- Jennifer Hudson defended “Cats” in an interview with TotalFilm and said it was “misunderstood.”
- The movie was a box-office bomb despite having stars like Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, and Judi Dench.
- Hudson is “grateful” for her role and thinks people will see the film “differently” in the future.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“Cats” star Jennifer Hudson is defending the movie that failed critically and commercially a year and a half after its release.
During a new interview with TotalFilm about her latest movie, the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” Hudson was asked what she thought about “Cats” and she had only positive things to say about the film and her experience making it.
“I loved that you asked about Cats!” she said. “You know what? I think it was a bit overwhelming. It’s unfortunate that it was misunderstood. I think later down the line, people will see it differently.”
She continued: “But it is something I am still very proud of and grateful to have been a part of. Yeah, I got to be Grizabella the Glamour Cat!”
It’s clear Hudson is a fan of the musical. Before the release of “Cats” in 2019, Hudson got herself two pet cats, which Grizabella, after her own character, and Macavity, after the character Idris Elba played in the film adaptation.
With Oscar-winner Tom Hooper directing the film and major music and movie stars like Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, and Ian McKellen appearing in it, “Cats” seemed like it would be a surefire hit.
Ultimately, the redesign didn’t help. “Cats” was critically panned, earning a Rotten Tomatoes score of 19%. Additionally, according to Box Office Mojo, the movie grossed less than $74 million worldwide despite having a budget of $95 million, making it a box-office bomb.
Swift told Variety on the morning of the film’s premiere that she still hadn’t watched it yet and explained her desire “to dislocate the end result with your experience” making it, while costars Rebel Wilson and James Corden used their speeches at the Oscars and the BAFTAs the following year to mock “Cats.”
But Hudson isn’t the only star with good things to say about “Cats.” Jason Derulo, who also appeared in the movie, told The Telegraph in 2020 that he thought the movie would “change the world” after seeing the trailer.
“For the longest time, I was trying to figure out what’s the perfect first role?” he said. “‘Cats’ checked all the boxes. You can’t get a more star-studded cast, you don’t get a more respected director than an Oscar winner, and Rum Tum Tugger is a legacy role, a standout character in a classic musical.”