The lifecycle of a cat as portrayed in the film Cats is hard to pin down. They’re born, they live in trash, and after a talent show/orgy, one is selected to take a spaceship to something called the “Heaviside Layer.” The lifecycle of the movie Cats was even stranger. Released to overwhelmingly negative reviews in December 2019, the film was one of the first in recent memories to get a software update after producers realized that some of the effects weren’t complete. Within weeks of the patch, the film, though still largely disliked, became a cult favorite, with rowdy screenings of feline fans openly screaming at and mocking the movie Rocky Horror-style. There was also allegedly a “butthole” cut, but that’s a story for another day.
However, there is one person brave enough to admit that they liked Cats unironically: the film’s star Jennifer Hudson. Speaking to Total Film, the Respect star reassured the dozen or so sincere Cats fans that the film was “misunderstood.”
“It’s unfortunate that it was misunderstood,” Hudson said in an attempt to get viewers to understand what the hell a “jellicle” is better.
“I think later down the line, people will see it differently, 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!”
One thing that Hudson is on the money about: she definitely played Grizabella the Glamour Cat. In the movie, she sang the showstopper “Memory.” Writing for The A.V. Club Ignatiy Vishnevetsky said of the number, “[Director Tom Hooper] directs ‘Memory’ more or less the same way he directed ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ in Les Misérables: handheld close-ups, lots of snot.”
Regardless of what we think of the movie (this writer kind of loves it), Hudson should be proud of her work in it. She certainly belts the hell out of “Memory” in one of the strangest circumstances possible of an actor. Not to mention, there are plenty of forgettable movies, and Hudson’s been in quite a few of them. But no one’s going to forget about Cats anytime soon.