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B.C. llama named Todd works as screen actor, rests in hotel room

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Although he’s not being pestered by paparazzi or fending off fans now, Bonnie Nicholls says the llama that she’s walking down the street with is just as leisurely in the limelight.

“He’s very easy going,” says the llama wrangler from the Fat Chance Ranch. “He’s a crowd pleaser.”

Although the llama was named after the fox in the classic Disney movie “The Fox and the Hound,” Todd never sought out screen stardom.

“It started with us going out and about in the community,” Bonnie says.

She and Todd would attend fundraisers and visit seniors' centres to lift people’s spirits.

“He loves visiting everyone,” Bonnie smiles. “The word got out that he’s just so much fun.”

Word got out that not only was there no drama with this llama, Todd had that star quality that people couldn’t get enough of.

“[He’s] like a bag of chips,” Bonnie says. “You can’t just have one. You have to have the whole bag.”

A whole lot of productions started casting Todd. Bonnie says the llama’s been seen on screen more than 20 times, from Disney Channel movies to Walmart commercials.

Todd’s currently filming the Hallmark series "Holidaze." Behind-the-scenes photos from the set show that the crew, from craft services to the audio department, is going la-la for the llama. There’s even one picture showing the first assistant director and Todd exchanging a kiss.

“It’s almost like when you bring a baby into a room and it’s like the whole room lights up,” Bonnie says. “You bring a llama into the room and the same thing happens.”

When he’s done working on-set, Bonnie brings Todd back to the hotel.

“The staff here are amazing,” Bonnie says of her stay at Victoria’s Accent Inn. “They not only accommodate the two-legged role, but the four-legged folk.”

Then again, Todd is house-trained. The llama also never makes diva-like demands, despite having a propensity to pause and appreciate his appearance in the mirror above the sink.

“He thought that was pretty cool,” Bonnie says, as the llama walks past the bed and kitchenette to look at himself in the full-length mirror too.

Then the llama lies down on the floor, beside the bed (which he’s more than half the size of) and prepares for some leisure time.

At the end of the day, Todd enjoys spending some of his free time snacking out of a bowl, watching TV, and commenting on what he sees.

“He’s chatting,” Bonnie says of the slightly high-pitched purring sounds that Todd makes. “He’s kind of a talker.”

And as for the llama’s entourage of one, Bonnie kisses the soft white fur around his face and describes herself as “Todd’s mom.”

Like most moms, Bonnie couldn’t be more proud that her little Todd has grown up to be a down-to-earth star, making everyone he meets feel like they’re in “Shangri-llama.”  

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