The leading man of Disney’s upcoming live-action “Lady and the Tramp” is already stealing hearts with his soulful eyes, scruffy face and rags-to-riches backstory.
Monte, a 2-year-old terrier mix, is slated to star as Tramp (voiced by Justin Theroux) in the remake of the 1955 animated classic. The talented canine was scouted by animal trainers who adopted him last year from Phoenix’s HALO Animal Rescue, The Albuquerque Journal reports. Monte previously hailed from New Mexico, where he was in the care of Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley before being transferred to the rescue group.
A cocker spaniel named Rose will be playing opposite Monte as Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson) in the movie, which is slated to premiere on streaming service Disney+ on Nov. 12. Disney released its first look at the star-crossed canine lovebirds this month. But Monte’s been making headlines this week after scoring profiles detailing his humble origins in news outlets including the Journal and The Arizona Republic.
“He was adopted from us in April of 2018, and we knew that the people that were meeting with him were considering him to be a Hollywood star, but we didn’t know for what, because it was top secret,” HALO President Heather Allen told the Republic. “We knew he had the potential to become a Hollywood dog.”
She chalks his success in front of the camera up to his friendly demeanor, love for attention and ability to follow instructions. Both HALO and Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley celebrated their alumnus on social media after the news of his star turn became public.
And while Monte’s currently eating up most of the limelight, a news release from Disney’s official fan club D23 noted that the movie’s cast is actually filled with rescue dogs, all of whom were adopted into forever homes when production was over. Disney did not immediately respond to a request for background information on Rose, Monte’s cocker spaniel co-star.
Monte joins the adorable ranks of many esteemed rescue dogs to become movie stars. Spike, who played the iconic Old Yeller in the 1957 movie of the same name, was adopted from a shelter by animal trainer Frank Weatherwax. And Buddy, the golden retriever who played himself in 1997′s “Air Bud,” was originally found wandering as a stray.