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Dennis Quaid & Marg Helgenberger Interview: A Dog's Journey

In the film A Dog’s Purpose, beloved dog Bailey finally reunited with his “boy” Ethan, (played by Dennis Quaid) after many years (and many lives as other dogs). In the follow up film, A Dog’s Journey, we catch up with Ethan and his wife (played by Marg Helgenberger) as the story continues on as Bailey has a new purpose, making sure Ethan’s granddaughter CJ is safe.

Dennis Quaid returns to the role of Ethan for the sequel and Screen Rant got the chance to talk to him and co-star Marg Helgenberger about the new film.

Screen Rant: I just wanna start out by saying between this film and Pet Sematary I’m having a bit of a real whiplash year concerning movies between resurrected pets.

Dennis Quaid: (Laughs)

Screen Rant: One movie they're very evil this movie they're your best friends.

Dennis Quaid: And then I did The Intruder and now I’m doing this warm and fuzzy guy here…

Screen Rant: I was noticing that…

Dennis Quaid: (Going into character) Do you have a problem with that? Do you have a problem?

Screen Rant: NO! NO!

Dennis Quaid: You sure?

Screen Rant: I’m sure!

Dennis Quaid: Cuz it looks like you have a problem.

Bailey and Dennis Quaid in A Dog's Journey

Screen Rant: No, I’m having no problem.

Dennis Quaid: We can help you solve that problem.

Marg Helgenberger: Be afraid, be very afraid.

Dennis Quaid: (Laughs)

Screen Rant: (Laughs)...Dennis, I actually wanted to start off by, and by all means you can correct me...but...is this your first sequel to anything you’ve directly done before?

Dennis Quaid: Hmmm….that’s a great trivia question…(laughs) Sounds like a signature trivia question to me. Yeah I’ve done like a 100 movies now...uhh...Bill!... Bill: On His Own, which was a movie for television with Mickey Rooney. (Note: Bill came out in 1981 and the sequel, Bill: Oh His Own came out in 1983. Both aired on CBS) I did two of those.

Marg Helgenberger: With Mickey Rooney! Oh my god!

Dennis Quaid: Lot of good stories.

Marg Helgenberger: Lot of good stories, I bet.

Screen Rant: I could imagine with Mickey Rooney, I bet….since you’re following this up with A Dog’s Purpose was there any mild hesitation about doing one…

Dennis Quaid: Oh not at all.

Screen Rant: No?

Dennis Quaid: No, because it’s such a good continuation of the story, and it’s such a great story too. And..because the dog comes back...in reincarnation, and is a journey of life, and it covers the human experience, it’s a natural for him...there’s another story waiting to be told here...

Screen Rant: Yeah?

Dennis Quaid:..yeah…

Marg Helgenberger: And the novel’s finished (for the third book) and probably a screenplay, but I’m not sure.

Screen Rant: Marg, I wanna talk about where Hannah is right now dealing with Gloria (Betty Gilpin's character who is the daughter in law to Hannah) what do you think is in her headspace in the beginning of the film. She’s trying to guide her and help her, but there's some resistance from Gloria. What do you think is in Hannah’s headspace?

Marg Helgenberger: Well I feel Hannah feels..she’s the type of person that feels...she’s the type of person that...she says the right thing or does the right thing that she can get someone to come around to her thinking...and Gloria...I think...Hannah, more than anyone understands Gloria’s desire to have, to pursue her career, and desire to have her own kind of freedom and autonomy. It was a situation that she didn’t expect to happen...I’m not gonna say too much more,  I don’t want to give the story away. So I think she’s a kind and caring person, and she really does want this to all work out. And having CJ (Hannah’s granddaughter) at home with us, and we can all help...it takes a village…to help raise….

Dennis Quaid: She got dealt a bad hand.

Marg Helgenberger: ...to help raise this little girl. To provide the love for his little girl, that she needs to get through life...and uhh..I’m not gonna go into …

Dennis Quaid and Marg Helgenberger in A Dog's Journey

Screen Rant: But I definitely see that, absolutely… now you both mention that there's more to Baily’s story possibly...I have a pitch..do you wanna hear it.

Dennis Quaid: Yes well...I have a fish….

Screen Rant: (Laughs) You have a fish as well?

Dennis Quaid: Yeah, I have a goldfish that I’m actually very attached too.

Marg Helgenberger: I have Koi that…

Dennis Quaid: I see some surface to the water and follow me around...

Screen Rant: (Laughs) So...here’s my idea for the third film. The first one’s A Dog’s Purpose, the second is A Dog’s Journey...how do you feel about A Dog’s Vengeance (shows picture of the fake sequel poster)?

Marg Helgenberger: Oh my god…

Dennis Quaid: Hahaha!

Marg Helgenberger: What is that?

Dennis Quaid: I thought you…

Screen Rant: He’s a cop dog, and his catch phrase can even be “I’m the Boss Dog.”

Dennis Quaid: (Acting as a cop dog) I’m taking care of business...right on your doorstep…(Quaid then does a fart sound)...

Screen Rant: Excellent.

Marg Helgenberger: That’s HIS purpose!

More: Watch The A Dog's Journey Trailer

Key Release Dates
  • A Dog's Journey (2019) release date: May 17, 2019
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