Bette Midler on Kitty Galore
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros Pictures
If you need a dramatic villain to take over the world, who better than Bette Midler to play her. Even as an English-speaking animal, Midler can rule in diva style. She plays the title character in the subtitle of Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.
Bette Midler Talks Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore
“Kitty Galore is an Egyptian sphinx cat,” Midler said. “She’s hairless except for a little hair on her tail. She’s very cranky because she’s been rejected by her beloved human family and she’s determined to rule the world. I came in for a number of sessions and it was really curious because when I first started it was just a sketch. As the time went on, the backgrounds of the other characters got more and more filled in. That was very, very exciting to watch. I’ve never experienced that before.”
As a professional singer, the recording sessions were a bit easier for Midler. “There are some parts of it that are quite musical. The timing is very important in this kind of work because the phrasing works with the mouth of the character. Once the mouth of the character is moving, you have to phrase along with the character that’s drawn. That is musical and if you listen to that, you can hear where the beats are skipped and where you drop a beat or when you rush and catch up a little bit. I will say that the fact that I’ve sung for a long time has really helped a lot with that. Yeah, really, really helped a lot. I don't think it helped the character but it helped me get through the sessions.”
Many actors lament the loneliness of voiceover work. That wasn’t the hardest part for Midler. “Actually it’s not just isolating. It’s a little bit lonely because it’s just you in a dark room with a sketch of a character or sometimes a filled in scene, but still you don’t work with the other actors. It’s like one long looping session, I said. It’s like oh my God, ADR for days. The real thrill I think comes from seeing the finished product.”
Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore
Director Brad Peyton wins Midler’s admiration for puling it all off. “The fact that he could keep all these balls in the air and make all these [elements] that would form into one movie, it was absolutely staggering to me. I couldn’t imagine. I couldn’t imagine how you did it because he was working with live actors, he was working with animals. There’s nothing harder than working with animals. Those animals really looked like they knew what they were doing but honestly, they’re animals. Stay, stay, stay. I worked with animals before and it’s like oh god. So the fact that he was working with live actors, live animals, they’re actually quite similar. And then the robots and the cartoons, and it all melds together and you say, ‘Well, I can’t tell which part is drawn and which part is a robot and which part is a real animal.’ I couldn’t get over it. I think it’s really an extraordinary achievement.”
Midler did not get to see her former Down and Out in Beverly Hills costar Nick Nolte, who provides the voice of a dog. “I was looking forward to seeing Nick. I really was. I haven’t seen him in a long time. He’s so sensational in this movie. He’s so wonderful, isn’t he? He is that dog. Whatever it is, he is it. He was so brilliant. He was wonderful. We all feel the same way. We have yet to meet him. If he was a dog, he would be that dog. He was wonderful.”
Red opens to theaters on October 15th.
For the trailers, posters and more movie info, go to the Red Movie Page.
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros Pictures
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