Melissa McCarthy and director Marielle Heller were so impressed with the cat costar in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” they think he should get an Oscar.
The black-and-white cat who plays McCarthy’s ailing kitty named Jersey in the film is “the Marlon Brando of cats,” according to Heller.
“I heard there are actually Academy Awards for pets. I can’t remember what they are called, but I call them the Cat Oscars and this cat should win. His name was Towne. For this movie we had to have a cat actor, so the trainer said, ‘Well this is our best performing cat.’ So how good can this cat be? She’s a he by the way. His character Jersey is a girl. He does that very well too,” Heller explained to Deadline when the film premiered at the Telluride film festival in September.
McCarthy was also in awe of the cat’s performance: “The first time I take him, or her , whatever to the vet, while we are at the counter he sneezed. And I look at him and literally thought, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you pretending to be sick?’ Then Marielle cuts and I looked to the camera and said to myself, ‘This cat is OUT-ACTING me!'”
Considering that McCarthy (who was previously nominated for her supporting role in “Bridesmaids”) is getting some serious Oscar buzz for the role, that’s some kitty acting!
In the film, McCarthy plays late writer Lee Israel, who started forging notes from famous authors to afford the vet bills for her beloved cat.
SPOILER: Does the cat die in the film? Yes, it’s an elderly cat and does, unfortunately, pass away. Naturally, Lee (McCarthy) is overcome by her cat’s death in an emotional scene.