EXCLUSIVE Inside the lavish life of Britain’s most famous dog: Ricky Gervais’ canine co-star Anti melts hearts with After Life performance and has rubbed paws with many A-listers
And such was the outpouring of love for Anti the German Shepherd, the comedian was forced to reassure fans he would not kill her off when the series came to an end.
Now, the dog’s owner has revealed she is showered with the same levels of affection at home where she is treated as the ‘queen of the family’.
Woof: Inside the lavish life of Britain’s most famous dog: Ricky Gervais’ canine co-star Anti who has melted hearts with her After Life performance has rubbed paws with many A-listers
Anti – who plays Brandy in Gervais’ comedy – lives in Bicester with owner and trainer Ash Foster, 34, who has had her since the day she was born.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Mr Foster reveals that despite being ten years of age, Anti remains dedicated to her work on film sets – where she has impressed the likes of George Clooney, Tom Cruise and Martin Clunes.
But when at home the dog loves nothing more than settling down on the sofa to watch Netflix, snacking on cheese and sipping tea with oat milk.
Every dog has its day: The dog’s owner, Ash Foster, has revealed she is showered with the same levels of affection at home where she is treated as the ‘queen of the family’
Mr Foster said of Anti: ‘I delivered her into the world. I had her mum and I was there when she was born. She’s lived with me my whole life.
‘She’s as much a part of my identity as my wife at the minute. She is very special to me. She is basically the queen of the family. Almost worshipped in our house.
‘At home she just wants to get on the sofa and watch Netflix with you.
‘She is very active when we take her out, she likes to swim, we go cycling on our bikes and she’ll run alongside the bikes. You can take her to the pub.
‘She’s always been a perfect dog. How she is on After Life is how she is at home.’
Worked like a dog: The canine has enjoyed a varied career starring in film and TV hits and starred alongside Martin Clunes in series seven of Doc Martin
Gervais’ black comedy-drama, which began in 2019, follows the story of newspaper journalist Tony who is struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife Lisa.
When series three launched on Netflix last Friday it was the number one watched series in the UK across the weekend.
The comedian, who has written, starred in, directed and edited all seasons, struck up a friendship with Anti after picking her off a website to be his character Tony’s beloved pet dog.
Top dog: Anti also had a role in American series Pennyworth, an origin series for Batman’s butler Alfred Pennyworth
Speaking about the pair’s relationship during filming, Mr Foster said: ‘It’s been quite a beautiful thing.
‘Recently they’ve released a lot of trailers of just him [Gervais] and her [Anti] together with Queen’s Your My Best Friend song, when you look at things like that it’s quite sad.
‘I like to think of it as the perfect time capsule of her, I know she’s never going to die in After Life but when she does go that’s going to be the thing I remember her by.’
Anti – whose full name is Antilly – is well practised in appearing on screen, having started her career aged just two.
Thrown a bone: Anti remains dedicated to her work on film sets – where she has impressed the likes of George Clooney, Tom Cruise and Martin Clunes
The canine has enjoyed a varied career starring in film and TV hits, standing at the feet of numerous Hollywood stars.
Her first role was as an army dog in 2014’s The Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise and she has also done stunt bites with Michael Fassbender in 2016’s Trespass Against Us and Martin Clunes in series seven of Doc Martin.
She worked alongside George Clooney, who told Mr Foster ‘she was the best trained dog he’d ever seen in his life’.
She’s also starred multiple times in crime show Midsomer Murders and was more recently in Sky Atlantic’s Landscapers with Olivia Colman.
Ruff day at the office? Paul O’Grady interviewed Antilly on his show For the Love of Dogs
‘A German Shepherd wouldn’t get asked to do a lot of cute stuff normally, most of her jobs she is playing a police dog or to be honest a Nazi,’ Mr Foster said.
‘For her, most of her work is barking on camera or chasing.’
He continued: ‘She’s done a lot of stuff but After Life is one of the only jobs she’s done where she’s been a normal dog and it’s really one of the only shows where you see her as she is in real life.
‘She’s got such a big personality, she kind of doesn’t care about anything or anyone, she’s her own boss.
‘When you take her out she’s independent and she likes to do her own thing but at home she is very cuddly.
‘We worship the ground she walks on – she gets that treatment on set as well, especially in After Life.’
Despite being a talented performer, Mr Foster admitted there was an element of bribery going on behind the scenes, in the shape of a frankfurter sausage.
‘She’s doing everything for food basically, I am pulling the strings behind the camera,’ Mr Foster explained.
‘She’s working for me but I can make her look wherever they need her to look, I can make her go wherever they need her to go, and basically she’s doing it all for a little frankfurter sausage.
‘All of our stunt dogs have to have a greedy food drive, and that’s how we get all of those little moments.’
Puppy love: Ricky who has written, starred in and directed After Life struck up a friendship with Anti after picking her off a website to be his character Tony’s beloved pet dog
Anti has a number of upcoming projects including 2023’s Dungeons & Dragons, starring Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page, but due to her age it is likely she will soon be forced to slow down.
Mr Foster, who has two other dogs of his own, said: ‘I have got a younger German Shepherd called Pen and she’s a year old now, so she’s sort of the apprentice.
‘Anti will do the more sedentary jobs, she’s still really fit and she doesn’t look her age at all, she’s very active and very much loves working still and will work until she slows down.
‘All dogs retire at different ages. In the next year or two she’ll probably retire. She’ll probably still come out [on jobs] with me.’
‘It’s the best job in the world,’ Mr Foster added.
‘I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I’m really fortunate that I look forward to doing every job, every day.’
After Life series 3 is available to watch now on Netflix.
Pooch perfect: Anti remains dedicated to her work on film sets – where she has impressed the likes of George Clooney, Tom Cruise and Martin Clunes