Since the premiere of CatsIn December 2019, Andrew Lloyd Webber had no itch to show his utter contempt for Hollywood’s film adaptation of his multi-award winning full-length musical.
Although the film brings together stars of music and acting such as Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellene and Idris Elba, all of them incarnating “human-sized” felines, Cats received fierce criticism and was a failure in terms of box office.
It even had a director like Tom Hooper, recognized for movies like The king’s speech and The danish girl. But the film ended up being such a giant mistake that Lloyd Webber, author of the seven Tony Award-winning work, bought a dog that functioned as a therapeutic companion to cope with trauma during the pandemic.
Now, however, the 73-year-old composer assures that rescue something from that catastrophic experience: write Beautiful Ghosts con Taylor Swift, original song made for the movie.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, disappointed in the movie but delighted with Taylor Swift.
Swift, a true professional
The British playwright and producer attended the Legit! The Road Back to Broadway, an event organized by the site Variety and which also featured figures from the commercial theater circuit such as Beanie Feldstein and Sharon D. Clarke, and directors such as Jerry Zaks (The Music Man).
“It was one of the few enjoyable experiences,” said Lloyd Webber. “It was probably ‘the only’ pleasant experience”He added, as if to make clear how bad he had as author of the music and executive producer of the film.
Swift wrote the lyrics for Beautiful Ghosts on the music created by Lloyd Webber. It was nominated as “best original song” at the Golden Globes and as “best song for visual media” at the Grammys, basically the only distinction the film received beyond the Razzies -the awards that distinguish the worst of cinema-, where Cats swept.
“A true professional”; that’s how Lloyd Webber defined Taylor Swift. Photo John Marshall / John Marshall / AFP
“We sat around the piano, I played a melody … It was a joy. She is a true professionalLloyd Webber recalled. And he maintained that he noticed the professionalism of the American singer in terms of the time it took to delve into the original material.
It should be remembered that Cats It is based on the collection of poems Old Possum’s Book of Practical Catsby TS Eliot, published in 1939. “One of the things that intrigued me the most was that got to the core of what TS Eliot was“Said Lloyd Webber. “It wasn’t just a letter thrown away. I really, really, really enjoyed working with her, “he remarked.
The therapeutic puppy
Lloyd Webber highlighted “another great consequence” of making the film version of Cats: your Havanese puppy -Cuba’s national dog, a small and companion breed-, which according to him, loves to go to the theater.
In a recent interview with Variety, the director confessed that bought it because it was “emotionally damaged”. Apparently, the puppy accompanies him even on airplanes as a ‘therapy dog’.
“The airline told me: ‘Can you show that you really need it?’ And I said: ‘Yes, Look what Hollywood did to my musical Cats‘. Then the authorization came with a note that said: ‘No medical report required’“, he ironized in that same note.
In the event of Variety, Lloyd Webber assured despite the bad experience with Cats, he likes the idea of adapting other musicals to the big screen. And that this misstep does not necessarily affect other transferable musicals such as Starlight Express O Sunset Boulevard.
In addition, he recalled other adaptations of his works to the cinema that had some success What Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera and Avoid.
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Andrew Lloyd Webber said the only thing he enjoyed about the Cats adaptation was recording with Taylor Swift