Director Tom Hooper‘s film adaptation of the musical CATS had far from a puurrrfect opening weekend. The film barely scratched together $6.5 million at the box office domestically. Critics were also unimpressed by the cat crotch-shot laden film as it currently holds a cat-astrophic 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. (You can read Chris Bumbray’s review right here.) , Additionally, Tom Hooper demanded all theaters update the special effects to the film as he wasn’t satisfied with the end result. In other words, the nightmare fueled musical apparently stinks worse than a week old litter box.
Despite the poor reception both commercially and critically, there’s no denying the star power of CATS. Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, and Judi Dench are just a few names on the impressive list. Another name on that list is pop superstar Taylor Swift. Swifty provided a new song for the musical and also starred as the rabble-rousing flirtatious Bombalurina in the film. If you’ve ever wondered how Taylor Swift (or any of the actors for that matter) prepared for the role, the answer is simple: they went to cat school.
In a recent interview, Taylor Swift revealed that it was extremely important to director Tom Hooper that his actors mimic cat movements accurately. As such, the set had an animal behavior class on site called “cat school.” When asked what “cat school” actually en-tailed, T-swizzle had this to say:
We would literally do hours on end of barefoot crawling on the floor, hissing at each other. We learned about cat instincts and the way they carry themselves and the way that they process information, the way they see the world, the way they move. What’s strange is from the very beginning of the whole process, everyone on the director/choreography side of it had decided that we weren’t going to be crawling all the time and we weren’t going to be walking all the time. We were going to be hybrids in both our appearance and our behavior and movement. Which was so funny because you’d walk on set one day and they’d be like, “Oh we have to redo the choreography! It’s a little too human today. We need to make it more cat today.” Or they’d be like, “It’s a little too cat and not enough dance, so we need to dial back the cat and make it more dance.” And it just was so funny because regardless of what the end result is, there’s just never been a movie made like this, which is why it was so fun to be a part of.
Taylor Swift went on to say that she didn’t just double down on the cat school, she quadruple downed on it. Swift stated she went to the cat school four times more than her fellow actors because it was important for her to get the physical aspect down pat. She’s first and foremost a singer, so nuanced physical acting like this didn’t come naturally to her. However, I don’t see how anything related to a cat/human hybrid could come naturally. I’m just picturing Swift crawling on the floor and hissing at Jennifer Hudson one moment and then licking James Corden‘s neck the next. Sheesh.