The Oscar winner stars in the movie adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage classic alongside stars including Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo and Taylor Swift, and told U.K. talk show host Graham Norton she was surprised when she saw her character Old Deuteronomy - which is traditionally a male role - brought to life.
"It came as a surprise, but it's still a clapped-out old cat," she laughed during Friday's (December 13) instalment of "The Graham Norton Show". "I thought I knew the kind of cat I was, but when I saw the film, I realised I had turned into Carpet - a cat I once had that was a huge orange bruiser!"
British actor Idris Elba also stars in the movie, and when asked about rumours of him being cast as the first black actor to play James Bond, Judi revealed she teased him with the possibility while on set.
"Well, of course! Why ever not?" she said. "I knew he was up for it and in 'Cats' I had the line to him, 'You'll never get to the Heaviside Layer,' but, during rehearsals, I said, 'You'll never get to MI6.' "
She added, "But, I think he might."
"Cats" debuts in theatres 20 December.