Because Goose plays such an integral part in Captain Marvel’s story, it was necessary for four different cat performers to be brought onto the film’s set in order to capture the range of Goose’s feline emotions. Some scenes featuring Goose, like when the cat first meets Nick Fury, were predictably easy to shoot, but others like those involving the Skrulls were a different story.
While speaking to Vulture about the four cats who portray Goose in Captain Marvel, animal trainer Ursula Brauner explained that while the cats are used to interacting with people that look like humans, actors in makeup and prosthetics as drastic as the film’s Skrulls sometimes gave them difficulty. If a person doesn’t exactly look like a person, the animals aren’t always sure how to respond to them in the moment, and it can throw scenes off:
That was one of our challenges because they look so different from people. Ben Mendelsohn was so amazing getting the cats used to the costume and makeup, though. He showed them how he moved and sounded, and he was just really great getting the cats to like him.
I remember being in the quad-jet set in a very tight space, and Ben doesn’t look anything like a human being in his costume. Reggie was a little unfurled. [Captain Marvel directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck] took the time to say, ‘Let’s stop what we’re doing and get the cat comfortable.’ We had Reggie sitting on a chair, and Ben was sitting in the chair next to him, and we let Reggie go to him and explore on his own volition, and pretty soon, he realized Ben was just like us, but he just looked different. It’s about taking the time to stop. And it shows onscreen.
One imagines it wouldn’t have been too hard to simply rely on a bit more CGI to capture cat behavior on screen that didn’t rely on living animals having to get used to staring at groups of aliens, but it likely would have drained some of the organic feeling energy out of the movie that makes Goose one of Captain Marvel’s most compelling characters. We’re glad everyone put in the extra effort.
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