StarTrek.com, since our re-launch last summer, has had the pleasure of presenting interviews with some of Star Trek’s top dogs: Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, Nana Visitor, Rick Berman and on and on and on. But there was one interview that had eluded us, until now: Porthos, Captain Archer’s beloved beagle on Enterprise. It took some doing, but with the help of renowned dog whisperer Dr. Kay Nyne, we were finally able to land the following exclusive conversation with Porthos.
How did you win the role of Porthos?
Porthos: It was ruff. You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you.
Porthos: Sorry, couldn’t resist. The producers of Enterprise held casting sessions, first to find the right breed to play Archer’s pet and then, once they decided on a beagle, they had to find the right beagle to play Porthos.
Porthos: By the way, you know that Porthos isn’t actually my name, right? If you look at my SAG card…
You have a SAG card?
Porthos: You’re interrupting me. Again. (Growls) If you look at my SAG card it says Prada. That’s my real name. I played Porthos throughout most of the first season. They sometimes used another dog, Breezy, who was actually a girl dog, when they needed a more lively Porthos. I was kind of insulted. I probably shouldn’t say that. Biting the hand that fed me, right? And then in the seasons after that they used Breezy and another female, Windy. If you want to know a secret, they couldn’t use real dogs at certain times or for certain shots, so they also had a prop dog available. True story. I wonder who has that prop dog now.
How did you like working with Scott Bakula?
Porthos: Scott was great. He’d rub my tummy between takes. And you know those cheese snacks Archer was feeding Porthos all the time, that would get Porthos sick? Scott really fed me cheese and I really had intestinal problems, and by the time I’d get to the shots with John (Billingsley), you didn’t want to be on set with us under the hot lights. The next time you talk to John, ask him about “Dear Doctor.” I was kind of a Method dog.
What are you proudest of when it comes to Enterprise?
Porthos: That’s easy. There were, besides the regulars on the show, only four characters that appeared in every season of Enterprise: Daniels, Soval, Shran… and Porthos. Obviously, I – we – did something right. I even got mentioned, or at least referred to, in Star Trek (2009), which was pretty cool, too.
Aside from Enterprise, what else have you appeared in?
Porthos: I, Prada, played Lou, the main dog in Cats & Dogs. Tobey Maguire did my voice in that. I was also on a show called Dog Days. Windy was on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I don’t know about Breezy.
Any other thoughts for our StarTrek.com readers before you go?
Porthos: Have a great weekend – and April Fools' Day!
(Admin note: While we didn’t actually interview Porthos, most of the facts in this story are accurate. There was a casting call for dogs, with Prada beating out a black and white Boston terrier. There was a prop dog. And the dogs that played Porthos were named Prada, Breezy and Windy. According to the folks at Performing Animal Troupe, the animal-actor provider tapped by the Enterprise production team during the show’s run, Breezy and Windy are alive, well and still performing. They were not sure of Prada’s current whereabouts.)