Idris Elba has already taken a lot of slack for transforming into a feline to play Macavity in Universal’s live-action take in “Cats,” and Stephen Colbert really threw him under the bus on Monday night by asking him to explain the movie’s plot.
“I guess it’s about … a cat? How am I doing?” the British actor replied, before mumbling that it’s a “classic” based on an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical while sounding like he was coughing up a furball trying to find the right words.
“It’s one cat’s journey toward what is essentially cat heaven,” Elba ad-libbed, finally getting into his groove. “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?” he asked the “Late Show” audience.
Colbert said that was the “best explanation” he had heard of the plot ever, but he didn’t let him off the hook there. He then asked Elba about going to “cat school,” in which Elba said he had to learn from an instructor how to move and act like a cat.
“Cats prowl, and it’s one shoulder in front of the other,” the “Luther” star demonstrated. “And then she would say to you, what’s that noise?!?” Colbert then darts his head like a pro. Take that James Corden!
Elba said earlier in the clip he was even teased by his “Hobbs & Shaw” co-stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham when they learned the project he was doing immediately after a brawny “Fast & Furious” movie would be a Tom Hooper musical of “Cats.”
Watch Elba’s segment on Colbert above.