Josh Peck on 'Turner & Hooch': ‘A little chaos is a good thing’

The actor plays Scott Turner Jr in the spin-off series based on the eponymous Tom Hanks movie

Josh Peck believes a little chaos is unavoidable and can usually bring you to a better place in your life if you embrace it. Addressing a virtual press conference, Josh said, “I have found resistance brings me discomfort.” Josh plays the uptight marshal, Scott Turner Jr, in the spin-off series Turner & Hooch, based on the eponymous 1989 movie starring Tom Hanks. He inherits an unruly French mastiff, Hooch, and his orderly life is turned upside down.

“When I welcome chaos, like a gigantic French mastiff into my life with all the drool and accoutrement to follow, some pretty spectacular things happen. That is very true for Scott. When we first meet him, he has a bit too much rigidity. And this dog definitely helps break him out of his shell.”

Vanessa Lengies plays Erica, a dog lover with a crush on Scott, who is oblivious. “He seems lost in his own web of self-centeredness. Erica is a savant when it comes to the smallest nuance of dogs and their behaviour and what they can offer Scott in an investigation. When it comes to love, however, she is a little hapless.”

Working with Hooch ( five dogs were standing in for Hooch) Josh said was great. “As an actor, whenever something can disrupt my plans and force me at the moment is a gift.”

Each episode in the show is a tribute to an action film. “I don’t know what inspired it. I don’t know if it was when our creator, Matt Nix, was pitching episode ideas to Disney Plus, it was easier to use these great action movies as a template for the way he wanted to approach the show. Episode two was Die Hard and episode three was Heat. We have a Taken episode, which has me doing quite an impression of Liam Neeson. I don’t mean to brag.”

Die Hard, Josh says is ripe for intense drama and action. “I am protecting this diplomat’s daughter in this hotel. And a third of the way into the episode, the bad guys have taken over. And there is non-stop action till the episode is over. It is definitely one of my favourites and not just because of the number of push-ups I did, knowing that I was going to be in a tank top for most of the episode!”

Working in these troubled times Josh said was easier because he knew some of the cast. “Vanessa and I have known each other since we were teenagers. The same goes for Lyndsy (Fonseca) who I worked with on a show called Grandfathered a few years ago. Lyndsy plays Laura, my sister. We are so lucky to have work during what is the craziest time in recorded history. We knew that we were going up to Canada to be there for eight months. We had to be a support system for each other.”

Remembering his audition, Josh said, “They were going to bring a dog in for the audition. They said to be ready to improvise because the creators of the show know that with a dog, it is never going to be precise. You work around what the dog wants to do. While it sounds simple, plenty of people would have been particular that the dog needs to have this look exactly at this moment or we don’t have the shot. Our bosses were like ‘if the dog looks cute and gets close to what we want and you guys can handle it, we are in business.”

The 34-year-old actor described the dogs as a metaphor. “They only respond to love. You will easily lose their trust if you try to overly correct them. It just has to be a small nudging and constant reinforcement.”

Turner & Hooch streams on Disney+ Hotstar

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