Jellicle cats have a long history—and not just because they have nine lives. Since the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical first bowed in London in 1981, there have been seemingly innumerable productions around the world—from the 18-year-long original Broadway run to national tours, London revivals, productions in Japan, Vienna, Germany, China, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, and more and now the 2019 Cats movie. With that long lineage, there have been hundreds of actors who have Jellicle roots. Playbill caught up with two such actors to uncover behind-the-scenes secrets from the film set, meeting Lloyd Webber, the new focus of this latest adaptation, how the CGI worked, and what Cats is really about.
Jacob Brent played Mr. Mistoffelees on Broadway, the West End, and in the filmed stage production of the show, and Robert Fairchild plays Munkustrap in the upcoming Tom Hooper film; the pair stopped by the Playbill studio for a chat, in the video above.
Fairchild shares how he first found out he was about to join the cast of the Tom Hooper film: "I took my dog to the vet, and I'm sitting in the car and I got a call from my agents and they're telling me that I booked it!"
Jacob Brent, played the role of Mr. Mistoffelees for eight years and is now the Musical Theatre Coordinator at James Madison University.
Tom Hooper (Les Misérables) directs the big screen take on Lloyd Webber’s musical, based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Hamilton Tony winner Andy Blankenbuehler choreographs, having previously worked on the 2016 Broadway revival.