Actors and cats seem to go together, and that’s not just because there was a long-running Broadway musical called Cats. Actors, like cats, can be mercurial, mysterious and versatile. Cats are animals that seem to have a rich inner life similar to an actor who has to draw on his or her experience, thoughts, and attitudes to create a role. Actors, similar to cats, tend to love the night life, and not only perform at night but may go out to a party afterwards, so an actor and a cat are likely to keep a similar sleeping schedule. A cat has to be quick on its feet just as an actor has to be adaptable in unexpected circumstances such as another actor flubbing lines or filming in uncomfortable locations.
It is no wonder that many actors not only have cats but are enthusiastic advocates of the feline species. Jesse Eisenberg who portrayed Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg in the film Social Network spoke effusively about his love of cats as part of a New Yorker Festival. He sent a film from Hawaii where he was vacationing with Mr. Trunkles, a large white and black cat who reclined throughout the film clip and blinked appreciatively at Eisenberg’s eloquent praise of not only Mr. Truffles but cats in general. As Eisenberg spoke, he kept holding up handwritten signs conveying secret messages such as, “He (the cat) is making me say this,” and then declared that cats are the greatest species on Earth. Eisenberg described the day he found Mr. Truffles eating out of the dumpster in Astoria Queens and complemented the feline on his positive outlook on life. In fact, Eisenberg suggested that the only reason he has friends come to his house is they want to see Mr. Trunkles, which demonstrates Eisenberg’s has the self-effacing humility typical of a cat owner.
It’s amazing how many people seem surprised that masculine types enjoy the company of cats, but nonetheless, people were amazed to see John Hamm, aka Don Draper of Mad Men proclaiming his love of the feline species on Comedy Central. He wore he wore a t-shirt with a tabby sporting sunglasses and declared, “I love cats.” He also said that while dogs are man’s best friends, cats are the best cuddle buddies. He then gave an eloquent tribute to cats, all kinds of cats including angry cats, grumpy cats, cats with top hats and 401(k)s. When asked why cats need 401(k)s, Hamm responded that they have nine lives. so they need lots of life insurance. He then gave a Tumblr photo tribute to the phenomenon of the New York bodega cats.
Two actors who have been honored with a position on Catster’s Sexy Guys who love cats list are Ian Somerhalder of the Vampire Diaries and James Franco.
Somerhalder appeared in an Instagram photo of a huge striped orange cat he adopted from a shelter. The cat was labeled as feral and not friendly, but the photo of the cuddly cat with the A-list actor belied this characterization. He declared that the cat Somalia is one of the most loving animals on the planet and made a statement that animal shelters should be careful about how they label animals incorrectly because it can prevent good pets from being adopted.
James Franco is known for his tough roles in This Is the End and 127 Hours. In an interview with Ellen Degeneres, he discussed his lifelong love of cats and showed a family photo with every member of the family holding a cat. The talk show host noted that not all of the cats in the photos looked happy nor did some of the people holding them while Franco was quick to point out that the cats he and his brother were holding seem definitely content. Franco played the villainous character in Homefront who stole black cats. In real life, he adopted the twin black actor cats and has photographed himself with them on social media. James Franco revealed a calendar which featured the star in various stages of undress posing with felines.
Robert Downey Jr. unwittingly became a cat lover after adopting some strays that were living outside his house. At first, the Ironman star declared he was adamantly opposed to taking in these cats, but now he says he doesn’t know what he would do without them. It looks like Downey has made the full conversion into the cat lovers brotherhood.
Few can forget the iconic scene in the Godfather with Marlon Brando calmly petting a cat while conducting the regular business of a Mafia boss. Fellow Godfather star and consummate actor Al Pacino declared that learned something about shaping a role from the cat he worked with in the film Manglehorn. The movie is about lonely locksmith pining away for a woman used to love named Clara and contemplating a new love interest with the bank teller named Dawn. Much of his life and love is imaginary, and he spends his days fixing locks and doting on a cat. The film creates an alternative to the stereotype of the lonely eccentric cat lady and presents Pacino’s character as a solitary cat gentleman. Pacino, who says that he loves animals and has cats and dogs at home, says that the tenderness acquired of him when dealing with the cat helped him see his role more deeply and that the cat was a guide in helping him discover the inner life of the locksmith.
While sports stars tend to go for dogs, actors and musicians seem to love cats and dogs equally, with many more male actors preferring feline companions than baseball players, who seem to have a canine bent. Cats are charmingly independent creatures which make them compatible with creative people who have rich inner lives and require a degree of autonomy to be creative.