Simu Liu Opens Up About His Rescue Dog Chopa's 'Princess Life' — and Why She's Ready for Hollywood (Exclusive)

While filming 'Arthur the King' three years ago in the Dominican Republic, the actor met his furry best friend

<p>Courtesy of Simu Liu</p> Simu Liu and Chopa

Courtesy of Simu Liu

Simu Liu and Chopa

Simu Liu's adorable rescue pup is ready for her star turn.

Over the last few weeks, the actor's dog, Chopa, has been accompanying dad to press events for his latest film Arthur the King (in theaters Friday), which was filmed three years ago in the Dominican Republic.

"She was one of the background dogs on this movie. It was very much life imitating art imitating life," Liu, 34, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "The movie wanted to depict stray dogs in this area in the Dominican, and they couldn't use real stray dogs for obvious reasons. So we used dogs out of a shelter in Santo Domingo."

All of the dogs featured in the film were adoptable, and Liu — who hadn't expected to head back home with a new pet — asked to foster Chopa.

Related: Mark Wahlberg Says He ‘Fell in Love’ with His Arthur the King Canine Costar: 'I Tried to Bribe the Trainer' (Exclusive)

"After a couple days, I was like 'I don't think I'm ever going to be separated from her ever again," he adds.

Much like in Arthur the King, which delves into the deep bond between pro adventure racer Michael Light (Mark Wahlberg) and a scrappy street dog (played by Ukai, an Australian shepherd-Border collie-Bouvier mix), Liu and Chopa's journey back home wasn't easy.

<p>Carlos Rodriguez/Courtesy of Lionsgate</p> Simu Liu and Ukai on set of 'Arthur the King'

Carlos Rodriguez/Courtesy of Lionsgate

Simu Liu and Ukai on set of 'Arthur the King'

"I was going through that pretty much as we were shooting those scenes. We were trying to get all the paperwork through, and I feel like I'm doing the same forms over and over again. It was just a very, very difficult and arduous process," says Liu. "She missed her connecting flight, and I found out in the air in between my flight from Miami to L.A. that she had not gotten on the plane."

Related: Simu Liu Says 'Barbie' Is 'About Finding Your Inner Beauty': 'You Don't Have to Be Blonde, White'

<p>Courtesy of Simu Liu</p> Simu Liu and Chopa

Courtesy of Simu Liu

Simu Liu and Chopa

But Chopa eventually safely made it to Los Angeles with dad, and she's been a constant presence by Liu's side as his career continues to reach new heights.

On set, "she's a great trailer dog, and she loves people," says Liu, who also moved into a new house a couple years ago. "So much of the home is really designated for Chopa. She probably uses more of the furniture than I do, and she's a big homebody. She's definitely living a princess life."

So will she be sharing the screen with Liu any time soon?

"Her recall is amazing. I haven't been able to get her any representation, which I think is ridiculous," jokes Liu. "We haven't gotten any calls yet, but we'd be willing to entertain the idea."

Related: Simu Liu and Girlfriend Allison Hsu Step Out Together for Glam Date Night at 2024 Oscars

Chopa's also earned a decent following on social media, where she's often seen snuggling up to Liu and his girlfriend Allison Hsu.

"Allison is very much a girl's girl, and when they met, their energies very perfectly meshed. One of their favorite things that they do now is that they like to hold paws when they're watching TV. Lately we've been watching True Detective, and I'll look over and Chopa will just start pawing at her, and then we'll just be holding paws watching TV," he says.

Adds the star: "If the acting thing doesn't work out, maybe she's got a nice future as a dog model. I think she's the prettiest dog on Earth. That's my very biased opinion, I understand."

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