Taylor Swift ‘stoked’ to be playing a wild cat
Pop star says filming Cats was 'really exciting' in a 'fun environment'
The critics' claws may be out for Cats, which currently has a score of 19 per cent on the Rotten Tomatoes website.
But fans of US pop star Taylor Swift, 30, will still be purring with delight over their idol's star turn in the new film adaptation of the Broadway stage musical of the same name.
Opening here on Dec 26 and helmed by Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Les Miserables, The Danish Girl), Cats revolves around a tribe of cats called the Jellicles, who must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.
It features an ensemble cast including James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson and introduces ballerina Francesca Hayward in her first feature-length film role.
Here, Swift, a self-proclaimed "cat lady", talks about playing Bombalurina, a flirtatious, confident and mischievous female cat, the loyal henchwoman to the nefarious Macavity (Idris Elba).
On developing Bombalurina
I think she is based on a Bengal cat, which I used to have, so I know what they are like. They are crazy (laughs). Amazing cats, but with a wild streak, and Bombalurina is sort of one of the bad cats.
Macavity is the baddest bad cat. We are mobsters in this world where we sort of take what we want. We are not abiding by any cat laws and just sort of lying, stealing, cheating our way through life, and Bombalurina is this sort of right-hand man for Macavity.
On Andrew Lloyd Webber's music
I think it is so impactful because it is so unabashedly, unapologetically emotional. There is absolutely no artifice in front of it. The emotion is at the forefront of what you are hearing. And I think that is really the trick to what has made his music so timeless, is that it leads with emotion.
On why the song Macavity is a favourite
It is so mischievous, tongue-in-cheek and kind of funny at times. It is just kind of fun to picture this cat that really thinks he is a criminal mastermind. By night, they just wreak complete havoc.
On performing Macavity
It is slinky and feels a little bit like a cabaret number. It is a very fun song to sing and dance to, and it's going to be a very big number in this movie. We have countless dancers that are a part of it and it is a big, huge moment.
I'm really stoked to get to be in that moment because it's an amazing part of the Broadway show and I think it is going to be a really exciting part of the movie too.
On the diversity of the cast experiences and talents
It is such a fun environment, because you know there are some of us here in the cast who are actors who have learnt to dance and sing, there are some of us who are singers who have learnt to act.
There are some dancers who have learnt to act and sing - you have so many people coming together from all different corners of entertainment and learning together and kind of experiencing, trying different things and improvising.
When you have that many styles of performance coming together, it is really, really exciting to be around.
On cat school
Cat school is so unique. Basically we go in and study the movements of a cat.
It is really exciting and fun to learn about how they hold their posture, how they sense things, kind of just the anatomy of a cat that can make it more conducive to how a human can inhibit that kind of spirit.