In the movie, Dench, 85, plays a cat named Old Deuteronomy, the leader of a cat tribe named Jellicles. Each year Old Deuteronomy, traditionally played by a man, chooses a cat to climb to the Heaviside Layer to be reborn into a new life.
Dame Judi Dench arriving at the Wildlife Ball fundraiser at the Dorchester in London. (Photo by Ian West / PA Images via Getty Images)
"It's glorious to be included (in the movie), I must say. (It was) stressful, because all I can hear is Brian Blessed all the time in the production I couldn't participate in," said Dench, referring to the actor who played the Old Man. Deuteronomy in the production she had to abandon.
Because the character is often portrayed as a man, Dench called her a "totally unexpected" cast.
"I kind of call it 'trans-deuteronomy'," she explained. "(This) is the part for me, you know."
The Oscar winner added: "It was lovely, lovely to be guided and to be an old cat, really cool."
Tom Hooper's $ 100 million adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical has been bombarded at the box office, receiving just $ 6.5 million in first weekend ticket sales. Critics didn't like it much better, because the movie got an 18% Rotten Tomatoes score.