Idris Elba can't explain the plot of 'Cats', even though he's in it

Tom Beasley
Idris Elba will portray the villainous Macavity in the 2019 film version of 'Cats'. (Credit: Universal)

Idris Elba is set to play the role of the villainous Macavity in Tom Hooper’s star-studded adaptation of Cats - but that doesn’t mean he knows what the film is about.

The star was discussing the film on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, while promoting his other bad guy role in this week’s Fast & Furious blockbuster Hobbs & Shaw.

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He revealed that his action movie co-stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham teased him about following up their macho movie by playing a cat in a musical.

It’s clear that, even given the stick he has taken, Elba isn’t actually sure what the plot of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical actually entails.

“I guess it’s about a cat? How am I doing?” the British star volunteered, when asked to explain the movie’s story by Colbert.

To his credit, the 46-year-old actor was eventually able to offer something of an explanation regarding the events of the bizarre tale.

He said: “It’s one cat’s journey toward what is essentially cat heaven.

“And the idea is we all aspire to get toward cat heaven, there’s this young cat, and she gets taken on this story about how to get into cat heaven.

“How am I doing? Does anyone know what the story is?”

Actor Idris Elba poses for photographers at a special screening of Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, in a central London cinema, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

The musical focuses on the Jellicle tribe of cats, who are in the midst of a ceremony to decide which cat will ascend to the heaven-like Heaviside Layer and subsequently be reborn into a new life.

Macavity, Elba’s character, disrupts the ceremony by kidnapping cat leader Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench) before they can make a decision as to which cat is most worthy.

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As difficult as it is to describe the world of Cats, Elba will mostly be glad to have a reprieve from the persistent rumours that he will step into James Bond’s iconic tuxedo after Daniel Craig says his goodbyes with the upcoming Bond 25.

It surfaced earlier this month that Elba was due to make a Bond quip in Hobbs & Shaw, but opted to change the line.

Hobbs & Shaw is in cinemas from 1 August, while Cats arrives on 20 December.