Ever heard the name Louis Wain? Chances are slim that you have, but since you’re a cat lover, you’ve probably run across several of his artworks and been awed by their whimsy. Wain was a Victorian-era artist known for drawing and painting anthropomorphized cats with big eyes or felines frolicking in human ways.
Wain began sketching cats when wife Emily fell ill. The illustrations brought her smiles and sparked a whole style that made his work, if not his name, known among cat lovers even today. Though Emily passed away, Wain’s work with cats continued in many mediums, making him an extremely prolific artist in his time. While he produced piece after piece, Wain suffered from mental health battles many suspect was schizophrenia. Now, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, a biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Wain and Claire Foy as Emily, will introduce you to the man behind the cat art.
Foy Discusses Cats as Costars
Though Claire Foy won two Emmys and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of the historic Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, she wasn’t sure she wanted to star in a period biopic, telling The Los Angeles Daily News, “Like I feel like that’s not really my bag.”
But with Dr. Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, and cats as costars, how can one say no?
To capture the true essence of the feline in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, director and co-writer Will Sharpe couldn’t envision the film with computer-generated cats.
“I wanted this to feel like a human story, and also, I guess I wanted the cats to feel like cats.” Sharpe told The Los Angeles Daily News, “I wanted them to behave and be present in the movie in a truly cat-like way.
“And they offered us some really magical moments, but yeah, it’s tricky working with cats.”
“You know, the cats get many more take than the actors do,” Foy explained. “But you’re used to that. If there are children and animals on set then forget it. You’re there all day, and also, you are the least important person in the room.”
But isn’t that always the way with cats, whether it’s Hollywood or your own home? Yep, it is, and Foy realizes this of felines too, enjoying working with the cats cast in the Wain biopic.
“I loved them,” Foy shared. “I love having any sort of different energy on set. And the cats were so cute.”
Catch the feline stars and their human costars of “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain on Amazon Prime starting November 5, 2021.