Lifetime Picked the Perfect Actress for the Voice of Grumpy Cat

Jason Kempin / Getty Images
Jason Kempin / Getty Images

The grumpiest actress on TV is set to be the voice of the grumpiest cat on the Internet. It was announced earlier this summer that Grumpy Cat, the cute kitty who’s the subject of a wildly popular Internet meme, was getting a Lifetime movie for Christmas called Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. Now The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza has been chosen as the voice of the ill-tempered feline in the live-action TV movie.

Plaza is best known for her role as the deadpan, sarcastic intern April Ludgate on Parks and Rec, and is a perfect fit to be the voice of a cat that isn’t impressed by anything. The actress’s mean sense of humor and chronically annoyed state will lend themselves well to Grumpy Cat’s constant sour puss. The plot of the film involves Grumpy Cat playing a kitty who is constantly overlooked at the pet store and a 12-year-old girl who can communicate with her. Tim Hill of Spongebob Squarepants wrote the script with Jeff Morris and will direct.

Lifetime wants to use the movie to make a little fun of itself as a network. “It brings a fun and irreverence that we haven’t had at Lifetime,” the network’s vice president of original movies Arturo Interian told The Hollywood Reporter back when the film was announced, saying that his teenage daughters gave him the idea to approach Grumpy Cat for a movie deal.

“We’re so known for our heartfelt sentimentality that it will poke fun at those stereotypes.” He also described the movie as “a little Home Alone and a little Die Hard.”

The cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, rose to fame after pictures of her and her very grumpy looking face began circulating online. Her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, says that the expression is caused by feline dwarfism and that Tardar Sauce actually has a pleasant temperament. The cat has become so famous that she has a full-time manager, a line of branded products sold at various retailers, a New York Times best-selling book, an endorsement deal with Friskies, and made an appearance at last year’s South by Southwest Interactive.

Nabbing Plaza for the role was a big win for the movie, as she not only has the perfect sense of humor for the part, but also has enough star power to draw in viewers. Parks and Recreation is currently filming its seventh and final season, so Plaza will soon have to extend her career outside her beloved role as April. The actress has had success in the past with indie comedies like Safety Not Guaranteed and The To-Do List, and recently has been very busy making movies while Parks and Rec was on break.

Given the variety in the actress’s upcoming roles, from serious and funny indies to the Johnny Depp-starring, likely blockbuster Mortdecai, Plaza is on her way to parlaying her role on Parks and Rec into a successful film career. Being the voice of Grumpy Cat isn’t exactly a career-making move, but it will be fun and will give Plaza a chance to make fun of her own grumpy image.

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is set to debut on Saturday, November 29 at 8 p.m., so mark your calendars and get ready to get into the bitter, annoyed holiday spirit.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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