Will Smith Says ‘I Am Legend’ Dog Co-Star Was A “Brilliant Actress”


Although some advise against working with animals, Will Smith is fondly remembering his time with man’s best co-star.

The Academy Award winner reminisced about his canine scene partner Abbey from the 2007 movie I Am Legend being “a brilliant actress” as he admitted to trying to adopt the German Shepherd, who was known for upstaging him in the blockbuster.

“It was like Abbey spoke English. … Like, she literally could understand you, it was the weirdest thing,” recalled Smith on the latest episode of Hot Ones.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to take Abbey home as she “was the breadwinner of her family, and she had to stay,” Smith told host Sean Evans.

Loosely based on the 1954 novel by Richard Matheson, Smith starred in I Am Legend as US Army virologist Robert Neville, who’s the last living human in New York, which has been overrun by nocturnal mutants. While trying to formulate a cure for the virus, Neville’s only companion is his dog Sam (Abbey).

I am Legend

Abbey the German Shepherd and Will Smith star in 2007’s I Am Legend. Credit: Warner Bros.

Everett Collection

Recounting a heartbreaking scene in which Sam becomes infected and Neville has to overtake her, Smith said, “Abbey’s doing that. He trained Abbey to go limp and I laid her [down]. How do you train a dog to go limp?”

“It was like working with a brilliant actress,” added Smith.

In April, Smith paid tribute to Abbey for National Pet Day with a video montage of the duo set to an emotional song. “The goodness girl,” he captioned the post.

After he and Smith were announced in 2022 to co-produce and co-star in an I Am Legend sequel, Michael B. Jordan told People this week that the movie is still “in the works.”

“We’re still working on the script and getting that up to par. It doesn’t have a release date or anything like that,” he noted. “I’m not sure exactly where we’re going to be filming that one, but I’m really excited to get in front of the camera with him. Being somebody that I’ve looked up to for a really long time, to be able to work with Will is something I’m really looking forward to. I’m really excited.”


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