Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber is not a fan of the film adaptation of his musical, Cats.
Nearly two years after the film’s release, the 73-year-old composer called it “off-the-scale all wrong” during an interview with Variety this week. He admitted that he disliked the film so much that it prompted him to buy a dog.
“Cats was off-the-scale all wrong,” he said. “There wasn’t really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. I saw it and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy.”
After keeping each other company throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Lloyd Webber added that he’s ready to bring his new pup to Broadway when the time is right.
“I wrote off and said I needed him with me at all times because I’m emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog,” he told Variety. “The airline wrote back and said, ‘Can you prove that you really need him?’ And I said ‘Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical Cats.’ Then the approval came back with a note saying, ‘No doctor’s report required.’ “
(In December, the Department of Transportation announced new revisions to its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) that allow airlines to prohibit ESAs by treating all ESAs as pets instead. Several airlines, including Southwest, American, and Alaska, have since changed their own regulations to ban ESAs from their flights.)
Universal Pictures /Everett
“The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show,” the playwright told the U.K.’s Sunday Times in August 2020. “The whole thing was ridiculous.”
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Webber is listed as an executive producer on the film, and teamed up with Swift to write an original song for the movie called “Beautiful Ghost.” While he has been vocal about his issues with the film, others involved in the project have continued to defend it against mixed reviews.
In August, Hudson said she thought that the live adaptation of the hit Broadway musical was “misunderstood.”
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“You know what? I think it was a bit overwhelming. It’s unfortunate that it was misunderstood,” Hudson told the outlet. “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!”
The Academy Award winner has even since adopted two cats of her own that she named after her character and Macavity, played by Idris Elba.
“They are the best thing I’ve ever had,” she said of her pets. “I love them so much.”