How Taylor Swift Prepared For Her Role in ‘Cats' Is Purrfectly On Brand

by Jessica Wang
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Songwriter. Pop star. Actress. Cat school graduate. Because she’s a fully committed artist, Taylor Swift prepared for her role in Cats in perhaps the most on-brand way. The “ME!” singer is slated to star in the upcoming film adaptation of the Broadway musical Cats, in theaters December 20, and it sounds like a project she was born to be a part of.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Taylor Swift, cat enthusiast, spilled details on how she prepared for her role as Bombalurina, a confident and flirtatious red and black cat. Given that the actors weren’t exactly walking around set in catsuits, Swift explained that she had to adapt cat mannerisms as precisely as possible. How, you may ask? With lessons. From cat school. Yes, cat school.

“I just fully committed and threw myself into the process and had the most fun. We had this thing called ‘cat school’ that was a class where you could learn about how to create the motions of cats,” she told EW. “How to think like they think, how to sense things the way that they do, carry yourself the way a cat would. I learned a lot.”

Duh. Cat school. How else would one prepare for the role of a cat? The pop star admitted that when she was first approached for the role by director Tom Hooper, she wasn’t quite sure how the costumes would translate onto screen. She told EW, “One of the things that made Cats so special when it came out in the ’80s was that it was presented in a way people hadn’t seen before. [But] what about this is going to give people that same awe factor [that] we’re seeing something completely original? I was like, ‘ Are we gonna be in the Lycra catsuits with fur glued to us? Like, what are we talking about here?’”

Well, according to Swift, the cat details, such as the fur, whiskers, and tails, were added post-production. “They add digital fur to us," she explained to EW of the digital renderings, adding, “They’re completely human performances. It’s not animated. And it’s not motion capture. It’s somehow this new way that hasn’t been done before. And they’re giving us a tail that moves naturally, and ears and whiskers. It was one of the coolest things I’ve seen.”

Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway hit of the same name, Cats is a musical based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.” The star-studded film will also star Idris Elba as Macavity, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Ian McKellen as Gus the Theater Cat, James Corden as Bustopher Jones, and Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots. Cats will mark Swift’s return to the big screen since 2014’s The Giver. The pop songstress has also starred in 2012’s The Lorax and 2010’s Valentine’s Day. She made her first film debut in 2009’s Hannah Montana: The Movie.

Outside of her career, Swift is also a cat mom to three cats: Meredith, Olivia, and Benjamin Button. Both Meredith and Olivia recently starred in Swift’s music video for her newest single “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie, which premiered on Thursday, April 25.

And with three cats living with her at home, it's likely that she was a true star in Cat School. Now all fans want to know is, will Meredith, Olivia, and Benjamin Button attend the red carpet premiere of Cats? What are the odds of the kitty trio making guest appearances in the film? These are the important questions.