Home » Cats Are Finally Having a Big Hollywood Meow-Ment

Cats Are Finally Having a Big Hollywood Meow-Ment

by UNN Feed

Cats, call your agents. Top creatives are increasingly giving the notoriously tough-to-train pets dramatic roles in live-action projects.

In Steven Zaillian’s acclaimed Netflix limited series Ripley, a Maine Coon dubbed Lucio has been called “a main character.” In Paramount’s upcoming A Quiet Place: Day One, Lupita Nyong’o plays a woman struggling to escape an alien invasion with her tuxedo cat Frodo. Last fall, Disney’s The Marvels co-starred a deadly super-powered ginger cat Goose. In Matthew Vaughn’s spy comedy Argylle, which has just started streaming on Apple TV+, Bryce Dallas Howard is on the run from assassins with her Scottish Fold Alfie. 

This streak is unusual, and likely unprecedented. Dogs get leading roles in a live-action movies all the time. Cats get leading roles in animated movies all the time. But cats in live action is a whole other ball of yarn. Occasionally a film will put a cat front and center (such as Disney’s 1965 film That Darn Cat and the Coen brothers’ 2013 dramedy Inside Llewyn Davis), but it’s rare. That’s partly because cats have long had a reputation for mucking up shots and testing even the most patient of filmmakers (a notoriety that is perhaps unfair, as will be explained later). So cats have largely been treated more like props than characters; relegated to brief appearances for a specific effect — a scare, a laugh, or as a character accessory. When a hero is called to action, their cat gets left behind on the couch. Until recently.

In an early draft of Argylle, Vaughn says his novelist Elly (Howard) likewise left her cat at home before embarking on an adventure with superspy Aidan (Sam Rockwell). “Then I saw a Taylor Swift documentary where she has her cat in a cat-pack and I remember thinking it was a crazy image,” Vaughn recalls. “I thought having the three of them going on an adventure together would be fantastic. I was nervous about it being a cat,…

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