Did Hugh Jackman turn down a role in the Cats movie? 'Umm… yep'
The 51-year-old Australian hunk (and seasoned musical veteran) has revealed to The Daily Beast he turned down a role in Tom Hooper's widely panned big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Weber's feline-themed stage play, which went on to receive some of the worst critical reviews of 2019, flop at the international box office, and score six overall Golden Raspberry Awards for its achievements in bad filmmaking.
"Umm… yep," Jackman responded when the publication asked if he'd been offered a part in the production, which featured an ensemble cast (including James Corden, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Francesca Hayward, and Derulo) playing the titular outsider critters as they compete on the streets of London for a chance at a better life.
"You know, Tom rang me early on because we did Les Mis together, and there were a couple of options there based on availability and time, and I really… yeah, I just wasn’t available at the time," he continued when asked about which character his former collaborator wanted him to portray.
Speaking on the man who directed him towards an Oscar nomination for 2012's Les Misérables, Jackman added that he's "in the theater, man," and doesn't "want to be in the business of bashing people — or jumping on bandwagons" before he sees the film, which he assured he hasn't.
The same can also be said for Cats star Dench, who admitted earlier this year that she hadn't even seen the critically maligned film, though she nonetheless admitted her delight over receiving a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress for the project.
"I was aware of the response only slightly, I think people had been rather kind to me," Dench told BBC Radio 4's Front Row host John Wilson in March of the film's reception. "I'm not big on reading reviews, anyway.... you kind of know, yourself, about something, I think."