Home Theater “Les Miserables” Producer: “We Didn’t Need” Taylor Swift in Movie

“Les Miserables” is a box office blockbuster. Our PAULA SCHWARTZ reports that Kennedy chasing, celebrity-boyfriend-songwriter country singer Taylor Swift auditioned for the role of Eponine but  lost out to Samantha Barks, the only unknown in the starry cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne.

Cameron Mackintosh told Paula at a party for the movie that the famous singer-songwriter had been interested in the role. “She’s a lovely woman and she auditioned, and she was completely un-starry. And she’s talented. It’s just that actually the requirements of that role were better fitted by Sam.”

“Every single person in this film, whether they’re known or unknown, auditioned for this movie,” Mackintosh said. “Nearly every name you’ve heard in the gossip columns are true, came up for Eponine, and it’s wonderful I think that somebody completely unknown got it.”

As for the big-name factor Swift could bring to the show, the producer said, “We didn’t need it. Les Misérables is the star.” It’s run for 27 years, and in 2014 “Les Miserables” is  slated to return to Broadway.

Barks came to the producer’s attention in 2008 when he and Andrew Lloyd Webber did a television show called “I’d Do Anything.” The show was a talent search for a Nancy to play opposite Rowan Atkinson in Oliver. Barks got into the quarterfinals but she didn’t win because, the producer said, she was too young for the role. He later cast her as Eponine on London’s West End for a year. And now she’s playing Nancy in ‘Oliver.” It was during a curtain call in January after the show that Mackintosh came on stage and announced that Tom Hooper had chosen Barks to play Eponine in his film. “Now she’s playing Nancy for me, and I’ve given her three weeks off to publicize the [movie],” Mackintosh explained.

Barks, who grew up in the same Isle of Man,  moved to London when she was 16 to go to drama school. She never imagined the success or opportunities that would come to her as a result of coming in third on the television show. “To be experiencing things like singing with Liza Minnelli, singing with Idina Menzel, having one on one mentors like them. I never dreamed that that would happen to me, so I just left kind of wide eyed and excited I got to experience that. I never thought one day that here I’d be promoting a film I’m just so proud of,” she said. “I’m so proud to have played Eponine on such a scale like this film. I started auditioning when I was 18 and now I’m 22, so, really, for the last four years it’s been the most consistent part of my life.”

She also heard the rumors of big names that auditioned for the part of Eponine but blocked it out of her mind. “My main aim to not think about that,” Barks explained. “I had enough to think of. This was the biggest opportunity of my life so I just had to throw my full heart and soul into being as good as I could in the audition room and try not to focus on any other aspects of that.”

21 replies to this post
  1. Thank goodness! Taylor is a horrible actor after watching her audition for a couple things she had horrible acting skills she just cannot. Sam worked hard and deserved it.

    Why Sam probably got it

    AMAZING ACTOR
    Has experience
    Knows how to act
    Is not a snob (no offence Taylor but after “Red” came out
    we saw your true colours)

    Sam deserved it Taylor didn’t besides if Taylor got the part her crazy fans would come and just watch HER and not even care about the meaning of the story. I watched the movie and LOVED Sam as Ephonine

  2. To be honest taylor is a good singer but not a good actress. The casting directors made a right choice by picking samantha barks instead of taylor swift for the role. Samantha made justice for the role of Eponine. I saw it and the film is just as good as the broadway. Taylor Swift such a famewhore!!! Dating some popular celebrities after a month of hooking up she will make a new issue and will show to people that she is si pityful when the truth is she is the one whose doing a bitchy thing!!

  3. Quite frankly, though Taylor can show emotion, I don’t think she could have nailed “On My Own,” the way Sam did. I got goosebumps after watching Sam belt out the number. Now let’s imagine Taylor singing that part. Would you feel the same? I personally don’t think so, and she is just not Broadway material. Also, as stated previously, Taylor’s voice is indeed synthesized. Her concerts are weak in ways that she couldn’t hand the role of Eponine. Casting director definitely made the right choice.

  4. Swift came very close to getting the role but I think that cameron and the producers were afraid that Swift being in the film would generate too much publicity and it would take away from the overall merit of the film. Apparently, they were very close in finalizing an agreement for Swift to play the role but felt it would be better to hand it to an unknown.

  5. Can I audition for Les Miserables? It is my favorite musical of all time, I loved it since I was in the school edition in 2008. I actually just saw it yesterday and I came prepared with tissues ’cause I knew that I was going to cry.

  6. omg, taylor would have not fit the role, or done a good job, in my opinion. samantha did an outstanding job!!! she has the best voice for the role, and just a great voice in general! casting her was a very smart idea!!!

  7. Although Taylor is a hit machine, has anyone noticed that when singing live, her voice is weak and she has trouble staying on key? No WAY she could have handled this role.

  8. Now that I have seen the movie – I am SO GLAD Taylor Swift didn’t get the role. She wouldn’t have fit, and Sam Barks did an amazing job. Seriously, having such a spoiled disgusting girl as Swift play such a lowly humble part. I must say, I used to like Taylor Swift, but with the release of her newest album Red, shes shown her true colors and is a low down, pathetic, jerk who completely lacks dignity.

  9. Samantha Barks did a wonderful job in the role she played In Les Miserables. In fact, I cannot forget her voice or person since I viewed the film. Many congratulations and best wishes to her in upcoming roles.

  10. I love Taylor to death but I truthfully wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie as much with her as Eponine. Taylor, while having a beautiful voice, doesn’t have the voice of Eponine. At least for me. Eponine needs to have a very specific voice and Taylor just doesn’t quite fit it but Sam, on the other hand, does. Taylor also isn’t an actress, she doesn’t do movies, she hasn’t been on Broadway or the West End. Samantha has done a lot of shows on the West End. Cabaret, Les Mis, Oliver. This role was hers the moment she auditioned.

  11. Good grief people: you’ve already seen what Taylor Swift can do, and it isn’t much. Without synthesizers and a lot of “help”, she can not sing. Putting her int he movie would have been the WORST.

  12. It’s a shame, I would have liked to see Taylor Swift act. But the casting directors know what they’re doing and if Samantha Barks is better then she deserves the role. I’m sure she’ll be fantastic.

What do you think?