Rebel Wilson Reveals How She Prepared for ‘Cats’ (Hint: It Involved Licking Sir Ian McKellen)

When people first saw the trailer for the forthcoming film, Cats, they had a lot of questions. We, for one, just wanted to know how an actor prepares to play a feline. When we recently caught up with Rebel Wilson to discuss her Match partnership, she happily let the cat out of the bag (sorry, had to).

“We had something called cat school, which was really fun. You’re all together on the floor pretending to be cats. I did [my training] with some of the amazing dancers and Sir Ian McKellen,” the 39-year-old Isn’t It Romantic Star explained.

Wilson went on to say that cat school really pushed the cast’s personal boundaries: “It was just surreal at some points because you’re like, ‘Oh, my God. I can’t believe we’re doing this.’ And you’re licking—well not full on licking people—but nuzzling people and crawling on people. It was really interesting.” Um, yeah.

Since she mentioned esteemed actor Sir Ian McKellen, we couldn’t help but wonder if Wilson had to lick and/or nuzzle the Oscar nominee during cat school. 

“I’m pretty sure I did lick him at some point, but I might have licked his clothes so it wasn’t weird,” she admitted. “I didn’t go up to him and lick his face or anything.”

After cat school concluded for the afternoon, Wilson says she and the rest of the Cats cast (try saying that ten times fast) would just go about their business like they hadn’t just licked one another. “It was so funny because we’d do cat school and then we’d just go to the cafeteria on the Warner Bros. lot and just have a nice lunch. [We had to] pretend to be normal and not like we just rolled around on the floor with everybody,” she joked.

We’re guessing that’s easier said than done.

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Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.