HOME IMPROVEMENT star Tim Allen looked to Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe to provide inspiration while filming The Shaggy Dog.

In the remake of the classic Disney film, Allen plays a man who transforms into his family's sheepdog.

Allen had to film many scenes in a flesh-coloured thong with computer-generated technology later turning him into the beloved canine, and he found the experience humiliating.

He explains, "I'm in the (dog) cage buck naked. I'm sitting there looking at a (fake) dog and a fake cat and I'm thinking, 'What would Russell Crowe do with this?'

"'How would Russell Crowe handle this?' He wouldn't. There's no amount of money in the world that would have Russell Crowe sitting naked and talking to a fake dog."