Ving Rhames Used to Brag About Huge "Slave" Dogs

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Los Angeles animal services personnel were spotted taking four mastiffs away from Ving Rhames' home Friday after a caretaker was fatally mauled by his dogs.

The actor has long been fond of the breed, which are often used as guard dogs. The appeal of owning one of those - let alone four - as a private citizen? No idea.

In a 1999 interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Pulp Fiction star showed off his "petrifying" Ambullneo mastiff named Samson and his three mastiff puppies - Storm, Scorsese and Cage.

The latter two, naturally, were named after director Martin Scorsese and actor Nicolas Cage, with whom Rhames worked on the film Bringing Out the Dead.

He also talked about his 170-pound Fila Brasileiro named Kong.

"The dog was actually bred to guard slaves," Rhames said.

"It was the only dog they found that had the temperament to guard a slave. It could be around you every day, but if you tried to run away, it would deal with you like it never saw you before."

In other news, Rhames said Michael Vick is getting a raw deal.

During the aforementioned L.A. Times interview, Ving Rhames lavished his canines with attention, at times speaking to them in baby talk.

Still, despite their intimidating appearance, Rhames insisted that his dogs were all bark no bite. "He just wants to play," Rhames said of Kong.

In a 2001 interview with Time, Ving Rhames said that he tests out his characters on his dogs to make sure that he's completely embodied.

"Once I'm close to that transformation, then I do it for my dogs - because dogs know when something's not right," Ving Rhames said.

"I figure if I can fool them, then I've successfully changed my spirit."

While preparing for the role of Don King in the television movie Don King: Only in America (for which he won a Golden Globe), Rhames adopted the promoter's speech patterns and mannerisms and tried out the character on his pets.

"I changed my voice, my diction, my movement - and then I tested it on the dogs," he said. "The dogs started growling at me. That's a true story."

And not an un-scary one.


Ving Rhames Biography

Ving Rhames (real name Irving Rhames) is an affable actor best known for his role in the Mission: Impossible trilogy, as well as Pulp... More »
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