It’s safe to say we weren’t the only ones who found the Cats trailer both confusing and slightly terrifying (it’s the tails, OK.) There are countless celebrities starring in the remake, including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, and Idris Elba. But playing a cat isn’t as easy at it sounds and turns out, the cast had to go to cat school.
Elba stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to chat about his current projects, and while Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw got a mention — mostly about costars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham teasing him on set for playing Macavity — most of the conversation revolved around Cats. When asked what the movie was about, it took Elba a hot minute to even explain the storyline: “I guess it’s about a cat”, prompting comments on Youtube like “Petition to make the Cats official tagline be ‘Does anyone know what the story is?'” Complex storyline or not, we’re still into it. But the funniest part of Elba’s cat journey was the prep he put into his role of Macavity before filming (step aside, La La Land pre-production).
His first step to catdom was cat school, in order for him and his castmates to better embody the “feline persona.” This involved getting a cat expert (who is also an expert on teaching humans how to be like cats) on board to teach them the basics, like the anatomy of a cat and more complex lessons like how to walk like a cat (spoiler: it’s all in the shoulders). Luckily for us, he demonstrated his new tricks to Colbert.
Watch the full video to see exactly what Elba and the rest of the cast were taught at cat school. I can’t promise you it’ll make the movie’s CGI any less unsettling, but at least you’ll come away with the image in your head of your favorite actors and musicians prancing around at cat school.
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