Samantha Barks, a darling of London’s West End, is about to debut on the big screen in “Les Misérables.” She calls it the biggest opportunity of her life. She worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman, even though she’d never stepped foot in front of a camera.
The 22-year-old actress, who grew up on the UK’s Isle of Man, has been singing and dancing since age 3, including formal training at ballet, modern and tap, as well as operatic singing.
She’s well known in London’s theater district and appeared as a 17-year-old on “I’ll Do Anything,” a BBC theatrical talent show. But she is virtually unknown in Hollywood.
Samantha Barks Sparkles Like a Jewel
In 2010, she performed the role of Éponine in the “25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables” at The O2 Arena in London. Surprisingly Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers Band was also in the cast. But more importantly, it was produced by Cameron Mackintosh, who was also working on the film.
In January, casting started amid reports that Scarlett Johansson, Evan Rachel Wood and Lea Michele were considered for the role. Even Taylor Swift was mentioned, although she denied receiving an offer. The part went to Barks.
“This was the biggest opportunity of my life, so it was 100 percent crucial that I ignored all the media hype surrounding the casting process,” the raven-haired actress says in a new interview with the Canada’s Filler and arts, fashion and culture magazine.
Given the size of the production and the star-studded cast, Barks says she was wary about leaping from the stage to film. “Singing live is something I feel comfortable with, however, camera work is totally new so it was mixed feelings,” she says.
“I think I was entering a world I knew nothing about, but at least was entering with a character I knew a lot about, which was comforting,” she adds.
“I had to adjust my acting style for the movie because I no longer had to project emotions or my voice to the back of a theater. I could allow those intimate details to come through. I found the experience thrilling.”
Check out Samantha’s stunning photos and click here to follow TheImproper on Twitter for all of the latest updates on Les Misérables.