LOS ANGELES — Lisa Kudrow doesn’t share W.C. Fields’ ill feelings about working with children and animals. On the contrary, she signed on for the new PG-rated comedy "Hotel for Dogs” with her little boy Julian in mind.
"A big part of it was so that my son could see me in a movie,” the tall, blond, green-eyed actress said in an exclusive interview with The Oklahoman last week at the W Hotel. "I mean, he’s a boy, and really not old enough. Now he’s 10, so he might get interested in ‘Friends,’ but really kind of too young still. "He’s not a ‘Romy and Michele’ audience member,” she said, referring to "Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” an R-rated 1997 comedy she did with Mira Sorvino. "So, this was really the first movie that he could see that I’m in, so he was really excited for me to do this.” The family-themed comedy/adventure stars Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin as recently orphaned siblings living with a pair of self-centered foster parents, Lois and Carl (Kudrow and Kevin Dillon), who care more about making it as rock stars than the care and feeding of their young charges. They have a strict no-pets rule, so the kids must keep their perpetually hungry Jack Russell terrier, Friday, hidden in an abandoned hotel, where other homeless pooches also have taken shelter. Being a dog owner (toy poodle) as well as a mother, Kudrow had no problem working with kids or the 50 highly trained canine actors who appear in the film. But she did have her limits. When it came to shooting a scene where Friday sneaks into the kitchen behind Lois’ back and licks a spoon — which Lois also licks moments later, unaware of dog germs — director Thor Freudenthal wanted to capture it all in one shot. This, of course, would have required Kudrow to lick dog slobber for real. "And no,” she said. "I had to put my foot down. I had to be difficult. He said, ‘Well, I would do it. If you want, I’ll do it.’ And I said, ‘Well, you can do whatever you want.’ I’m not that kind of actor that says, ‘Well, the director’s doing it so I’m gonna do it.’ No.