Hawaii animal trainer with film and TV credits adds Super Bowl commercial to her resume
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Super Bowl Sunday, watch for a new Budweiser commercial.
One of the co-stars is Sue Chipperton’s Labrador, the acting dog named Eddie.
“There’s only a handful of commercials during the Super Bowl. To be one of them and for everyone to see it ― especially a dog from Hawaii ― it’s pretty cool,” she said.
Chipperton has trained animals for acting for more than two decades. They’ve had roles in blockbuster movies like “Titanic,” “Gran Torino,” “Triple Frontier,” and “Jungle Cruise,” just to name a few.
Before the Budweiser ad, Eddie had a recurring role on “Hawaii Five-0.” Her dobermans act in Magnum PI, and she has another trained dog that’s part of the cast on NCIS Hawaii.
“The dogs that I find for movie work have to be fearless, outgoing, and very motivated dogs. So dogs are probably the easiest just because of their nature,” Chipperton said.
Early in her career, she trained marine mammals in Florida. Then she met trainers whose animals worked in movies. “It sounded intriguing so I packed up and moved to Hollywood,” she said.
That began what’s become a long list of on-screen credits. She trained Gidget the Taco Bell chihuahua that belonged to the company’s owner but lived with Chipperton for 15 years.
“She did red carpets at appearances. She was very much a celebrity,” she said.
Chipperton trained the duck from the Aflac TV spots. There were actually 12 ducks that rotated in the commercials.
“They all had different things that they’d like to do. One was good at sitting and staying. Another one was good at running. So we would get the script and figure out which duck was going to do which part,” she said.
Chipperton moved to Hawaii years ago, and began training animals here.
She and her four-legged students work on the mainland from time to time, but most of their acting is done for TV and film productions that use Hawaii as the backdrop.
She said animal actors aren’t like their human counterparts. Humans can take time off. Her dogs, cats, and pigs have to stay sharp.
“I train my dogs a little bit every single day just to keep them going and learn new things. They’re never done. I’m never done training,” she said.
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