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Samantha Barks to play Eponine in Les Miserables

Samantha Banks

Story by Jack Foley

STAGE actress Samantha Barks is making the leap from stage to screen for Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Les Miserables.

The actress has been cast to play the pivotal role of Eponine in the big screen version of Victor Hugo’s classic play and will line up alongside Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried.

Barks has previously played the role in a 2010 London stage production of the play and was chosen after an extensive search.

It completes a remarkable rise to stardom for the actress, a former competitor in the BBC talent show I’d Do Anything who finished third in the competition behind winner Jodie Prenger.

Indeed, Hooper and Universal had put out a wide search for their Eponine, at one point reportedly considering Taylor Swift and Glee‘s Lea Michelle for the role.

But Barks won the part, not least because of her experience of playing the song-belting street urchin in the 2010 London production.

She also reprised the role last year in the show’s 25th anniversary concert at the O2 Arena.

She was told the news of her casting by theatre impresario Cameron Mackintosh, who joined her on stage to hand her the role, after she had finished performing as Nancy in Oliver! at Manchester’s Palace Theatre.

The 21-year-old, of Laxey in the Isle of Man, described it as the “happiest moment” and the “biggest surprise” of her life.

Describing it as a true “rags-to-riches” story, Mackintosh said it was “so rare” for a recently unknown performer to make such a quick rise “in our business”.

Les Miserables is currently in production now and is due for a release in December 2012.

Related Les Mis story: Eddie Redmayne gearing up for Les Miserables singing challenge

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  1. Can’t wait to see this now.

    Jodie    Feb 1    #