Pepsi, The Rescue Dog Who Plays Krypto In Titans, Was Afraid Of Boom Mics At First [NYCC]

Dogs are the best companions for humans, especially when they can shoot lasers from their irresistible eyes (sorry exclusively cat people, I do not make the rules). Krypto, the doggie of Connor Kent (Joshua Orpin), aka Super Boy, forged from the DNA of Lex Luther and Clark Kent (yes, that is messed up), from "Titans" has to be the cutest pet there is in the DC Universe, adding some fluff to the brooding Titans. He sits and wags his tail proudly among a pantheon of superhero pet sidekicks from DC to Marvel.

One of the dog stars that plays Krypto goes by the name of "Pepsi." And if his appearance in the recent season 4 footage indicates, we're going to get more Pepsi, his loyalty to Connor Kent, and hopefully his laser eyes. When it comes to television and films, dogs can be a hot mess to film with especially in the case of Coco as Sarii in "Prey." But the cuddliness of a canine can be worth the rewards of an attentive and attached audience as well as a newly formed bond between human and dog.

Everyone loves Krypto (again, I don't make the rules). At the most recent 2022 New York Comic Con, "Titans" actor Ryan Potter said that his Beast Boy (Gar Logan) would take one look at Krypto and transform into a cosplay of Krypto. It's no surprise that the audience cheered when the moderator asked Orpin about Krypto.

Origin story

According to "Titans" animal trainer Melissa Millett, Pepsi was found in Missouri as a puppy freezing in the cold. Infected with heartworms, Pepsi was at risk for euthanasia at a Leavenworth, Kansas. When searching for a dog to cast, Millett discerned Pepsi's "comic book character look," resembling the Krypto of the DC comics. Millett saw Pepsi's Kansas-specific City Chiefs collar and thought it looked like a "superhero collar." He had the perfect profile to play Krypto, Superboy's best friend, for season 3.  

According to Joshua Orpin, the production delays during Covid-19 gave Pepsi time to recover from heartworms. When it was time to film, "[Pepsi] was afraid of like the boom mic earnings, afraid of all the camermen, and he was a little bit timid and sometimes it was tough to get the performance," Orpin said at a roundtable at the 2022 New York Comic Con. Since trainers can't be on camera, Orpin had to assume the role of "pseudo dog trainer" himself. Appropriate, since Superboy and Krypto's bond must be convincing. 

My, he's grown!

At the 2022 New York Comic Con, Orpin sang praises of the dog trainers, who "worked so hard to get [Pepsi] to a place where he's just an absolute pro now." Orpin said that Pepsi was itty-bittier and shyer when introduced in season 3. Come season 4, Pepsi has grown larger and more courageous on set.

Pepsi also alternated the role with other dogs, Digby, Lacy, and Wrigley. As for Pepsi's canine co-worker Wrigley, the latter is a little more difficult to navigate for humans. Orpin spilled out some details of Wrigley's "diva" work ethic (my opinion: Wrigley's just advocating for himself!) and the bitey complications of working with two dogs.

"Wrigley's back as well, he's become a little bit of a diva, he'll work for treats... he bumped his prices up, and Pepsi's young and hungry, so I don't know how long Wrigley's going to last. But there's one who wants to bite me on the balls and there's one that doesn't, that's all that I know, man. The one who wants to bite me on the balls, of course, looks amazing and is better ... [sometimes you get] directors who aren't paying attention and don't know, and so I usually say, 'He won't be able to tell, get the nice one in, get the older, nice one in.'"

Superboy is going through a lot

At Comic-Con, Joshua Orpin shared that Connor Kent still has a lot to learn about the world and a lot to face. For all his superhuman abilities, there are still gaps in his understanding of the world. The season 4 trailer also revealed a bearded Lex Luther (Titus Welliver) bugging the poor kid, through forced technological telepathy, to come meet him in person, thus dragging the Titans back to Metropolis. This season, the Titans have a large task going up against supernatural and magical elements, which is not up their alley. So let's hope that Krypto and his laser eyes can give these traumatized Titans the support they need.