The actor starred as the Rum Tum Tugger in the 2019 adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical alongside Judi Dench, James Corden, Ian McKellen and Idris Elba.
Despite having a star-studded cast and Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper overseeing things, the film was critically panned and suffered losses of $113.6m (£91.2m) at the global box office.
Speaking about the project, singer Derulo told The Daily Telegraph that he had hoped Cats would be his “perfect first role” to mark his shift from music to acting.
“Cats checked all the boxes,” he said. “You can’t get a more star-studded cast, you don’t get a more respected director than an Oscar winner – and Rum Tum Tugger is a legacy role, a standout character in a classic musical.
“Even when I saw the trailer, I thought it looked unbelievable,” he continued. “Like, I know some people saw it and they were terrified, but I got chills down my spine! I thought it was gonna change the world.”
Cats swept up at the 2019 Golden Raspberry awards – known as the Razzies – winning Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor (James Corden), Worst Supporting Actress (Rebel Wilson), Worst On-screen Combo, Worst Screenplay and Worst Director.
Much of the criticism at the time of the film’s release focused on the CGI graphics used to transform its stars into humanoid-cat fusions, which were widely described as “creepy”.
Derulo said that Cats taught him: “You can’t wait for the perfect moment, cause that might not be your moment. So you’ve just got to go for gold. That’s how I’ll move forward.”