The (other) star of I Am Legend was not discovered on the streets of NYC or at a Hollywood casting call – Abbey, the 3-year-old German Shepherd, who appears in this new film alongside Will Smith, was hand picked (and rescued) from a California kennel. Experienced trainer, Steve Berens, selected and offered three weeks of intensive coaching to the pooch before introducing her to the rest of the cast. While there may have been some "creative differences" at the start (she barked at Will when he first walked up), after a short while, the two became friends and traveled to New York together to shoot this film. She stepped up to the role of co-star with style and grace, performing beautifully throughout the shooting. The only thing she wouldn't agree to do was play fetch – a backup pooch had to be called in to do the deed for that scene. I guess that would be too dog-like for her! After the film wrapped, Will offered a touching description of leaving his co-star:

It was painful. She is way on another plane of connecting to what your energy is, what your feelings are, and protective. It’s beautiful.

I can't wait to check her big screen debut — the film opens today nationwide.