SNL’s Horatio Sanz talks ‘Clifford The Big Red Dog’ [Set Visit]

Actor and Comedian Horatio Sanz sits down with The Knockturnal to talk Paramount’s upcoming film Clifford The Big Red Dog.

Horatio Sanz will play Raul, one of two brothers who work at a bodega in Harlem and lives in the same neighborhood as Clifford. Sanz talks to The Knockturnal about his upcoming Role in Clifford The Big Red Dog and shares how helpful his improv experience has been for this new role.

The Knockturnal: Congratulations on the film, what character do you play and what do you love or hate about your character?

Horatio Sanz: I play one of two brothers that own a deli in Harlem and we are Latino brothers. Paul Rodriguez plays my brother and when I was growing up I thought he was awesome, so to finally meet him and be able to play his brother is kind of funny. My character is positive, he wants to become vegan and he wants to change the deli to vegan so he’s woke a little bit and my older brother is like “get out of here, what are you doing!” you know that’s the dynamic we play we help save Clifford along with the other neighborhood people.

The Knockturnal: What do you think it is about Clifford that people gravitate towards?

Horatio Sanz: I’ve always liked big things like King Kong or whatever and I’m always impressed with little things like “The Indian in the Cupboard” or “Night at the Museum” with the little soldiers.  So even though I was too old at the time -but I wasn’t young enough to get into Clifford- I still liked the idea of a big red dog for the same reasons and now I see we are making this movie and the dog is going to be huge, I just can’t wait to see it!

The Knockturnal: How is it working with special effects?

Horatio Sanz: You get used to it, you get used to acting to nothing a lot of times.  Sometimes the camera is on you and the other actor wants to leave so you have to act with a stand-in.  Then they have puppeteers that’s almost like a Chinese dragon puppet so it moves super realistic it stumbles you, it sniffs you, it wants to be petted; it’s kind of freaky how real it is.  So that part is easy to act to it, but it’s not a fully articulated thing, it’s like a red thing that’s like a salamander but I imagine it’s going to have fur and all of that.

The Knockturnal: Do you have any particular process that you go through to prepare for the role is it different with the special effects?

Horatio Sanz: It’s a little different, I don’t usually do kids movies that often so in a sense it’s kinda fun that way, you have to make it seem simple and fun but not placate to little kids, so its not that hard to act that way. The process just my improv background and my SNL background; I can get into character really quickly. With this character I have a prostatic hand but I really have a hand, so they put this rubber thing on me with a cuff on it, it was really making me super hot because it was 90 degrees out and then with this rubber hand I’m out in the heat and sweat is dripping out. So when I’m not on camera I have my hand in a bucket of water, so my most preparation is just making sure my hand stays cold.

The Knockturnal: What does Clifford represent?

Horatio Sanz: He’s just a sweet dog it’s not about crime or anything or him trying to rob a bank it’s just really sweet and good and. I think any kind of movie where we can put niceness into the world is going to be something special and I’m really excited since there will be a bunch of kids watching it.

When middle-schooler Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) meets a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese) who gifts her a little, red puppy, she never anticipated waking up to find a giant ten-foot hound in her small New York City apartment. While her single mom (Sienna Guillory) is a way for business, Emily and her fun but impulsive uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) set out on an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat as our heroes take a bite out of the Big Apple. Based on the beloved Scholastic book character, Clifford will teach the world how to love big!


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