Samantha Barks as Eponine in "Les Miserables" (2012)

Of all the names in Tom Hooper’s upcoming adaptation of the beloved stage musical Les Misérables, the one casual fans might not recognize right away is that of Samantha Barks who plays Eponine. Though the 22-year-old has plenty of experience on stage in England, she’s not yet a household name in the United States. That’s probably all going to change when the film opens on Christmas Day.

Growing up on the tiny Isle of Man, Barks followed her musical theater dreams to London when she was just 16. There she appeared on the BBC talent show I’d Do Anything in the hope of winning a part as Nancy in the West End revival of the stage musical Oliver!. Coming in third, Ms. Barks left quite an impression on producer Cameron Mackintosh and on Andrew Lloyd Weber. From there, she won the lead role of Sally Bowles lead in a touring production Cabaret. After that, she spent a year playing Eponine on stage and then appeared in the Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert in 2010. In 2011 she finally got her chance to play Nancy in Oliver! and it was then that she found out from producer Mackintosh that she’d won the part of Eponine in Hooper’s film, a part she’d dreamt of playing since she was a little girl.

I spoke to Samantha a few weeks back when she was in Los Angeles promoting the film. The nice thing about talking to her is that she’s still relatively new to the whole press tour game. She’s still excited and fresh and unguarded. Unlike many stars who’ve been at this a long time, she doesn’t come across as jaded or overly coached. A fast talker, she’s open and honest and she’s got an infectious enthusiasm.

Read the rest at Awards Daily

7 Responses to “Samantha Barks Flies the Flag for Eponine in Les Misérables”

  1. This is one of Craig’s greatest interviews here or anywhere! Sure I am ever-enthusiastic about LES MIS on stage and screen, but Ms. Barks brings out pure passion not corrupted by success and unwillingness to reveal what has meant the most to her in her rise to celebrity status. She’s one of the most irresistible of the many stars Craig has spoken with, and she’s one we’d all love to meet at some point in our lives. I am counting down to the three days that are left to see the film on Christmas Day, and Barks’ performance is one I just can’t wait to see and hear. She sings on of the show’s most beloved anthems, and she’s such a lovely, beautiful young lady. Her responses to your terrific queries about the moment when she first heard she won the part of Eponine, the chronicling of her early career highlighted by the meaty part of Nancy in OLIVER! and her belief there are other stars from among the present day seven-year olds are classics, as is her candid discussion on the unique way the film is sung live.

    What an amazing inside look at Ms. Barks. Really special.

  2. Thanks for reading Sam. She was one of my favorite interviews. I thought you might like it as a fan of the show. Have you seen the 25th Anniversary concert she participated in as Eponine?

  3. Yes I have indeed, and I loved it and her work in it!!!

  4. This is another great interview, Craig. Barks opened up not just because she’s unguarded/new but also because you no doubt made her feel at ease. She gives one of the strongest performances in Les Mis, and you make a good point by mentioning that, because her interpretation of Eponine is on film, it will surely become a bellwether for future actors who tackle the part.

  5. “Barks opened up not just because she’s unguarded/new but also because you no doubt made her feel at ease.” I’d LOVE to be able to take credit for that, but really I think she’s one of those guileless, enthusiastic people who make it easy.

  6. Craig is so modest!

  7. Just being honest!

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