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the inner dog

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Jeff Daniels & Fred

Jeff Daniels has been a professional stage and film actor for twenty-five years. Raised in Michigan, Daniels launched his film career on the New York stage, where he was first cast in David Story’s play The Farm.

Daniels made his feature film debut in Milos Forman’s Ragtime, followed by the popular success of his next project, Terms of Endearment, as Debra Winger’s philandering husband. Next came two leading roles (as Tom Baxter and Gil Sheperd) in Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo, which was such a turning point in Daniels’ career that he would name his theatre company after the film.

His most recent project is the family film, Because of Winn Dixie, to be released by FOX Film entertainment in February, 2005. In the film, directed by Wayne Wang, Jeff plays the preacher father of India ‘Opal’ Buloni (Annasophia Robb), the little girl who adopts the stray orphaned pooch and namesake of the movie. With her goofy pooch by her side, she meets an eclectic group of townspeople and rekindles an almost lost relationship with her father.

We appreciate the time that Jeff and Fred took to answer the Inner Dog Questionnaire.

Dog’s Name:
Fred. A Chow/Shepherd. 12 years old.
(Jeff Daniels)

What is his idea of perfect happiness?
Laying in our warm house during a blizzard.
What is his favorite treat?
Parmesan cheese mixed in with his Purina.

If he could change one thing about himself, what would it be?
His limp.

What is his most treasured possession?
His family.

What is his most endearing quality?
When he needs to be loved, there is no denying him.

Assuming there is such a thing as reincarnation, what or who might he have been in a former life?
A hockey player who led his team in penalty minutes.

Is there anything that embarrasses him?
Getting caught eating the cat food.

What is it that he dislikes most?
His “brothers,” our two overly needy Australian Shepherds.

What is his greatest fear?
Fourth of July.

What is his greatest accomplishment?
Having been taken out into our rural area and dumped, he is most proud of his persistence in refusing to leave our garage. After a week of feeding him, we finally took him in. That was 12 years ago.

What is his favorite place?
On the floor next to our bed.

What does he really like in other dogs?
Their acceptance of him as their superior.

Does he have a motto?
“It’s my house and my yard. You’re only visiting.”

Photographs by Cami Johnson,