Disney’s latest live-action remake of an animated classic, “Lady and the Tramp,” was shot in the sweltering heat of a Savannah, Ga., summer.
But the filmmakers couldn’t have their canine leads panting through every scene, so the dogs got an extra-special perk befitting an A-list movie star: refrigerated tents.
“We would have them cooling down while the rest of us were sweating, like the sweatiest people alive,” director Charlie Bean tells The Post.
Those four-legged friends are carrying the movie, after all. A re-imagining of the 1955 original, “Lady and the Tramp” traces the romance of two star-crossed pooches: the sophisticated house pet Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson), and the adventurous street mutt Tramp (Justin Theroux). The film — which meshes live-action with CGI magic because, well, the animals have to talk — premieres Tuesday on Disney+, the entertainment giant’s new streaming service that launches the same day.
The film team searched nationwide for rescues that looked like the animated characters. For Lady, they landed on Rose, an American cocker spaniel and hunting dog from Texas, whose family was looking to re-home her. The role of Tramp went to Monte, who is most likely a mix of schnauzer and shepherd and was found via an animal rescue group in Phoenix, Ariz. (Both dogs have now found homes with trainers from the movie.)
The dogs met for a casting session in a park, and their dynamic was clear from the start.
“Rose was always the alpha in that relationship,” producer Brigham Taylor tells The Post. “[But] they became really close.”
The most difficult part of filming was getting the dogs to perform multiple tasks — like turning, then jumping, then running — in a row.
“Any time one of these dogs does three or more behaviors in a scene, it’s this amazing miracle of their own sort of ability and attention,” says Taylor.
Of course, bacon helped.
“With Rose, even the sound of the bag that the bacon’s in, she would just be, like, howling,” says Bean. “ ‘What do I do? Tell me! Give me the treat! I can do it, whatever it is!’ ”
It took three days to shoot arguably the flick’s most important scene — the iconic spaghetti dinner date in which the two dogs slurp down opposite ends of the same noodle and accidentally kiss.
The scene was attempted with real pasta, but the noodles kept breaking, so the crew substituted sugarless, undyed licorice that had been soaked in chicken broth. It worked, and the two dogs really did eat until their snouts touched, though what appears in the film was digitally rendered.
The lead trainer Mark Forbes also had a heartwarming surprise in store: he had secretly taught Monte to push a meatball on the plate over to Rose.
“It was very emotional, I have to say,” recalls Bean.
After the hard work on the scene was complete, the filmmakers let the dogs go crazy on a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Rose wasn’t exactly a lady about it.
“She was definitely getting all the meatballs and keeping Monte away from them,” says Bean. “She was definitely the alpha in that situation, too.”