Last month, the bizarrely disturbing trailer for Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats musical left the internet with more questions than answers. While some were horrified by the film’s “digital fur” tech, others were simply confused about the very plot and point of Cats. Idris Elba, who stars in the film, falls into the latter category.
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During a recent appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Elba – who stars as Macavity the Mystery Cat in Hooper’s film – was asked to explain the premise of Cats, but ended up having a hard time describing the plot.
“Ah, wow. What a way to throw me under the bus there!” the actor said. “It’s a classic. It’s a big musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I guess it’s about a cat? How am I doing?”
He continued, “It’s one cat’s journey toward what is essentially cat heaven. And the idea is that we all aspire to get [to] cat heaven. There’s this young cat and she gets sort of taken on this story of how to get to cat heaven and what you should do to get into cat heaven. How am I doing? Does anyone know what the story is?”
Elsewhere in the interview, Elba revealed he went to “cat school” to prepare himself for the role. Watch it below:
Cats features an all-star cast, including Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo and Rebel Wilson. The musical, based on T. S. Eliot’s poetry book ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’, follows the lives of the Jellicles, a group of cats who come together for one night to make the annual “Jellicle choice”. It will hit theatres in December.