Jennifer Hudson didn’t realise she’d have “ears or a tail” in ‘Cats’

“It was heavy and emotional the entire time”

Jennifer Hudson has reflected on her experience filming director Tom Hooper’s feline musical Cats, admitting some of the ‘digital fur technology’ came as a surprise.

Released in 2019, Cats became a notorious meme fever dream blending Jason Derulo, Rebel Wilson, James Corden and Dame Judi Dench in questionable digital cat outfits.

Anchoring the film was Hudson, who played Grizabella and performed the show’s biggest track ‘Memory’. When it came to watching the completed film in its entirety though, Hudson was just as surprised as much of the audience.


Asked what it was like seeing the final footage by Empire, Hudson laughed: “Well, I didn’t know I’d have ears or a tail.”

The act of becoming Grizabella though wasn’t easy on the actress, adding: “That was… phew. It was heavy and emotional the entire time.

“Because that’s all Grizabella did. It was about being rejected. She was at her lowest point. And I had to carry that. I sang it live every time. The snot that was coming out, that was real. Every inch of it. And I was like, ‘if people only knew. The depth of that emotion.’”

Hudson’s next role is playing Aretha Franklin in upcoming biopic Respect, alongside Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess and Mary J. Blige.


Respect is out in cinemas August 13 in the US and September 10 in the UK.