Cats Star Judi Dench Had A Purr-fect Response To Her Razzie Award Nomination

Judi Dench in Cats
(Image credit: (Universal))

To counteract the prestige of Oscar season, the Golden Raspberry Awards were created to annually celebrate the worst achievement in movies. And as you can imagine, this year’s Razzies is going to be a big night for Tom Hooper’s fever dream musical, Cats. Oscar winner and seven-time nominee Judi Dench has been nominated for a Razzie Award. Check out her purr-fect response to the honor:

Oh am I? Oh very, very good. As the worst supporting actor. [chuckles] That would be good. As far as I know that's a first.

Judi Dench sounds like she’s just tickled to be nominated at the anti-Oscars. Considering the actress has over a twenty-year history in the framework of award season, I bet she doesn’t mind at all that she’s being poked fun of for once. Dench played a CGI female-human hybrid character named Old Deuteronomy who literally looks into the camera at the end of Cats to say “A cat is not a dog” in the film’s epic finale. That’s some startling revelations to reveal on film.

And when BBC’s Front Row asked the actress if she’d actually seen the love-to-hate disaster that is Cats here’s what she said:

No, I haven't seen [Cats]. ... I didn’t read anything about the response to it, nor have I seen it. I’ve only seen a picture of myself [from the movie]. I once had a cat like that, called Carpet, and I didn’t realize that I was playing Carpet. I thought I was playing a kind of, you know, mangy old cat who didn’t have much fur who was at the end of her life. I didn’t realize I was this wonderful show cat.

JUDI! These responses just keep getting more and more adorable. Apparently the upcoming Artemis Fowl star hasn’t really read anything about the response to Cats. She has no idea it's been called an “a horror and an endurance test," “cinematic lunacy,” and “a half-digested hairball of a movie." Okay, maybe that’s for the better…

It’s also interesting that Judi Dench actually had no idea how her cat character would look. Old Deuteronomy had this grand fur coat when she thought she’d have old mangy fur. Considering all the CGI talk surrounding Tom Hooper’s film, perhaps her look was changed and altered during post-production too.

Judi Dench does have a solid reason why she hasn’t read the Cats reviews, though. The 85-year-old actress has an eye condition called macular degeneration that prevents her from reading reviews. She continued with these words:

I was aware of the response only slightly, I think people had been rather kind to me. [laughs] I'm not big on reading reviews anyway. You kind of know yourself about something, I think.

Here’s hoping she didn’t hear Ricky Gervais’ bleeped-out comments about her Cats role at this year’s Golden Globes. Last month, Cats ended its domestic run after eight weeks in theaters with just $27 million in earnings. The movie was made on a production budget of $95 million and made itself $74 million worldwide. Big loss for Universal.

At one time the studio had dreams for Cats to enter the Oscar race – namely for Taylor Swift’s original song “Beautiful Ghosts." Once the response hit, the title was pulled from Universal’s “For Your Consideration” page.

Judi Dench is nominated for a Razzie alongside Jessica Chastain for X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Cassi Davis for A Madea Family Funeral, Fenessa Pineda for Rambo: Last Blood, and fellow Cats actor Rebel Wilson. Cats tied with Madea and Rambo for eight nominations.

Despite many Los Angeles gatherings being cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, the Razzies are still on for tonight, March 14 and will be televised for the first time on the Comedy Dynamics Network. (Update: Nope! That didn't last long. Just hours after this March 14 post, the Razzies event was either cancelled or postponed, the organizers weren't sure what to do after the mayor of Los Angeles shut down city-owned venues where more than 50 people could gather.)

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.