Is This Season's Biggest New Star a Cat?

world premiere of 'argylle' in london
Is This Season's Biggest New Star a Cat?Anadolu - Getty Images

The red carpet for the premiere of Argylle had all sorts of stars walking down it. Dua Lipa was there, so were Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ariana DeBose, and Sam Rockwell. But perhaps the most talked-about appearance of the evening was that of Chip, the cat who stars in the film, who made his way along the carpet in a backpack alongside one of the film's producers, Claudia Schiffer.

argylle premiere cat
Dua Lipa, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ariana DeBose, and Claudia Schiffer flank Chip the cat at the premiere of Argylle, the new film in which he stars.John Phillips - Getty Images

How did Chip find his way to playing with the ball of yarn that is fame? It began when Matthew Vaughn. The director of the new thriller, which stars Bryce Dallas Howard as a spy novelist whose work follows her home, needed a cat to play Alfie, the sidekick to Howard’s character and an essential character in the sharp, funny, and stylish film.

“On the first day of filming, we had a trained acting cat that was exactly what you would imagine a trained acting cat to be: a cat,” Vaughn says. However, “he wasn’t very cute, so I decided to fire him, go to my daughter’s room, and borrow her cat Chip for three months.”

It wasn’t a bad choice. Although untrained as an actor, Chip has an unflappable mien that plays well as the chaos of Argylle unfolds. Still, Vaughn—who produced the film with his wife Claudia Schiffer—didn’t anticipate what casting Chip would entail.

“I regretted the decision, as I became the cat handler,” he says, “but Chip blossomed into the movie star he was destined to be.”

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