Few films are as loathed as Cats, the star-studded, bewilderingly misjudged movie take on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s deathless feline musical. But you know who hates it more than just about anyone? Andrew Lloyd Webber. The trauma of seeing one of his most successful shows turned into one of cinema’s biggest farts was so traumatic he even bought himself a therapy dog. But it wasn’t all bad for him. After all, he got to write a song with one of today’s biggest musicians.
As per Variety, the musical theater god recently confessed at an event that he quite liked working “Beautiful Ghosts,” a new song for the movie he composed with Taylor Swift, who played the mischievous Macavity.
“It was one of the few enjoyable experiences [on the film],” Lloyd Webber admitted. “It was probably the enjoyable experience.”
Lloyd Webber called Swift, one of many of the film’s stars who somehow escaped unscathed, a “real pro,” and praised her for digging into the source: T.S. Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
“One of the things I was quite intrigued by, she got to the essence of what T.S. Eliot was about,” Lloyd Webber recalled. “It wasn’t just a lyric thrown together at all. I did enjoy working with her very, very, very much.”
So, good for him, because otherwise, it sounds like Lloyd Webber didn’t have a good time watching one of his shows massacred. He previously trashed the film to Variety. “Cats was off-the-scale all wrong,” he said back then. “There wasn’t really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. I saw it and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy.”
In the meantime, Lloyd Webber can console himself with having been a wildly successful musical impresario for the last several decades, with one of them — The Phantom of the Opera — still playing on Broadway after 33 years. Speaking of bad movie musicals…