James Gunn on Margot Robbie’s rat: Rats are the best small animal pet in the world

Margot Robbie and the cast of the 'Suicide Squad‘ at Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Margot Robbie, John Cena and James Gunn were on Jimmy Kimmel Live, with Anthony Anderson hosting. They’re promoting The Suicide Squad, the sequel to Suicide Squad, out August 6th in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. I’m not into DC movies and have not seen the original, I’m sorry! Apparently rats feature prominently in Suicide Squad as there’s a character who can control them called Rat Catcher. They worked with multiple rats on set. I remember a story about Jared Leto giving Margot Robbie a live rat after the first movie. In the interview, Margot confirmed that she had a pet rat when they made the first film although she said she had to give it away after her landlord found out about it. Then director James Gunn started extolling the virtues of rats.

James Gunn On the rats in the movie
James Gunn: We have a rat who by the name of Jaws who we worked with a lot and then a rat by the name of Crisp Rat, who which is named after my friend Chris Pratt of course. They were our main acting rats they played Sebastian the rat in the movie. Then we had about 300,000 animated rats.

Margot on her pet rat, Rat Rat
Margot Robbie: I had a pet rat when we did the first movie. His name is Rat Rat. When we shot Suicide Squad Mr. J gave me a rat and he became a beloved pet. We called him Rat Rat he liked beer and bath time. Then the landlord of the place I was renting found out I had a rat and said Rat Rat had to go. Then Jai Courtney who plays Captain Boomerang said I’ll take Rat Rat and then his landlord wasn’t cool with that either. Then one of the costumers on the job took Rat Rat and then she had to give Rat Rat away. She gave him to Guillermo Del Toro’s daughters apparently have rats so in the end Rat Rat’s a bit of a star f-ker really.

James Gunn loves rats
James Gunn: I made the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and after we put Rocket in that movie suddenly I got all these notes from all over the world of people having pet raccoons and they’re terrible pets. Rats are the best small animal pet in the world. They’re better than gerbils, they don’t bite like hamsters, they’re not like crazy stupid like guinea pigs, they’re as smart as a horse. For people that want a small pet a rat is the very best.

[From Jimmy Kimmel Live on YouTube]

I’ve told this story here before, but I had a pet rat for a short period of time in college. My goth friends had one and they kept telling me how smart they were as pets. The first day I had her, the rat figured out how to get out of her cage so I put a heavy book on the top of it. She continued to smack her head on the top to open it and you can figure out how this story ends. RIP Jessica the rat. So I agree that rats are smart, but I don’t have much firsthand experience with them as pets. How weird is it to give someone a pet, especially if they’re not a family member? At least a rat is small and like Margot found out, you can give it away to a loving home. Do you truly want a smart pet though? Sometimes it’s best to have a dumb to average pet, as I learned the hard way.

Here’s the interview. I didn’t have a high opinion of James Gunn before this given what I know about him, but he came across OK. John Cena was doing a bit and it was kind of cute. I always like watching his interviews. Margot is so cute and you can tell she’s a hard worker but chill.

I know this is a Quokka but it’s so cute!

Hedghog because she doesn’t have any pics of her rat on her Instagram!

Here’s a rat. They are cute!
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photos credit Backgrid and @firecloak and @ok_milka on Unsplash

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19 Responses to “James Gunn on Margot Robbie’s rat: Rats are the best small animal pet in the world”

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  1. Kkat says:

    Rats are fantastic pets, so loving.
    I had a pet rat Esmeralda (Ezzy) in my 20′s she was so special.
    Then we got a pet rat as an emotional support animal for my younger son, when we couldn’t have a dog or cat in our apartment.
    Mrs. Whiskers
    She was fantastic, so smart, loving and funny.

    The only huge downside is they only live 4-5 years
    You need to get one from a good breeder so they are from a good genetic line.
    Pet stores carry rats a lot of times that will only live 1-3 years at most.

  2. Angel says:

    Oh well thank you for this information, I already know I won’t be watching this movie, I have a deep phobia of rats and mice.

    • MMC says:

      Me too, I didn’t know they were featured this much.
      I don’t have a phobia, but I’m so deeply disgusted by rats and mice that I can’t even look at them.

  3. Plums says:

    my sister used to have pet rats, which started when she inherited them from a friend who couldn’t keep them anymore, and they were absolutely precious. very sweet, and also intelligent. She only stopped keeping them because they don’t live long, and it was just too sad for her when they would die after only a few years. So from that experience, I’d qualify pet rat ownership with the caveat that they make fantastic pets, but because they’re so intelligent, they need mental stimulus you need to be willing to provide, and if you get very attached to your pets and think it’s important for a pet to be intelligent enough to love you and play with you, something longer lived like dogs or cats is probably better.

    • tealily says:

      This is exactly why I stopped keeping rats. I’ve had a few over the years, and found the deaths to be too traumatic (especially one that died in front of me while I was trying to give her antibiotics).

      They are such sweet, loving, smart little creatures though. The first one I had used to sit on the arm of my couch and wait for my husband to come home from work, and then stand up and reach her little paws out to him when he opened the door! Such a sweetie. She came when you called her name and loved wine, saltines and carob chips. She got very sick at about a year old and we paid way too much for experimental rat surgery, but we ended up having her around until the ripe old age of 3.

      A note to anyone thinking about them, it’s better to keep them in pairs and make sure their cages are nice and big (like a ferret cage).

  4. Sakura says:

    I had friends with pet rats. They are so smart and sociable. They thrive on human interaction and don’t do well to be left in cages for long lengths of time. You can teach them tricks and they can even learn their names.

  5. Aang says:

    I have pet mice. They are super cute, I make them toys out of card board, egg cartons, popsicle sticks, food containers. Setting up their cage with new stuff once a week is fun and provided much needed stress relief during covid. They are friendly and will enjoy being held if you let them get to know you. Now when I walk up to the cage and say hi they come out and wait for treats and play time. They only live for 18-24 months so it’s not a big time investment and they can be left alone for days as long as they have enough food and water. Rats live longer, need more attention, and smell worse than mice.

    • Kkat says:

      Rats do not smell at all if you keep their cage clean. 🧐

      I changed the whole cage and the house box and bedding weekly and no oder at all.
      So yeah if your lazy and don’t change the bedding and floor fluff it will start smelling after about 2 weeks.
      That’s very unhealthy for the rat, and if the rat actually starts smelling that tells me the bedding hasn’t been changed in a long time.
      People that aren’t willing to do basic pet care should not have pets, it’s cruel.

  6. Cava24 says:

    Did anyone else think it was Sofia Vergara in the first pic? I may need more coffee.

  7. Jo73c says:

    Don’t be sorry you haven’t seen the original Suicide Squad. It came up on our Netflix yesterday afternoon, so we thought we’d re-watch it. Half an hour in and they were still introducing the Squad – the main (so called) plot of the movie hadn’t even kicked off. I don’t think we made it half way through before turning it off – it was terrible and soooo boring. Explains why it hadn’t made much of an impression from watching when it first came out.

  8. Golly Gee says:

    There’s a performance artist in New York named Zardulu who has trained rats and secretly set them up around New York to perform stunts for unsuspecting passersby. She remains nearby, inconspicuously, films the event with her cel phone, and collects them afterwards without anyone catching on that they are trained pets. There’s a great podcast episode about her on Reply All.

  9. Maria says:

    When I first met my husband he had a pet rat named Gabbie. I was grossed out by the idea of rats, but she was so sweet & smart that she won me over. How much he cared for her & made her little life fun & engaging won me over too. When she passed away he decided he’d never have another pet rat, as they are so relatively short-lived, but she definitely made an impact!

    Also, I had a pet guinea pig as a teenager, & they’re not at all “crazy stupid.” I litter box trained mine, he would come when you called him, & he knew how to fetch. He would do absolutely anything for strawberries too, & when I came home from school he would get excited & start squealing, knowing it was strawberry & play time.

    • nb says:

      I had pet guinea pigs growing up too and I also did not find them to be stupid. They are social, cuddly, and sweet. One of them would squeal until he got his own little plate of dinner when we had dinner. He would also sit in my Mom’s lap on a pillow and share tea with her while she watched TV (she would put a bit in a little bowl for him). I would not be opposed to getting a guinea pig again someday.

      • Maria says:

        My guinea pig would sit on my lap & watch tv with me while he ate carrots. I forgot about that! You’re so right, they are sweet, cuddly little things. I’ve considered getting one again, but I’ve got my hands full with two dogs & three kittens (that I’m really hoping get adopted soon), & I don’t have the time or attention for another animal. I spent a full summer training that little guy everything I could, & it dawns on me now just how much time I had on my hands back then, lol.

  10. Drea says:

    I had a pet rat in college. He was so sweet and sociable and smart. He would sit on my shoulder and nuzzle me and give me licks like a dog.

    It is sad that their lives are so short. Roo only lived for 2.5 years

  11. Miasys says:

    We’ve had guinea pigs for the last 10ish years and are down to one 4 yeat old man. We’ve tried to get him friends but he is 200% over other piggies & wants to live his golden years in peace & quiet. He is not as charming as our 1st boy, but he’s not stupid. Piggies just happen to have a dim look, in general. Our first boy followed me around like a dog & would snuggle on the couch & watch movies. I’ve had many cats and my current baby is the sweetest old girl but she will eat anything green & licks plastic like her life depends on it. So no bags anywhere or real/fake plants
    Furbabies are a relationship- what you put into them. If you treat them like family, that’s what they become.