One of the most memorable moments from the first “Cats” trailer features Bombalurina — a self-assured feline played by Taylor Swift — lounging in a hammock as she sprinkles a bedazzled can of catnip over the Jellicle Ball.
On Monday morning, prior to the world premiere of the Universal Pictures release adapted from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s hit stage musical, Swift told Variety how the trippy scene made it into “Cats.”
Earlier this year, director Tom Hooper flew to Nashville to show Swift footage from the film, which was shot on a London soundstage with live singing and uses “digital fur technology” to transform human actors into cats. At the meeting, Swift’s dad, Scott, had a burst of inspiration, suggesting that Hooper add a montage involving all the cats going wild after consuming too much captnip. And the rest is what we assume will be cinematic history.
“Cats” opens in theaters on Dec. 20. Here’s the full story in Swift’s own words.
Taylor Swift: “It’s an amazing thing. Tom Hooper flew to Nashville to show us the demo of what we would look like as cats, which I still think is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. And you know how we’re going to have tails added and ears that move and whiskers and all that stuff?
He comes into the management office and my mom and dad are there, and he’s sitting down with my whole team and he’s doing this demo.
My dad is the most social, friendly man in the world. He has lots of ideas. When I was a kid, I’d have these meetings and I needed a parental chaperone. My dad would always, in the middle of the meeting, have an idea he’d want to tell people about. I’d be like: ‘Dad, Dad stop!’
And so in the middle of this meeting, Dad just pipes up and says, ‘Hey, I got an idea. What if you had a scene where they are all at the Jellicle Ball and they all get catnipped so they all just start going crazy?’
Tom Hooper goes, ‘What’s catnipped?’
All of us are like, ‘You don’t know what catnip is?’ We start pulling up all these YouTube videos of cats on catnip.
Tom looks at Dad and goes, ‘That’s going to be in the movie. That’s exactly what we’re going to do.’ So my dad walks around going, ‘Hey, I’m the reason there’s catnip in the scene.’
For the first time, one of his mid-meeting bursts of inspiration has really turned into something. It’s a really good moment for my dad.”