1. Headline
  1. Headline
Access Hollywood
updated 12/14/2007 6:20:14 PM ET 2007-12-14T23:20:14

Will Smith has a leading lady of a four-legged kind in “I Am Legend.”

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

Smith and Abbey the German shepherd bonded on set, but first, Will had to court the canine to win her affection.

“I love that dog,” Will enthused to Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson.

“Was there chemistry? Did she have to get used to you?” Robinson asked.

“Hold on, how about this — like the trainer set it up. He was calling it ‘dates’! So I was having a play date with the dog,” Smith laughed.

Will’s co-star and best friend in “I Am Legend” made it to the big screen the old-fashioned way — she was discovered. To say she was a natural, according to Will, is an understatement.

“Abbey started responding to, ‘Rolling!’” Smith recounted. “She would hear it and then go ... I was like, ‘Did that dog just respond to the cameraman saying ‘Rolling?’

“I love that dog,” Smith continued.

In fact, Abbey helped Smith overcome his reticence to get close to a slobbering beast.

“When I was little, I was probably 9, and I had a dog that got hit by a car,” Smith explained. “So I was like, ‘That’s it! I’m not doing it. I’m not doing that whole, fall in love with dogs thing no more.’”

But he fell in love with Abbey, even asking her trainer, Steve, if he could keep her.

“I was begging him,” Will said. “I was like, ‘Please let me have Abbey. Please, please, please let me have her.’ But you know, she has her own family now so it was just another one of those fleeting Hollywood romances. One of those set things that just happens and you know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Copyright 2013 by NBC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. ‘Everybody loves you, buddy!’Joe Biden surprises Al for birthday

    For the last year, Al has been begging the vice president to join TODAY’s Take and it finally happened! That was just one of the many surprises for Roker on his big day.

    8/20/2014 2:06:34 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T14:06:34
  2. On milestone birthday, Al shares 6 lessons for 6 decades

    First, 50th-birthday celebrations were in order for TODAY’s Hoda Kotb. Now, co-anchor Al Roker, who joined the national broadcast in 1996, is celebrating the big 6-0 and he's sharing six lessons he learned along the way.

    8/20/2014 12:08:26 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T12:08:26
  3. video Jennifer Hudson, Heidi Klum, send well-wishes for Al

    video Some famous faces send along happy birthday messages for TODAY’s Al Roker. “You make 60 look hot,” said Heidi Klum.

    8/20/2014 2:10:22 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T14:10:22
  4. TODAY
  1. Courtesy of Bush Family

    President Bush accepts Jenna Bush Hager's Ice Bucket Challenge

    8/20/2014 11:04:14 AM +00:00 2014-08-20T11:04:14