31st January 2012
Cameron Mackintosh appeared at the curtain call for tonight's performance of Oliver! at The Manchester Palace and surprised Samantha Barks, who plays Nancy, by announcing that Tom Hooper has chosen her for the part of Eponine in the forthcoming movie of the epic stage musical 'Les Misérables'.
A thrilled Samantha said “I can’t believe I’m going to play Eponine, a role so close to my heart, a role I played in the West End. It’s the happiest moment of my life. The moment I found out I started to shake and then I started crying. I’m still shaking now.”
Directed by Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), Les Misérables is a Working Title/Cameron Mackintosh production produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried and Aaron Tveit. The screenplay is by William Nicholson, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg based on the novel by Victor Hugo and adapted from Boublil and Schönberg’s hit stage musical Les Misérables, produced by Cameron Mackintosh.
The search for someone to play Eponine has been global. Samantha won the role over many established singers and actresses. No stranger to the part, Barks played Eponine in the London stage musical of 'Les Misérables' in 2010. In 2008, she was a finalist in the BBC talent show series 'I'd Do Anything', a competition to find a new Nancy for the West End revival of Oliver! and she is currently realising the part of Nancy on a UK tour of the Oliver!
Shooting will start in March.