friends Magazine was excited and honored to be able to catch up with busy canine movie star Tucker Cameron in the middle of the movie tour for Muffin-Top: A Love Story which will be screening in Traverse City on Thursday, November 6th. The movie, which also stars his mom, Cathryn Michon, is a romantic comedy about body image that says you can find true love if you love yourself first, flaws and all. The movie’s promotion and touring of 12 premiere cities was funded by a KickStarter campaign in November of 2013.

B_muffin top ad

The movie was written by Tucker’s parents, author/screenwriter/actor/director/editor/great mom Cathryn Michon and best selling writer/superdad, W. Bruce Cameron. They are co-producers along with Tom Rooker, who has also produced Space Cowboys and Absolute Power.

Tucker and dad do a photo shoot for upcoming stardom and acclaim.

Tucker and dad do a photo shoot for upcoming stardom and acclaim.

Tucker and mom in the early days.

Tucker and mom in the early days.

In addition to being a movie star, Tucker is also a photogenic yet unpaid model who appears on the inside back cover of his dad’s books A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey.

The following interview is with Tucker Cameron about his role in his mom’s new movie and what it’s like to be a big star.

Tell me about your movie Muffin Top – A Love Story. What is it about and tell us about your starring role.

Honestly, I see this as a breakout role for me. Up until now I’ve been typecast as a dog, but in Muffin Top: A Love Story I’m more the leading man type. The movie is about a woman who has a bad breakup and body image issues who has this amazing dog who saves the day and deserves more treats.

Will you be coming to Traverse City for the screening or do you have to take care of business at home?

I will not be in Traverse City but I am sending some of my people.

Is it hard to be a professional actor when your parents are on-set?

My parents mean well, but I feel I’ve sort of grown beyond the point where I need them around. I’m a professional. None of the other actors had their parents on the set. Well, Michael Hawley had his mother (actor Marcia Wallace) who played his mother in the movie, but that’s different. My parents are not trying to hold me back, but you don’t see Robert Downey Jr.’s father kissing him on the nose before a scene. I’ve spoken to my agent and he’ll find something for my parents to do so they don’t interfere next time.

You are listed fifth in the credits for cast and crew on the Internet Movie Database website. How do you feel about that? Do you think that there is still a stigma attached to giving canines the proper credit for their acting roles? How do you feel about not being listed on the promotional movie poster?

I did not know I was listed fifth and will talk to my agent about why those other four are ahead of me. I get that we have a Tony winner (Marissa Jeret Winokur), that David Arquette has been in a lot of movies, that Melissa Peterman is the star of a hit TV show and Dot Marie Jones is on Glee, but come on, watch the movie. I inhabited that character. No one was more convincing!

I think canines do not get their due as cast because no one understands just how hard it is to play a dog. Oh, and the poster? That was MY idea. Remember how Jack Nicholson was unbilled on Broadcast News, though he was the biggest actor? Same with me. I expect my fans to sit up and say, “Oh my God! That’s Tucker!!!”

Tucker gets a Valentine's present from his Aunty Junebug.

Tucker gets a Valentine’s present from his Aunt

I understand that your aunt Georgia rescued you from an animal shelter and helped you find your parents. Can you tell us about that and how you became a Cameron.

Well…. I suppose that is one interpretation. My question is, do people rescue dogs, or do we rescue you? Before I came along my parents were without a dog. That’s not a life, that’s an existence. I was dropped off in a cardboard box at a shelter because that is how heavenly intervention works.

Your dad, best selling author W. Bruce Cameron has written many books about dogs. Can you tell us about that and how adopting you has improved his writing abilities?

Truthfully, before I showed up he was not much of a writer. I have edited most of his work so that the dogs are more authentic. And his novel “The Dogs of Christmas” is based on my life story! I’m still waiting for my consulting fee. (Tucker would also like you to know that his dad has a new book, The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man, official nominee of the 2014 Kirkus award for fiction and an Indie Bound “Next Great Read Section for December. No nepotism here).

Which of the dogs in your dad’s books A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey do you relate to? Is there one of them that you feel you could be best buds with? 

To be honest, while I love those two novels (A Dog’s Purpose was on the NY Times bestseller list for 52 weeks, which is seven years in my time!) I have to confess that the dog I most relate to is Jake, the basset hound in The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man. Because Jake doesn’t like to go for walks. I feel the same way… I’ll be in the middle of a power nap and all of a sudden they want to go outside? Why wake me up for that?

What kind of perks do you get at home now that you’re a well-known actor?

I cannot comment on on-going litigation except to say I am sure justice will prevail and I’ll get more salmon bites.

Tucker, the canine star of Muffin Top is bravely enduring his time in hair and makeup at the fancy hotel he has been put up at for his appearances at the Carmel International Film Festival.

Tucker, the canine star of Muffin Top is bravely enduring his time in hair and makeup at the fancy hotel he has been put up at for his appearances at the Carmel International Film Festival.

What kinds of things do you do on your off-time? Do you enjoy hiking? Kongs? Watching TV?

Off time! Between answering fan mail, checking in on Facebook, and media interviews, I have no such thing.

Who is more fun to hang around with – mom or dad?

Neither. But there’s this young beagle mix in the dog park who just might be the next Mrs. Tucker, if you get my drift.

Do you prefer hamburgers, chicken or steak?

Life’s short, why choose?

What nicknames do you have – and which ones would you like to get rid of?

My parents sometimes call me Tucker Schnoodle-Doodle, which sounds like some kind of cookie. I deplore it. In Muffin Top: A Love Story I play a dog named Boo-Boo. Why, if they can’t use Tucker, can they not address me as Boo-Boo? There’s a scene with Cathryn Michon, Diedrich Bader, and Haylie Duff that, by the end of it, I even think of myself as Boo-Boo… it’s that convincing. The other three actors are okay, I guess.

Do you have any advice to other canine actors who want to break into show business?

Stay home, my friends. I’ve got it covered.

G_tucker close up

Are there any future movie projects in your future?

Of course. I’m reading several scripts right now, in fact. I just haven’t found the right project. After Muffin Top, I suppose I’m a bit picky.  It’s a movie that makes people laugh and cry, that has heart and a point, and in which women speak as much as the men! I would like to be in more surprise hits where women are allowed to talk.

Your mom’s website for the KickStarter funding of Muffin Top says that “Beauty is not a Size, Age or Color”. Do you think that’s a good philosophy that resonates both in the human world and in the dog world?

Absolutely! Why humans fixate on the unimportant things instead of focusing on a good sniff of the butt, I will never understand.

Just like the dog in your dad’s books, have you figured out what your purpose is and why such a beautiful specimen of a dog exists with us inadequate humans?

Clearly my purpose is to bring joy, love, hope and health to anyone who gives me bacon. I can only hope that people watching Muffin Top: A Love Story recognize who is the true star.

Muffin Top: A Love Story will start at 8:30 pm on Thursday, November 6th at the Carmike Grand Traverse 9 on South Airport Rd. at the mall. Tickets for Muffin Top are $10 and can be reserved here.

For your chance to win a copy of A Dog’s Purpose, please click here.

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