On ABC’s “Blackish,” Marcus Scribner portrays Andre Jr., the second oldest child of the Johnson family. His character is a gullible and clumsy self-proclaimed nerd who has a soft spot for superheroes and video games.
When he’s not on set of the hit show, Scribner’s busy acting out his favorite real-life role, dog dad to his 7-year-old Beagle, Zeus. The 17-year-old star’s family adopted Zeus as a puppy and the duo have been inseparable ever since.
Paw Culture caught up with the Scribner to hear about life with Zeus, his passion for animal advocacy—he recently traveled to South Africa to help raise awareness of the dangers of rhinoceros poaching—and a surprising fact that some “Blackish” fans might not know: Zeus once made a cameo on the show.
PawCulture: How did Zeus come into your life?
Marcus Scribner: We rescued Zeus. He is a Beagle and he is 7 years old. We have had him for most of his life and got him around when he was 4 months old.
PC: What’s the story behind his name?
MS: We named him Zeus because most of my immediate family members are named after Greek and Roman gods, goddesses, leaders and cities. We wanted to follow this tradition and give him a cool strong name.
PC: What made you want a Beagle?
MS: Beagles are really loving and pack-orientated dogs. Zeus was also the troublemaker of the litter, so I thought he would fit right in at our house.
PC: Is Zeus the first dog that you’ve owned?
MS: Zeus is the first dog that I have ever owned. I trained him and it did take a lot of hard work and patience. I think that the funniest training moment was when we bought this spray that was supposed to make dogs not want to chew something up. Instead, it had the opposite effect, and next thing you know Zeus was gnawing on the leg of the chair.
PC: Does he come visit you on set?
MS: He has not visited me on set yet but he has traveled to Palm Springs with us. Zeus has been to a Hollywood party before and he seemed to like it. He got attention from a lot of people, which was probably the best part for him. Zeus loves to play but at the same time he knows when to chill. This is what makes him a good travel companion.
PC: Does Zeus know his owner is a star on “Blackish?”
MS: Zeus has made one cameo on the show already in the form of a photo. In one of the episodes, Rainbow and Dre are flipping through pictures of me when I was younger, and in one of them, I am holding Zeus. Zeus and I do watch the show together and he gives it a big “paws up.”
PC: What is Zeus’s personality like?
MS: He is a troublemaker and he loves to lie around all day and sleep. The only time he gets up is for food. At the same time though, he is extremely loving and begs for attention at all hours of the day.
PC: Have you always been an animal lover?
MS: I have always been an animal lover. One of my earliest memories of loving animals was of my 7th birthday when I had a reptile themed party with snakes and lizards and other cool animals like that.
PC: You went to South Africa a while back and have become advocate against rhino poaching. What prompted that trip?
MS: I was extremely saddened by the poaching of rhinos overseas and knew that I needed to step in and try to make a difference. I went to South Africa and worked with the Reserve Protection Agency to see that more people were aware of the horrors that the poaching of rhino horns can have on the rhino population and the environment in general. I am also a part of the Sandals foundation, which promotes the betterment of the environment throughout the Caribbean.
PC: How do you handle being away from Zeus when you are on long shoot days?
MS: Sometimes we hire a dog walker if we cannot make it back in time to walk him. I make those days up to him by giving him tons of treats and love and letting him sleep on my bed!