An Oscars Producer Revealed That Messi The “Anatomy Of A Fall” Dog’s Viral Clapping Moment Had To Be Pre-Taped Because He Wouldn’t Stop Barking In The Dress Rehearsal

“I think he was confused by a signal that a camera guy was giving. He thought it was the barking command.”

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Step aside Oppenheimer, the 2024 Oscars was all about Messi the dog.

messi in a seat at the oscars

Yep, if the “breakout animal” at last year’s Academy Awards was Jenny the donkey from the Banshees of Inisherin, and this year's was Messi, the French border collie who starred as Snoop in Anatomy Of A Fall.

If you’ve not seen the movie, Messi’s performance is undeniably fantastic, particularly in one heartbreaking scene where Snoop experiences an accidental overdose. The moment required Messi to learn how to convincingly play dead — a skill his trainer said took two months to master.

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Suffice it to say, if there were an Academy Award for Best Dog Actor, Messi would have won it, fair and square. Therefore, fans were thrilled to see that he was in attendance at the Oscars on Sunday, where his movie was up for five awards, including Best Picture.

messi in the audience wearing a bowtie

Much to viewers’ delight, Messi made a few appearances throughout the show — first when he got a shoutout in Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue, and a second time when he was seen clapping his paws for Robert Downey Jr.’s Best Supporting Actor win.

And while we don’t doubt that Messi could learn to clap if he needed to, it was revealed in behind-the-scenes footage that the viral moment was pre-taped and made possible by a prop assistant who laid on the floor clapping together two fake paws.

the prop assistant on the floor holding up fake paws next to messi

And now, Oscars producer Molly McNearney has shared more backstage info about how the pup was able to steal the show.

messi on a leash at the show

Speaking with Variety, Molly pulled back the curtain and revealed that there was originally a plan for Messi to appear live at the ceremony, but said they had to re-strategize after he got a little over-excited in the dress rehearsal.

So, despite Jimmy later joking that they could’ve just let Messi “bark throughout the show,” the producers thought it might be safer if they pre-taped his appearances — including one where Messi peed on Matt Damon’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a nod to Jimmy’s long-running “feud” with the actor.

You can read Molly’s full interview with Variety here. And here’s where you can check out the rest of our Oscars content.

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