With the planned shoot start date now staring him in the face, director Tom Hooper has locked in one of the few remaining major roles for Les Miserables. And it’s someone who, though she has very limited screen experience, has spent time playing the character on screen: Samantha Barks is Eponine.
Barks, who has been dancing since the age of three and acting since four, pinged plenty of theatre radars when she came third in TV competition I’d Do Anything, which sought a young woman to play Nancy in the latest revival of Oliver! Despite not winning, she still went on to play the role in the touring production of the show.
Then Les Mis stage producer Cameron Mackintosh walked on stage in Manchester yesterday to announce that she’d won the Eponine role in the film. Barks had previously played the part in the London production of the show, and even in the 25th anniversary concert for Miserables last October.
She’s joining a cast that includes Hugh Jackman (Valjean), Russell Crowe (Javert), Amanda Seyfried (Cosette), Anne Hathaway (Fantine) and Eddie Redmayne (Marius). Eponine is the daughter of the greedy Thenardiers (Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, assuming they’ve locked in deals), who indulge her while bullying adopted daughter Cosette. But Eponine turns out to have a much better heart than her parents...
Hooper should be kicking off production next week. The film’s set for release here on January 11, 2013.