In Cats, the upcoming filming adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical also called Cats, the character of Macavity serves as one of the story’s main antagonists. Of course, in order to understand who Macavity is and what role he could possibly play in the Cats story, a person would need to understand precisely what that story is. And it’s not like the first teaser trailer for the film did anything to help, as it mostly set the Internet on fire right before this year’s Comic-Con officially began. Hell, not even Idris Elba, who plays Macavity in the film, knows what Cats is about.
At least, that seemed to be the nature of his comments on Monday’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert, during which the talk show host asked Elba point-blank about the film’s plot. “Wow, what a way to throw me under the bus, then,” he told Colbert. “It’s a classic. It’s a big musical. Andrew Lloyd Webber. I guess it’s about a cat.” When the host suggested the musical was “maybe [about] more than one,” Elba asked, “How am I doing?”
However, with some perseverance, the Hobbs & Shaw actor actually got it right. “It’s one cat’s journey towards what is, essentially, cat heaven. The idea is that we all aspire to get to cat heaven. There’s this young cat and she gets taken on this story about how to get to cat heaven. Or, what you should do to cat heaven,” he said. Of course, as accurate as this longer response was, Elba still wasn’t entirely sure. “How am I doing? Does anyone know what the story is?”
Speaking of Hobbs & Shaw, the upcoming Fast and Furious spinoff was the last thing that Elba filmed before heading to the set of Cats. As soon as co-stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham found out, they teased him relentlessly. “This was their favorite thing to do as I walked on set,” he recalled. “We’re doing this big fight scene. I’m walking in looking all bravado and they’d be like, ‘Hey Idris, what are you doing next?’ And the crew would be like, ‘What are you doing next?'” Explaining the plot of Cats, that’s what!