Magazine article Dance Magazine

The Royal Treatment

Magazine article Dance Magazine

The Royal Treatment

Article excerpt

Francesca Hayward may have one of the best cat stories I've ever heard. At our cover shoot, she told us how her orange tabby, Simon, had simply shown up one day at the apartment she shares with her boyfriend, Royal Ballet principal character artist Thomas Whitehead. It turned out he was someone else's lost cat. But every time they returned Simon to his owners, he kept escaping back to Hayward and Whitehead--even when his owners moved further away. Eventually, everyone except for Simon gave up.

Now, that's the kind of persistence a dancer can relate to! Hayward herself has had to channel some of that same feline tenacity this year, as she's bounced between her principal post at The Royal Ballet and her silver screen debut in the new Cats movie, hitting theaters this month. In our cover story, Hayward shares how she tackled the challenges thrown her way on set, and what it's been like joining a cast of Hollywood icons: "The day we met Dame Judy Dench, she and Ian McKellen came in together and everyone's behavior changed," she admits. …

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