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Mathilde de Cagny
Head Animal Trainer
Born and raised in Paris, France, Mathilde de Cagny made her move to Los Angeles and began a working relationship – one that continues to this day – as a volunteer for Birds and Animals Unlimited.
Hired to tend to the stars of the live animal show at Universal Studios Hollywood, she soon segued to working on such Universal films as Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future sequels. She began to train domesticated pigs, cats, birds, rats, et al. She also began rescuing animals.
Ms. de Cagny has made working with dogs her specialty. Her most famous and extensive collaboration was with the late Moose, the Jack Russell terrier who starred for 11 years as Eddie on the television show Frasier; she co-wrote, with Brian Hargrove, Moose’s “autobiography” My Life as a Dog. Her other notable credits with canines include James L. Brooks’ As Good As It Gets, with Jill, a Brussel Griffon, starring opposite Jack Nicholson; David R. Ellis’ Homeward Bound II, with Shadow, a Golden Retriever; Jay Russell’s My Dog Skip, with Moose and another Jack Russell, Enzo; Charles Sturridge’s Lassie, with the lead Collie, Mason; George LaVoo’s A Dog Year, with Ryder, a Border Collie, starring opposite Jeff Bridges; and Thor Freudenthal’s Hotel for Dogs, which marked the big break for Cosmo, the Jack Russell terrier who plays Arthur in Beginners, and who is among the animals that she has rescued.
She recently completed training several different species of animals, including pigeons, on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo Cabret; and is currently at work with a menagerie on Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo.