The Cats In The New 'Pet Sematary' Were 'A Pack Of Divas'

The Cats In The New 'Pet Sematary' Were 'A Pack Of Divas'

The biggest role in a horror movie is not that of the hero, but the monster. Nobody went to see Nightmare On Elm Street for the jock being disemboweled by Freddy Krueger (even if that jock was Johnny Depp). They went for Freddy. So often, the actors underneath those layers of ghoulish makeup let the fame get to their decomposing heads, acting like big shot stars on set. And on the set of Pet Sematary, it's only appropriate that the stars throwing the hissy fits were actual cats.

The Cats In The New 'Pet Sematary' Were 'A Pack Of Divas'
"Darling, I've been nailing jump scares since I was five weeks old."

If there's anything you remember from the original movie adaptation of Stephen King's Pet Sematary, it was Church, the British Shorthair with demon eyes who kicks off the unholy resurrection fun. So for the 2019 version, directors Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch knew their Church had some big shoes to fill (with poop). Instead of just copying the old movie's spin, the pair decided to go back to the source, drawing inspiration from the OG 1983 hardcover of Pet Sematary and picking a vicious-looking Maine Coon as their big star.

Paramount Pictures
That cat is dead now. Which is kind of the point.

More specifically, they got eight Maine Coons. Cats are like the Owen Wilsons of stage animals (which is appropriate, because Owen Wilson is the trained cat of Hollywood actors), in that you can only really get them to do one thing well. So to get the full acting range, eight different but similar-looking kitties had to be brought in, each one being used for a specific action, like hissing, jumping, or just staring really well.

The Cats In The New 'Pet Sematary' Were 'A Pack Of Divas'
Paramount Pictures
Don't knock it. Clint Eastwood built a 60-year career out of staring.

But if you think having to share billing with seven other identical actors would contain their egos, it just made the cats even bigger prima donnas. As Widmyer found out during shooting, production had to grind to a halt each time the cats were in a scene, because each Church would only perform after they were done sniffing, rubbing, and marking the set as their territory -- which in the cinematic arts is called doing a Marlon Brando.

"They were like this pack of divas on set," the director later told Entertainment Weekly, adding that "all the actors would have to shut up and just kind of let the cat sniff everything for like ten minutes. So, we just sat there, and watched the cat." That's just terrible behavior ... by Widmyer. Hasn't he been in the industry long enough to know you never, ever talk shit about difficult actors? Wait until the MGM lion hears about it. He'll make sure this guy never works in Hollywood again.

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