Judi Dench is delighted with her Razzie nomination for Cats

The awards honour the worst films and performances of the past year

Judi Dench Cats

Judi Dench has reacted to her nod at this year’s Golden Raspberry awards – colloquially known as the “Razzies” – for her performance in 2019’s Cats.

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The awards were founded in 1981 to recognise the worst films and performances of the year, with past nominees including Helen Mirren, Jamie Foxx and Anthony Hopkins.

Tom Hooper’s Cats has swept the nominations at this year’s ceremony, with nods for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actress (Francesca Hayward), Worst Supporting Actor (James Corden) and Worst Screenplay.

Dench is nominated alongside her Cats co-star Rebel Wilson in the Worst Supporting Actress category, something which was brought to her attention in a recent interview on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.

When presenter John Wilson informed her of the nod, the iconic actress took it in her stride.

She said: “Oh, am I? Oh, very very good. As the worst supporting actor? Oh, well that would be good. As far as I know, that’s a first.”

Dench had previously been cast as Grizabella in the original stage production of Cats in the 1980s, but had to drop out at the last minute after she snapped her achilles tendon.

In the film adaptation, Jennifer Hudson took on the Grizabella role, with Dench instead playing Old Deuteronomy.

Speaking of the critically panned movie, Dench said: “I didn’t read anything about the response to it, nor have I seen it. I’ve only seen a picture of myself.

“I once had a cat [who looked] like that, called Carpet, and I didn’t realise I was playing Carpet. I thought I was playing a kind of, you know, clapped out mangy old cat who was at the end of her life. I didn’t realise I was this wonderful show cat!

“I was aware of the response only slightly, I think people had been rather kind to me. I’m not big on reading the news anyway. You kind of know, yourself, about something I think.”

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Cats made a substantial loss at the box office and failed to become a major awards contender, although it did bag a single Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song.