Universal PicturesToday, you can see Taylor Swift in her biggest movie role yet: She plays Bombalurina in the new movie musical CATS, based on the long-running Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Taylor says the film gives her a chance to play the bad girl opposite Idris Elba‘s character, Macavity the Mystery Cat.

She’s sort of one of the bad cats,” Taylor says of Bombalurina. “In my head, I categorize the cast as either good cats or bad cats…and Macavity is the baddest bad cat.”

“We kind of are mobsters in this world,” she continues. “We sort of…take what we want. We’re not abiding by any cat laws and just sorta lying, stealing, cheating our way through life. And Bombalurina is this sort of right-hand man for Macavity.”

It’s Bombalurina’s job to deliver one of the musical’s best-known songs, in which she describes what a cunning criminal Macavity is.

“The song ‘Macavity,’ is very mischievous and very slinky and…it feels a little bit like a cabaret number,” says Taylor. “It’s just a very fun song to sing and really fun to dance to, and we’ve got countless dancers that are a part of it. And it’s a big, huge moment. And I’m really stoked to get to be in that moment.”

CATS’ most enduring song is “Memory,” sung in the movie by Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella. Taylor, who co-wrote the Golden Globe-nominated song “Beautiful Ghosts” with Lloyd Webber for the film, explains why the composer’s work is so enduring.

“It’s so unabashedly emotional.  It’s so unapologetically emotional,” she says. “There’s absolutely no artifice in front of it. The emotion is at the forefront of what you’re hearing. And I think that’s really the trick to what has made his music so timeless.”

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