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'Cats' Director Is Asked to 'Explain Himself' & He Does!

'Cats' Director Is Asked to 'Explain Himself' & He Does!

Tom Hooper, the director of Cats, sits down for an interview where he’s asked about what drove him to make the film, which is being critically panned, why the Cats look the way they look, the size of the furniture and streets in the film, and more.

The interview began with him being asked, “Sir, explain yourself.”

“Where to start? [Laughs] Well, it starts with me being 8 years old and being taken to see Cats and falling in love with it. I have actually a very vivid recollection of that experience….I remember thinking Les Mis was particularly exciting because that musical had never been adapted as a movie before. And I was thinking, Well, are there any other great musicals left that have not been adapted? I thought about Cats and about how much I had really loved it as a kid. I knew Steven Spielberg had optioned it in the mid-’90s. Well, why had it never been made? Was it that people hadn’t figured out what the cats would look like? And was there perhaps some shift in visual effects, some technology that might allow a way of making it work?,” Tom explained to Vulture.

Then, speaking about if he had ever considered prosthetics over visual effects, he said, “I actually did start by going through a physical prosthetics route because, during my first conversations, visual effects seemed to be so expensive. But the tricky thing with prosthetics is you end up with a kind of full-face prosthetic and you lose all performance. And then you still have nonmoving ears. And then you’re like, ‘So you’re only going to CGI the ears? If you’ve done that, then what’s the point of doing it selectively?’ Then, if you added any kind of fur to bodies, you’d gain a centimeter of weight everywhere, which doesn’t help. So all roads led me back to the visual-effects route.”

About the perspective and size of the Cats, Tom explained, “If a cat was standing on hind legs, what’s the difference? And it’s about two and a half to one. So everything is built two and a half to one. But then you still end up with a street that’s only as wide as you can make it in the studio — whereas if you’ve applied the two and a half rule, it would be superwide. But it was never meant to be that literal. Obviously, if we’re cats, the world would be bigger. But it also puts you back in a childlike position because, of course, when you’re a toddler, the table is higher than you are. So it has that trick of perspective. The look on people’s faces when they visited our set was one of childlike wonder.”

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Photos: Universal Pictures
Posted to: Cats, Tom Hooper

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