Elaine Hendrix, best known for her roles in Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion and Disney’s The Parent Trap, has a reputation as a matchmaker—a pet matchmaker, that is. So much so that she’s teamed up with Sideshow Network for The Pet Matchmaker Podcast. She’s even put together a guide for what she calls “potential pet parents.” Adopting a vegan lifestyle about a decade ago when she became an animal activist, Hendrix here answers questions about pets and the people who love them, and also about Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, the FX comedy series she co-stars in that premiers this summer.
Which celebrity acquaintance of yours might we be surprised to learn is an animal lover?
The first person that comes to mind is Andy Dick. He’s so wonderfully wacky and one of the funniest people I know, but he stands up for animals on a regular basis. We’ve been friends for 20 years, and he’s going to be a recurring guest on my podcast. Really though, if someone is a friend of mine, they’re going to love animals. It’s kind of a prerequisite.
What’s the biggest misunderstanding about pets that you’d like to correct?
That a pet should instantly fit into your home/lifestyle and automatically have good behavior. While I think having a pet can be relatively easy and absolutely rewarding, pets definitely require responsibly and involvement. If someone’s just going to have a pet in the home and not offer any training or stimulation or care, why have a pet?
What’s the first step for someone who’s interested in having a pet companion?
I think the No. 1 most important thing people need to consider is their commitment level. I’ll joke that if for some reason I had to go into an underground bunker because people all over the world were turning into zombies, but I couldn’t take my dog, well, then I’d have to take my chances with the zombies. Others might not have that intense of a commitment to their pet, but it can’t be a casual thing. Pets will get hurt, get sick, grow old, have accidents, etc.; people will travel, move, have emergencies, pass away, etc. People needs to be committed to the point where they will do what it takes to make sure their pet has a plan, just like any other family member.
What can you tell us about your role in Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll?
My character is Ava, longtime girlfriend and backup singer to Denis Leary’s character, Johnny Rock. I’m constantly trying to save him from self-destructing. The title pretty much says it all. We’re nothing but heathens. People are going to love us though.