Crystal: A monkey actress
Crystal the Monkey is no small bananas. In just five of her movies, she holds a box office gross of over $1.5 Billion. Her film, “Hangover 2” opened at $177.8 Million, the largest opening weekend in history for a comedy. She has worked with some of the biggest directors in Hollywood. She has held her own with Oscar Winners, stole scenes from top comedians and is beloved with the press as she commands Red Carpets. Paired with her extraordinary trainer, Tom Gunderson, she began in the business at the live animal show at Universal Studios.
In 1997, she appeared in her first film “George of the Jungle.” In 2007, with over 20 features to her name came her big break came in “Night at the Museum” with Ben Stiller. With her naughty character, Dexter, she proved herself as not just a trained animal, but as an actor. In the second installment of”Museum” she reprised her role of Dexter and furthered her range by playing the duel character of Able. In 2011, Crystal solidified herself as a box-office actress.
A female capuchin monkey and animal actress, Crystal is owned by Birds & Animals Unlimited. Having appeared in over 20 films by 2011, Crystal first appeared in the 1997 film George of the Jungle. Wallace of the magazine New York said her Internet Movie Database page is “more hit-studded than most actors three times her age”, and Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times called her “a veteran of movies and TV with an enviable IMDB credit list”. USA Today called Crystal “Hollywood’s Hottest Monkey” and the Los Angeles Times called her the most powerful pet in Hollywood”.
She is known for her roles in the 2006 film Night at the Museum and its sequels, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014), playing troublesome monkey Dexter (also playing another character, Able, in the second film). In the 2009 film, her character slapped Ben Stiller’s, while her trainer encouraged her with “Get him! Get him! Hit him harder! Hit him harder!” Stiller joked that “I really dislike the monkey. There’s no way to feel great about having a monkey slap your face on any level”. During filming, Crystal in an “unscripted moment” relieved herself on Robin Williams, who was playing Teddy Roosevelt. Williams said, “It combines the worst aspects of working with children and animals when you have an animal that looks like a child … Plus, what human can [defecate] on you in the middle of a scene and people would be like ‘Awww, great’”.
Gunderson and Crystal worked together for eight years at the Animal Actors stage show. Because the show was marked by pyrotechnics and noisy, cheering audiences, Gunderson said it was “a boot camp” and “a great way for a monkey to grow up and become habituated for this kind of environment”. Unlike the majority of monkeys who were bothered by high volume music and children, Crystal was remarkably mature. Rather than destroy a stuffed animal as any other monkey would do, she preferred to groom herself and work the levers of a child’s activity centre.
Beginning with “Hangover 2” where she was a tour de force as a drug dealing gangster. Also, starring in “Hangover” was the hilarious actor, Ken Jeong who said “She’s not a monkey, she’s an actor. And quite possibly the best actor I’ve worked with.” In the USA Today’s review by Brian Alexander he said: “one cast member truly stood out: Crystal, a capuchin monkey. Maybe her name should be Hollywood’s Hottest Monkey.” She went onto play Donald the Monkey “Zookeeper” starring Kevin James with Adam Sandler dubbing her voice. Rounding out the year with Oscar winner, Matt Damon in “We got a Zoo.” When the new show “Animal Practice” aired in 2012, with Crystal on their cover, New York Magazine said “NBC’s most valuable commodity this fall: an irresistible, virtuoso capuchin monkey.” She played the adorable sidekick Dr. Rizzo.
-IMDb & Wikipedia