Dame Judi Dench Addresses Cats Backlash, After Musical Film Was Mauled By Critics

The Oscar-winning star has admitted she hasn't actually watched her performance as Old Deuteronomy back yet.

Dame Judi Dench has shrugged off the critical mauling Cats received upon its release last year.

The film adaptation of Cats – in which Dame Judi starred as Old Deuteronomy – was panned by critics upon its release last year, largely down to its special effects and apparent lack of plot.

However, the Oscar-winning star has admitted that while she’s yet to see the film for herself, she’s not bothered about what anyone has had to say about it.

I haven’t seen it,” she told Radio 4’s Front Row. “I didn’t read anything about the response to it, nor have I seen it, and I’ve only seen a picture of myself.”

Dame Judi Dench in Cats
Dame Judi Dench in Cats
Universal

Insisting she was impressed with how her cat character looked, Dame Judi added: “I once had a cat like [Old Deuteronomy] called Carpet – I didn’t realise I was playing Carpet, I thought I was playing a really clapped out old, mangy old cat who didn’t have much fur.

“I didn’t realise I was this wonderful show cat.”

Judi Dench pictured last year
Judi Dench pictured last year
SOPA Images via Getty Images

Since the release of Cats, a number of stars have poked fun at the backlash the film received, most notably Rebel Wilson and James Corden, who presented an award in full costume at the Oscars last month.

“As cast members of the motion picture Cats,” they said. “Nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects.”

James Corden, left, and Rebel Wilson at the Oscars
James Corden, left, and Rebel Wilson at the Oscars
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The joke received a big laugh from the audience, but was less well-received by the Visual Effects Society.

“Last night, in presenting the Academy Award for outstanding visual effects, the producers chose to make visual effects the punchline,” they said.

“The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly.”