As Old Deuteronomy says: "A cat is not a dog," but, in the eyes of movie critics, last year's Cats movie definitely was. Esteemed British actress, friend of trees, and zipline master Judi Dench wouldn't know anything about that, because, despite playing a vital role in the Tom Hooper-directed film, she still hasn't seen it.
"I didn't read anything about the response to it, nor have I seen it," the 85-year-old recently told John Wilson on BBC Radio 4's Front Row program.
"I've only seen a picture of myself [from the film]," she continued about the big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's beloved stage musical of the same name, which follows a group of misfit felines holding a contest to determine the one among them most deserving of salvation from their earthly plight. "I once had a cat [who looked] like that, called Carpet, and I didn't realize I was playing Carpet. I thought I was playing a kind of, you know, mangier cat who didn't have much fur. I didn't realize I was this wonderful show cat!"
Dench went on to explain that one of the reasons she hasn't watched the film is because she physically can't, as she's long been open about her struggle with macular degeneration, which has made it difficult for her to view movies and read.
"I was aware of the response only slightly, I think people had been rather kind to me," Dench added of the film's overwhelmingly negative response, which included scathing critical reviews, major floppage at the worldwide box office, and eight Razzie Award nominations — including one for Dench. "I'm not big on reading reviews, anyway.... you kind of know, yourself, about something, I think."
When Wilson asked Dench what she thought about her Worst Supporting Actress nod, Dench replied with delight: "Oh, am I? That would be good!" she squealed. "As far as I know, that's a first!"