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When filming “John Wick 3” in Morocco, teams had to manage “thousands of cats”

The actors of “John Wick 3” will remember for a long time the shooting of the film in Essaouira. In an interview with the American magazine Entertainment Weekly, director Chad Stahelski and actress Halle Berry gave some funny stories.

On the film set last autumn in the coastal city, “thousands of cats” have taken over the places, forcing the teams to build “small cat houses” and “cage walls” to manage at best felines.

“Moroccans are not keen on dogs,” Stahelski said. “They love cats, though. There must have been thousands. We went in the winter when we did some scouting and they were not so numerous. We told ourselves, there are some cats here, we will install a corner for them”, continues the director.

But once back on the scene for the shoot, the team comes across “a thousand cats”. They are not afraid of anything. We had to build huge walls of cages. They’re just stray cats, but we wanted to take care of them. So we built small cat houses, we installed them and had to feed them. We had walls of cats. And the amount of cat food … We probably fed more cats than people on the set.”

Between dogs and cats

It was without counting the presence, on the set of shooting, of two big shepherds Belgian Malinois belonging to Sofia, character played by the actress Halle Berry. The two dogs, who help Sofia and John Wick kill an army of killers in a movie sequence, have been visibly disturbed by the presence of so many cats on the set.

“It was a little chaos,” said Halle Berry. “The dogs ran everywhere, with Keanu (the interpreter of John Wick, ed) and all these guys coming from all directions. It was totally chaotic. And all those cats running through our set … It was often difficult to keep the dogs concentrated, because they saw a cat and they left, and sometimes it could spoil a very good catch”.

It must be said that Malinois Belgian shepherds particularly like to hunt … cats. “While Keanu Reeves kills ten guys over there, Halle kills ten others here, and there’s the stuntman on which the dog has to concentrate. You want the dog to focus on what he is supposed to bite and what he is not supposed to bite,” says the director. “And there are ten cats walking around. (…) You are sitting behind the monitor, ‘What is the dog looking at? Oh my god, oh my god, he’s going to bite – Argh! ‘”

The third installment of the film series “John Wick”, called “John Wick Parabellum”, will be released on May 17 in US theaters.

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