Hugh Jackman turned down the opportunity to appear in Cats.
Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, starring Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, and Rebel Wilson, was savaged by critics and audiences upon its release in December.
But during a new interview with The Daily Beast to support his HBO movie Bad Education, Jackman revealed his good friend Hooper, whom he worked with on 2012 movie musical Les Miserables, had approached him about a role. However, he had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.
When the interviewer asked, “Did you turn down a role in Cats?” and he cautiously replied, “Umm… yep.”
When pushed for which cat he was approached to play, Jackman said, “You know, Tom rang me early on because we did Les Mis together, and there were a couple of options there based on availability and time, and I really… yeah, I just wasn’t available at the time.”
The reporter then asked if he was glad about his decision, given the ridicule the movie has received, the Australian actor stuck by his friend and refused to poke fun at the picture.
“I’m in the theatre, man, and I don’t want to be in the business of bashing people – or jumping on bandwagons. I haven’t seen it, and Tom Hooper’s one of the great filmmakers we have,” the 51-year-old stated.
Elsewhere in the interview, the X-Men star was asked if he would be interested in returning to the character of Wolverine now that Fox and Disney have merged, opening up more possibilities for the X-Men universe.
“If seven years ago that had happened I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah!’ but I knew it was the right time for me to leave the party – not just for me, but for the character. Somebody else will pick it up and run with it. It’s too good of a character not to,” he commented.
Jackman made his final appearance as Wolverine in 2017’s Logan.
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