The 2024 Oscars witnessed a memorable moment when a 7-year-old border collie named Messi stole the spotlight. Accompanied by host Jimmy Kimmel in the audience, Messi cheered on the winners of Hollywood’s grandest night. The pup gained fame for his captivating role in “Anatomy of a Fall,” where he played a guide dog facing a near-overdose on pain medication.

Messi’s trainer and owner, Laura Martin Contini, expressed astonishment at the overwhelming attention the dog received in America, surpassing their expectations. It marked a pinnacle achievement in the field of canine acting.

Throughout the awards circuit, Messi has emerged as an emblem of the film, culminating in his appearance at the prestigious Academy Awards in March 2024. His journey from obscurity to stardom has captured the hearts of many, making him a beloved figure in the entertainment industry.

Messi, the adorable border collie, rose to fame with his starring role in the film “Anatomy of a Fall.”

Anatomy of a Fall

In the acclaimed 2023 film “Anatomy of a Fall,” Messi gained recognition for his portrayal of Snoop, the loyal guide dog to Daniel, a blind 11-year-old boy played by Milo Machado Graner. The film, nominated for Best Picture, revolves around Sandra’s trial for her husband Samuel’s murder, with Snoop playing a pivotal role as Daniel’s companion.

One poignant scene depicts Snoop inadvertently poisoned by Daniel, leading to a dramatic struggle for breath. Messi’s trainer revealed to IndieWire in February 2024 that the challenging sequence required two months of meticulous training, breaking down the actions into manageable steps.

“Even the simplest things take a lot of work,” she emphasized, detailing the gradual progression from laying down with an immobile head to simulating breath difficulties.

Throughout the film’s production, Messi spent 22 days on set, receiving ample attention from the cast and crew, who affectionately dubbed him their favorite. Machado Graner, in particular, focused on bonding with Messi during breaks, fostering a genuine connection that translated convincingly on-screen.

“Even during the shoot, every time there was a break, they would be playing together,” Messi’s trainer recalled. “[Machado Graner] was specifically very invested in becoming close to the dog and taking care and playing with him, which is what Messi needs as a dog.”

He got close to his costars

Messi the dog attends the Film Independent Live Read of Justine Triet's "Anatomy Of A Fall" on February 14, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.

Before gracing the Oscars stage, Messi captured the affection of his fellow cast and crew members. Director Justine Triet praised Messi’s integral role in the film, emphasizing to The Hollywood Reporter in May 2023 that Messi was not merely a side character but an essential part of the ensemble.

Similarly, actress Sandra Hüller echoed Triet’s sentiment, highlighting Messi’s significance as a character in his own right. She expressed gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with Messi’s trainer, emphasizing the pivotal role she played in allowing Messi to shine alongside the human actors.

“We had good luck this time to work with someone in the business who trains animals for the industry,” Hüller remarked. “The lady who owns Snoop was a key person for us to allow him to be a character, really as much a part of the film’s ensemble as any of the other actors.”

He lives in Paris with his owner

Messi and his owner Laura Martin at the 96th Academy Awards on March 10, 2024.

During his downtime, Messi resides with Contini in a suburban area near Paris. Contini, who adopted Messi when he was a young pup, is a dedicated professional trainer. In addition to Messi, she works with various other animals, turning her passion into a career.

“For me, it truly became a labor of love,” she shared with The Wildest. “I’m deeply fascinated by the intricacies of understanding animal behavior and communicating with them in nonverbal ways. Getting to know the unique personalities of each dog is incredibly rewarding.”

Messi’s talents were recognized beyond the silver screen when he won the prestigious Palm Dog award at the Cannes Film Festival

Messi the dog attends the Film Independent Live Read of Justine Triet's "Anatomy Of A Fall" on February 14, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.

Messi’s exceptional performance in “Anatomy of a Fall” earned him the prestigious Palm Dog award at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2023. Despite the film winning the Palme d’Or, Messi’s portrayal as Snoop garnered significant attention and praise from the festival’s jury. Describing his performance as covering “the gambit” and among the best they’ve ever seen, the jury unanimously awarded Messi with this esteemed accolade, highlighting his remarkable talent and contribution to the film.

He has met many of Hollywood’s most famous actors

ANATOMY OF A FALL's Messi at the Academy Award Nominees Luncheon.

In the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards, Messi embarked on a journey to Los Angeles, where he was immersed in various industry events, including the prestigious Academy Award Nominees Luncheon. At the luncheon, Messi captivated the attention of celebrities and attendees alike, with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper among those who warmly greeted and interacted with him.

Notably, Messi shared a touching moment with Billie Eilish, with the pair bonding for almost 10 minutes as they hugged and played together. Reflecting on the experience, Messi’s owner, Laura Martin Contini, expressed how the pup’s presence created a special connection with these renowned figures, highlighting the genuine rapport Messi formed with the stars.

In a remarkable turn of events, Messi, the talented border collie, graced the illustrious 2024 Oscars ceremony. Amidst Hollywood’s

Messi in the audience during the 96th Annual Academy Awards on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California.

After enjoying the bustling atmosphere of Los Angeles and even indulging in a delightful outing at Venice Beach, Messi and his devoted owner attended the prestigious 2024 Oscars. The pair graced the iconic red carpet, drawing attention and admiration from all quarters. Throughout the ceremony, Messi made several memorable appearances, showcasing his undeniable charm and charisma.

Host Jimmy Kimmel couldn’t resist acknowledging Messi’s remarkable performance in Anatomy of a Fall, hailing it as one of the year’s standout acts. The audience was treated to a heartwarming moment as Messi, the canine star, applauded alongside the crowd when Robert Downey Jr. received his well-deserved award for Best Supporting Actor.

The evening concluded with a playful and lighthearted moment, as a clip of Messi humorously pretending to urinate on Matt Damon’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was featured, adding a touch of whimsy to the festivities and bringing Kimmel’s playful “feud” with Damon to a humorous close.