Most famous musicians sooner or later toy with the prospect of an acting career. Some, like Zendaya and Lady Gaga, are even able to win awards as actors. For Jason Derulo, being offered the role of Rum Tum Tugger in 2019’s movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1981 stage musical Cats seemed like the perfect realization of that dream, allowing him to sing and dance as well as act in his debut role, in a movie that had the potential to change the world, as Derulo explained.
“For the longest time, I was trying to figure out what’s the perfect first role. Cats checked all the boxes. You can’t get a more star-studded cast, you don’t get a more respected director than an Oscar winner, and Rum Tum Tugger is a legacy role, a standout character in a classic musical.”
Derulo’s reasoning is hard to argue with. The movie adaption of Cats featured a dazzling star cast consisting of James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, and Francesca Hayward. The director of the movie, Tom Hooper, had won an academy award for The King’s Speech. The recent advancements in CGI also made it seem like a photo-realistic rendition of cats singing and dancing like humans in the movie could be pulled off effectively. Derulo’s faith in the project even survived watching the much-reviled trailer for the film.
“When I saw the trailer, I thought it looked unbelievable. Like, I know some people saw it and they were terrified, but I got chills down my spine! I thought it was gonna change the world.”
Even if Cats had performed well with critics and audiences instead of getting torn apart in reviews, it is difficult to imagine how a movie about dancing cats was ever supposed to change the world. As it were, the version of Cats that people got to see in theaters found few takers, and was additionally lambasted by the creator of the original stage musical, Webber himself, who bluntly pointed out that the film’s biggest failing was an unwillingness to involve the artists who had made the stage version of the story successful.
“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 whole thing was ridiculous.”
It would be unfair to lay the failure of Cats at the feet of the movie’s actors, who did what they could with the material they were given. As far as Derulo is concerned, there are no regrets about his association with the doomed project, and the performer is already looking forward to being a part of the next big project that will help him grow as an artist.
“You can’t wait for the perfect moment, cause that might not be your moment. So you’ve just got to go for gold. That’s how I’ll move forward.”
These quotes come direct from Telegraph UK.