Taylor Swift pounced on writing new ‘Cats’ song with Andrew Lloyd Webber

Ultimate cat lady Taylor Swift enrolled in the purr-fect training for her upcoming role in “Cats.” She got to go to “cat school.”

The “Lover” singer’s wildest dreams came true while preparing for Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical, in which she stars as the swishy-tailed feline Bombalurina. She initially met Hooper when she screen-tested for his 2012 musical, “Les Miserables,” but didn’t get the part.

“Basically, when I was approached this time it was a straight-up offer, and then I started going in for rehearsals and they have this behavioral studies class called cat school,” Swift told Apple Music’s Beats 1 host Zane Lowe in a segment that aired Wednesday.

“You go in and watch these videos of cats,” Swift added. “You watch them walking. You watch them sensing things. You learn facts about them anatomically, biologically, how do they sense things, what’s their gaze like … it’s amazing.”

While cat school certainly has its own catnip-like appeal, Swift said she was drawn to the CGI project because she always wanted to work with Hooper, who records and films vocals live. “Les Miserables,” which starred Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman, won three Academy Awards including supporting actress for Hathaway.

Swift, who credits musical theater with getting her into “performing as a medium,” also got to co-write with Webber “Beautiful Ghosts,” a new song for the film.

“So it turns out when I meet him, he’s the best. He’s got more cats than I have. He’s obsessed with them. He has the best gossip I have ever heard. We’re just bros immediately,” Swift said of the Tony Award-winning composer.

Webber apparently wrote a new melody for the film, which he unexpectedly revealed to Swift in a rehearsal at his home, but had no lyrics for the instrumental piece.

So Swift pounced with a topline: “I knew exactly what this character would say if she was going to sing a song. I knew where in the movie they were going to put this song,” she said, revealing that “Beautiful Ghosts” will follow the heart-wrenching ballad “Memory.”

“I’d been kind of gathering data but I had no idea what the song was like. I didn’t have sheet music. I knew that it would be after Jennifer Hudson sings ‘Memory.’ I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if you have this little young kitten reflecting off what she had just heard,” Swift said.

“What if you’ve got this little kitten that’s been deserted and kind of tossed out by her owners, and she’s had to wander around the streets of London wondering where she’s going to find a home? Wouldn’t she be thinking, ‘At least you had those amazing memories’?”

Swift then shared some lyrics for the song, which at one point riffs off Webber’s previous work with the line: “And the memories were lost long ago, but at least you have beautiful ghosts.”

Universal Pictures will release “Cats” on Dec. 20. The film also stars Hudson, James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson and Francesca Hayward.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP investigate possible drowning at Pigeon Lake: Man and woman found dead on shore

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

Red Deer Region Highland Dancing Association to participate in national dance-a-thon

Central Albertan dancers have missed performing during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the… Continue reading

Maskwacis teen charged in 10-year-old boy’s death

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

Still no mandatory masks in Red Deer

While a growing number of Alberta communities have made masks mandatory, the… Continue reading

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

69 salmonella cases in B.C. linked to red onions, province’s CDC says

VANCOUVER — The BC Centre for Disease Control is warning people in… Continue reading

Puncher’s chance: Fighting is up during unique NHL playoffs

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ season was hanging by a thread from one… Continue reading

Quebec festivals organizers look to innovate as restrictions loosened

Montreal has been having its quietest summer in recent memory, as COVID-19… Continue reading

COVID-19 outbreaks over in federal prisons, staff preparing for ‘new normal’

COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada’s federal prisons have been declared over, and staff… Continue reading

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

OTTAWA — The federal government will match all individual donations from Canadians… Continue reading

Protests in Beirut amid public fury over massive blast

BEIRUT — Police fired tear gas and clashed with demonstrators in Lebanon’s… Continue reading

Most Read