Molly Shannon Stars in Year of the Dog
Molly Shannon Stars in Year of the Dog

Saturday Night Live alumnus Molly Shannon returns to the big screen with her latest movie, Year of the Dog.

Year of the Dog tells the story of a woman named Peggy (played by Shannon) who, after the death of her pet beagle, Pencil, sets out to become an animal rights advocate and in the process, finds love and companionship in another animal rights advocate named Newt, played by actor Peter Saarsgard. The film was written and directed by Mike White, with whom Shannon worked on the short-lived comedy series, Cracking Up. White had written the role of Peggy specifically for Shannon.

In an interview with the Boston Herald, Shannon shared her own views about her character and the film, saying, "She makes some bad choices, but I believe she’s headed in a better direction. And I like how there are parts in the movie where people are laughing or crying.”

Additionally, Shannon said that she doesn’t “think it’s (the film) a horror story” and that “she (Peggy) has to go through all this stuff in order to find what’s important to her."

The character is noticeably different from the ones that Shannon used to play in Saturday Night Live, and Shannon admitted to having once been a workaholic like Peggy. "When I was on Saturday Night Live, all I did was work," she said. “It was my whole life. But then it became important for me to find love. I didn't want it to be all career, career, career."

Despite being allergic to dogs, Shannon, who entertained many Saturday Night Live audiences with characters like Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher and “licensed joyologist” Helen Madden, was able to control her allergies with medication, although she did experience a facial breakout while she was shooting some still with the dogs.

Following the successful April 13 premiere of Year of the Dog, Shannon headed to the Amanda Foundation rescue shelter, where she made an appearance in order to further promote the movie.

Year of the Dog is currently showing in theaters in Los Angeles and New York City, but will be branching out to other areas in the following weeks.

- Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

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