Imagine landing your dream job right after graduating from university; then imagine being launched into Broadway stardom just two years after that. Sound surreal, amazing…maybe supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Not if you’re Ashley Brown, who stepped off the campus of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music straight into a touring production of On the Record and from there into the starring role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Currently, she is headlining Disney’s hit revival of Mary Poppins.

Behind this Broadway star stands the love of her life, Eddie Brown, a spunky 18-month-old French Bulldog, whose love of the theatre graces everyone he meets. We caught up with the very talented, ridiculously busy Brown to find out what her beloved Eddie thinks about her stage success.

MD: How’s Eddie handling your Broadway success?
AB: He loves it, are you kidding! He loves everybody. My fans even ask about Eddie Brown.
MD: The cast and crew must just adore him.
AB: At his birthday party, they made baked goods for him. Usually if it’s anybody’s birthday, we always sing happy birthday and eat cake. More people showed up to Eddie Brown’s birthday then for anybody else. He got so many presents. There were 40 people in the hallway singing Happy Birthday to a dog.
MD: Does Eddie Brown ever give you acting notes?
AB: (laughs) He sings with me. I wish you could hear it. When he was a puppy, I was in my dressing room, warming up as normal and he started singing. I said to my dresser, can you hear that? From now on, he sings everything in my warm-up.
MD: Besides singing talent, are there other character traits you and Eddie share?
AB: (laughs) Not that I know.
MD: What’s it like playing Mary Poppins?
AB: It’s amazing. You know, I watched the movie so many times when I was little. To be in the shoes of Julie Andrews, opening a show on Broadway, I dreamt of this my whole life. It’s not an everyday happening for somebody. I get to fly, I get to sing, dance, and it’s just amazing.
MD: Do you think Eddie aspires to take to the stage or the movies one day?
AB: (laughs) I really do think, and this is going to sound clichéd, because every mom thinks their kid’s the cutest and yes, by the way, I called him my kid. This dog is so photogenic, it’s ridiculous. He’s always looking at the camera. I’ve trained him enough that he’s a great dog—he sits, he stays and all that. But to actually be in movies, he’d have to be really trained. But, you know, I bet he could do it. He was sitting and staying when he was just six months old. I think modeling, though, would be the first thing he would try.
MD: What have you learned from Eddie?
AB: Unconditional love. People thought I was crazy because I got him right after we opened Mary Poppins. He makes me laugh. He doesn’t care who I am. That’s what I love about him. Being Mary Poppins sometimes I feel like, especially in the beginning, you’re around a lot of press, a lot of pressure, other actors. Which is all fantastic, but it was nice to just come home and be with him. We just have such a great time. He has a great personality and does the most ridiculous things. I think he’s lit up the whole theatre. Everybody says that when we leave, they don’t know what they’re going to do. He’s made the theatre a big home for everybody.
MD: If you and Eddie could co-star in something, what would it be?
AB: (laughs) I think someone needs to write a show for us. He is quite the catch. I will just ride on his shirt tails because he’s obviously the star. Maybe he’ll let me join him.