James Corden, now perhaps best known for his late-night talk show, is not new to musicals. He won a Tony in 2012 for his Broadway and West End performance in the smash comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, and has starred in the film musical Into the Woods. Now in Universal Pictures’ epic musical Cats, he plays Bustopher Jones, the epicure and glutton of the Jellicles.
Watch the film’s Bustopher Jones featurette
Despite his past experience, Corden’s work on Cats proved quite different than his previous work on any musicals. “In Into the Woods, parts of the performances were live, and parts were pre-recorded,” Corden says. “Cats was entirely live performances, but the only instrument that played alongside our singing was the piano at the time. While we knew they would add additional orchestral music into it, we had to feel it and really commit to singing, even without those added instruments.”
Bustopher is a dandy, an impeccably groomed cat with a taste for the finer things in life, including great food. “Bustopher Jones is a big, fat cat of St. James,” Corden says. “He knows he’s not skin and bones and he owns it. He’s very posh and extravagant, but equally savage in his pursuit of food. He’s always looking for a good time. He’s also very light on his feet and has a real finesse about him. [Director] Tom Hooper and I thought we should find as many moments of comedy as we could for the character. I told Tom that I wanted to be as physical in the role as possible and Tom agreed, saying he never wanted Bustopher to be still.”
Having grown up loving theater himself, Corden saw ooper’s passion and commitment shine through his directing on this film. “Tom understands the spectacle of Cats, which revolves around the dances and performances,” Corden says. “There were certain scenes that many directors would have opted to use CGI, but Tom was completely committed to the notion of the scenes absolutely happening in the moment. This film combines performers putting on a show, which is one of the oldest forms of entertainment, with ground-breaking technology, which was incredibly exciting to be a part of. It’s completely original and that’s what people want to see. There’s nothing else like it and there never will be.”
Cats stars James Corden as Bustopher Jones, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, Idris Elba as Macavity, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Ian McKellen as Gus The Theatre Cat, Taylor Swift as Bombalurina, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots and introduces Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward in her feature film debut as Victoria.
Now playing in cinemas, Cats is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/uipmoviesph/; Twitter at https://twitter.com/uipmoviesph and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/uipmoviesph/. Connect with the hashtag #CatsMovie