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Moviemaking is demanding, no matter which side of the camera you’re on. So just as director Tom Hooper faced the ultimate challenge of making humanoid cats as silver screen ready as possible for the feature film adaptation to Cats, his cast had some hurdles of their own to clear.
Which leads us to the story of how one of the film’s stars, Rebel Wilson, lost eight pounds over four days; all thanks to the fact that the temperature on set was cranked pretty high. How hot are we talking here? Wilson revealed the conditions she and her fellow Cats stars danced in during a recent interview, within the following anecdote:
I lost eight pounds, shooting my number, in four days. One, because there's a lot of physicality... but also, they heated up the set very high, to almost 100 Fahrenheit, so that we could never cool down. These people are like, the best dancers in the whole world, so they can't cool their muscles down or they could get an injury and they'd be out of the film... So they'd heat up the set like a sauna so we would never cool down, but made it pretty uncomfortable.
While the costumes on set weren’t the fur laden finished product you see in all of the promotional materials for Cats, the mo-cap suits used by the actors surely aren’t much more forgiving in what they’re made out of.
So when you mix covering your full body in a fabric that doesn’t breathe with a room cranked to the temperature of a hot summer day, there’s going to be a lot of sweat.
But also, as mentioned by Rebel Wilson in her interview with ET Online, there was bound to be a lot of sweating on the set of Cats to begin with, as the dance moves plotted by Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler were surely feats of wizardry.
That sort of work takes a lot of energy, and that converts into sweat no matter the temperature. When the extremes of A-class effort and a literally hot set combine, they become something that will obviously lead to a change in anyone’s figure. It’s just science.
Still, the discomfort felt by Rebel Wilson, or anyone on the set of Cats, looks to have paid off. While the film is set to open against Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and has a modest opening weekend in the cards, the money and effort put into bringing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage play to life is something to truly behold.