Cat breaks out at Cannes as star of 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

05:00 AM, May 19, 2013

Oscar Isaac holds onto his cat co-star in a scene from 'Inside Llewyn Davis.' Alison Rosa/


Written By by Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY

CANNES, France — As the Cannes Film Festival prepares for Sunday’s world premiere of Inside Llewyn Davis, critics are already raving about the latest Coen brothers movie and its lead actor, Oscar Isaac.

But it’s time to make way for the cat. Isaac’s animal co-star is grabbing a lot of attention in the South of France.

The festival, which served as the platform for The Artist and its star dog Uggie in 2011, is setting the stage for another animal star in this quirky portrait of the ’60s folk scene.

But don’t expect the cat (actually there were six used in the film) to do any tricks. In fact, feline screen stars, while self-cleaning, have their downsides.

It was pointed out by the trainer that dogs want to please you. Cats only want to please themselves,” director Joel Coen said at a press event Sunday, which featured both praise for the film and cat questions. “They are not easy to train, or guide onscreen. So it was a bit of a pain in the ass, but it was all right.”

Justin Timberlake, who plays a wholesome folk singer in the film, was downright catty.

They had a large rider of requests, a specific type of cat food,” he said.

Isaac, whose troubled folk singer is saddled with a mysterious cat for much of the film, admitted there were dangers when carrying his co-star in a subway scene.

One freaked out on me and scratched me in the face,” said Isaac. “That’s what happens when you tie a cat to you and run into the subway.”

None of the cats were able to make the trip to Cannes for the glamorous photo call, the premiere or after-party on Sunday night. But their presence was everywhere.

At one point, writer-director Ethan Coen brought laughs to the room when he painstakingly tried to answer one query with, “Wait, what was the second part of that cat question?”

And Joel Coen went to a pet answer to describe working with Isaac and his much-praised performance. “He was easier than the cats,” said Coen.