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Judi Dench seems to suggest her Cats character is transgender in bizarre interview

Josh Milton December 12, 2019
Judi Dench as a cat

Dame Judi Dench in the Cats movie trailer. (Universal)

Overall, one of the strangest moments of pop culture in the last decade was the arrival of Cats, and the movie has gotten even weirder after actor Judi Dench revealed her different take on her feline character.

The 85-year-old is starring as Old Deuteronomy, a wise and beloved elderly cat who serves as a fatherly figure for the other felines in the original musical version.

A member of the Jellicle tribe, the role is typically played by a male actor in the stage production. But directors tapped Dench on the shoulder to play the role.

In a surreal interview with Out, Dench had a take on being asked to play the role.

“It’s glorious to have been included in it, I must say,” Dench said at a London press junket for the film on Thursday.

“[It was] nerve wracking, because all I can hear is Brian Blessed all the time in the production that I wasn’t able to be in,” she added, Blessed being the actor who played Old Deuteronomy in the West End production.

Dench explained that being cast in the role was “totally unexpected” considering that the role typically is given to a male.

“I kind of call it ‘trans Deuteronomy’, is the part for me, you know,” she said.

Uh, sure, Dench, sure.

“It was lovely, lovely to be led about and be an aged cat, very nice indeed.”

People honestly don’t know what to make of Cats

Dench’s take comes ahead of the December 20 release date for the film, based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

Baffled. Terrified. Viewers have (sometimes jokingly, but not always) recoiled in fear at the trailers dropped for Cats.

It seems seeing the star-studded cast being transmogrified into “miniature yet huge cats with human celebrity faces and sexy breasts” has been a rather confusing time for viewers.

More: cats, judi dench

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