Animal trainer Jo Vaughn tells PEOPLE how she got Tango the cat ready to act alongside Brie Larson for the new Marvel movie
While the character of Goose is returning for The Marvels, the feline actor who portrayed the animal companion in Captain Marvel did not reprise their role. The Marvels filmed in the U.K., not the U.S., like Captain Marvel, and recruited local animal talent for the movie.
Jo Vaughan, an animal trainer for the film and TV industry, was the lucky individual tapped to help select the cat for the Goose's part and train the feline for the movie.
The trainer found a selection of cats that looked like the feline who played Goose in Captain Marvel, and two of those animals got the part.
"They picked Tango as the lead cat, and then we utilized Nemo as a backup cat," Vaughn tells PEOPLE of the pets selected for the role.
Both animals were new to acting, so Vaughn "started from scratch," training the cats for the movie over three months. First, she tackled environmental training, making the felines comfortable with a live film set's active, loud, and often chaotic environment.
"The environment is a big factor because cats are generally quite nervous creatures, so they have to be comfortable around all those people and sounds," the trainer says.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Most cats' initial timidness to new environments is one of the most noticeable differences between training cats and dogs for Vaughn.
"Everybody takes their dog for a walk. Most people take their dogs in the car. Unless you're taking your cat to the vet, nobody takes their cats anywhere. Usually, if your cat goes outside your house, it's a bad experience. So you have to teach cats all these new things are positive," she adds.
After mastering environmental training, Tango and Nemo focused on learning specific behaviors needed for The Marvels. Before filming started, Vaughn trained both cats to hit all their marks based on what appeared in the script.
"The biggest thing to us trainers is that the cat is comfortable knowing what we're asking of them," Vaughn says.
Because the cats are trained to perform certain behaviors on cue, even when surrounding circumstances change, they rarely get starstruck.
"If they have to sit on somebody's shoulder, we teach them long before they ever come to set how to jump and ride on someone's shoulder. So to them, it doesn't make much difference who that person is," Vaughn says.
For those who want to bring a little movie magic into their home by training their cats, Vaughn, who has six dogs, three cats, and a bearded dragon, suggests stocking up on treats.
"They don't work for nothing. So you have to find something that they want in return for asking them to do something," the trainer says, adding that, for cats, "it's usually treats."
"Animals are a lot easier to train at home, and it's quite rewarding," Vaughn says. "It definitely builds more of a bond than you would have just living alongside a pet."
The Marvels is in theaters on Nov. 10.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.