Judi Dench has broken her silence on Tom Hooper’s musical, calling her Cats coat ‘battered, mangy’, ‘a great big orange bruiser’ and more colourful descriptions. So what have her colleagues said about the film?
Dame Judi Dench’s interview in the new issue of Vogue is a lovely thing, touching on everything from her early career in the theatre to her thoughts on the outbreak. But that isn’t why you’ll read it. No, you’ll read it to witness Dame Judi Dench struggle to describe her Cats costume. She has several attempts at it. She looked like “a battered, mangy old cat,” she said. Like “a great big orange bruiser”. Her cloak alone looked like “five foxes fucking on my back”. You sense that Judi Dench isn’t necessarily the biggest fan of Cats.
Dench’s comments are a welcome inclusion to my favourite form of 2020 entertainment; the stars of Cats reacting to Cats. Because you can tell a lot about a person by how they respond to their participation in what is destined to be an eternal punchline. Do they stand by the director? Do they remain professional and rise above the baffled din? Or do they give up all pretence of dignity and, like Dench, slag it off just as hard as everyone else?
For fun, I have unearthed some quotes by the stars of Cats, varying from outright horror to brave professionalism. Your job is to guess who is responsible for each of them, and your prize is getting to remember that Cats exists.
Stuart Heritage writes about film, TV and music for the Guardian