You can watch Lady and the Tramp, streaming exclusively on Disney+, starting on November 12, 2019.
Last August I attended the Disney+ panel at D23 Expo and got the least surprising news of my life: Yvette Nicole Brown, who plays Aunt Sarah, had adopted one of the dogs who played Lady in the Lady and the Tramp remake. When I visited the set last November, it was obvious that Brown didn’t share Aunt Sarah’s feelings about canines. “This is the biggest acting job I’ve ever done because I love dogs so much, and have to be so hateful.”
Yvette was also reluctant to take on the role because she’s a caretaker for her father in LA and the movie was filmed in Savannah. It was her mother who encouraged her to give it a shot. “My mom said it’s Lady and the Tramp; it’s Disney; you’ll get to be on set with dogs; you’re going to the audition.”
Brown didn’t regret following her mother’s advice. “The dogs…Thomas who plays Jim Dear, he’s lovely. Charlie [the director] is amazing; Brigham [the producer] is lovely. Our crew is amazing. Kiersey is amazing. And the dogs, everything about it is just love… It’s just like a love letter to dogs.”
Brown also loved the triplet infants who played the role of baby Lulu, and loved watching Kiersey Clemons, who plays Darling, interact with them. “She’s a gooey center of love with everyone. So when she’s with the baby… she doesn’t put them down. From the time when they put the baby in her arms, however many takes you see us do, she’s there cooing.”
One thing was clear from meeting Brown: she was dedicated to doing the best job possible. “I don’t ever wanna be the weak link,” she said. “I wanna bring some joy; I wanna bring some laughter; I want everybody to have a good time; I wanna have a good time with you guys because I’m already beyond anything a kid from East Cleveland is ever supposed to be able to do.”
Brown credits her mother with installing her positive outlook. “She told us that either everybody’s special or nobody is. So you don’t get to walk around in life as if the sun rises on your doorstep, and everybody else is beneath you. Either everybody matters, or nobody matters.” That attitude carried over onto the Lady and the Tramp set. “It’s not lost on us [that] this is one of Disney’s biggest properties, and they’re trusting us to do it, and the fact that it’s multi-ethnic and amazing. Everybody’s welcome.”
About The Lady And The Tramp Remake
In Disney+’s “Lady and the Tramp,” a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home. Life is good for Lady, an overachieving American Cocker Spaniel who resides in an upscale suburban neighborhood. Her owners, Jim Dear and Darling, spoil her daily and her neighbors, Jock, an outspoken Scottish Terrier and Trusty, a world-weary Bloodhound, are always within barking distance. But when a baby enters the picture, Lady is no longer the center of attention, and the arrival of catloving Aunt Sarah only complicates matters. Lady soon finds herself alone on the streets in an unwelcoming part of town. Fortunately, Tramp steps in, and the streetwise mongrel is quick to teach her the ways of the world. Before long, the prim and proper pure bred and the fast-talking mutt are partaking in moonlight strolls in the park and romantic spaghetti dinners by candlelight. Tramp savors the independence of a world without leashes or fences alongside his roguish friends Peg and Bull, but Lady misses the comfort and safety of a family, and soon both must decide where – and with whom – they belong. A heartwarming romantic adventure that seamlessly combines live action and photorealistic animation, “Lady and the Tramp” stars: Tessa Thompson as the voice of Lady and Justin Theroux as the voice of Tramp; Kiersey Clemons as Darling; Thomas Mann as Jim Dear; Janelle Monáe as the voice of Peg; Yvette Nicole Brown as Aunt Sarah; and Sam Elliott as the voice of Trusty. The film is directed by Charlie Bean from a screenplay by Andrew Bujalski and Kari Granlund, and is produced by Brigham Taylor with Diane L. Sabatini serving as executive producer.
“Lady and the Tramp” premieres on November 12, 2019, streaming only on Disney+.