There are a few things we really, really love about Halloween: candy, pets in adorable costumes, carving pumpkins (and roasting the pumpkin seeds for a special treat for our dogs), and of course, terrifying ourselves silly with scary movies. And this year, we’ve got a bit of a bet going about who can make it through Jigsaw, the latest iteration of the unbelievably gory Saw franchise, without having to close their eyes. So, when we got a chance to talk to Jigsaw‘s star, Laura Vandervoort, about not just the film but her super sweet dog Frankie Blue Eyes, we jumped at the chance.
Vandervoort, who plays Anna in Jigsaw, is an accomplished actress both on television and in the movies, as well as a vocal animal advocate. In addition to promoting adoption and general dog love online — particularly through Frankie Blue Eyes’ much-loved Instagram page — she has also spearheaded her own PETA campaign speaking out about the cruelties of wearing animal skins. Here’s what she had to say about Frankie, rescue, and what it’s really like to star in a slasher flick.
Tell us a bit about Frankie Blue Eyes. What is her personality like?
Frankie Blue Eyes is my world. When I first adopted her she was shy, timid and hid under my couch 24/7. Over the past three years she has become a confident, goofy, and energetic girl. She loves absolutely everyone. Frankie obsessively kisses the family and even strangers on the street. She loves to be cuddled and travel in the car, and she stalks squirrels on a consistent basis. You could say it’s her hobby.
When and how did she come into your life?
I’ve always been an animal lover. I found Lhassa Happy Homes, a rescue organization in LA, online. I had originally gone to meet a dog I had seen on their website, however when I arrived at the adoption location, Frankie was the loudest dog seeking my attention. She immediately locked eyes with me and barked and barked until I asked to pick her up. The moment I held her she stopped barking and settled into my arms. It was love at first sight.
I asked about her history, but they knew very little. She was found on the street, matted hair, no collar, and no chip. They guessed her age as approximately two years old. She was neutered, but it’s always been a mystery to me. She clearly had a home at one point, however no one was looking for her, and they clearly didn’t care enough to chip her. I brought her home as soon as I could.
That was three years ago and since then, Frankie has become my shadow, my best friend, my child, and my forever love. We have traveled together, been on TV sets and movie sets, and made so many new human and animal friends. I really believe that Frankie rescued me and not the other way around.
What makes your bond with her so special?
It really isn’t something I can explain. It just feels like we were meant to be with one another. I can’t believe there was ever a time when we didn’t belong to one another. She feels like my soulmate.
I was actually out with her one day and a woman stopped us with her children and said she worked as a psychic. She apologized for stopping us but said that she had to deliver a message. She said, “This dog is your undeniable soulmate.” Even if she was merely a little crazy, I knew that to be true. I knew that other people could see that. Frankie spreads love everywhere she goes and is always making people smile. It’s astounding to me to see how much love she brings to everyone on a daily basis. She’s an angel.
Had you rescued any animals prior to Frankie Blue Eyes?
Growing up we had a rescued dog named Bailey and three cats which were all rescued from different scenarios. One of our cats, Tyson, was in a box of cats at the grocery store. A homeless man was threatening to drown them. My mom, who already thought we had too many animals, couldn’t [bear] it and she brought Tyson home to be a part of the family.
Does she enjoy traveling to set with you?
A month after adopting Frankie, I traveled to Toronto, Canada, to shoot the second season of a show I was on. She loved meeting the crew and cast. I made sure she had a great, safe area, and everyone showed her love. She adjusted extremely well. She’s such a social dog and just loves being around people. The rare times I don’t have Frankie with me, people often say I don’t look like myself! We are attached at the hip as often as possible. And those times I cannot bring her with me on my travels, my parents spoil her and babysit.
Frankie has amassed quite the social media following. Does she get recognized when you’re out?
To be honest…yes! It’s actually comical. Around my neighborhood people will get excited to see her. They know her name. I actually just dropped her at the groomer’s here in Canada and everyone came out to see her. One woman said she had posted Frankie on her Instagram on her last visit. Frankie’s unique eyes either mesmerize people or terrify them. Either way, they never forget her. Most recently, many people have started to refer to her as a white walker from Game of Thrones. Haha!
What is it about her that you think so many people connect with?
I think a part of it is that Frankie’s demeanor is welcoming. I mean, she’s pretty cute. She’s just happy to be here. I think in this day and age the world just needs positivity, and animals bring comfort and unconditional love.
Your new movie, Jigsaw, comes out this week. Was it as scary to film as it is to watch?
Yes, October 27th. I’ve always loved horror and psychological thrillers. Having the opportunity to be a part of one of the largest horror franchises was exciting. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t scary to film. With so many crew members and actors around, it never really becomes a scary environment. We had a great time shooting Jigsaw! I can’t wait to see it.
What should longtime fans of the Saw franchise be most excited about with the new movie?
I think so many fans of the original franchise were surprised and thrilled to hear a new film was being released. For me, the most exciting part of Jigsaw was working with the directors. Michael and Peter Spierig are brothers from Australia whom I was already a fan of. They have directed some incredibly smart and beautiful films. I think their take on Jigsaw will blow everyone’s minds: heightening the stakes, peeling back characters stories, a more in-depth character study of human nature…all while keeping the traditional Saw themes intact.