Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Futures: 'Les Miserables' Breakout Samantha Barks On Singing Live for Tom Hooper in the Rain and Being "Petrified" of Her Co-Stars

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire December 13, 2012 at 12:06PM

Why She's On Our Radar: There's no big screen newcomer more buzzed about this holiday season than Samantha Barks, the 22-year-old UK newcomer who beat out Taylor Swift to nab the part of Eponine in Tom Hooper's big-screen adaptation of the hit musical "Les Miserables" starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried. Although this marks Barks film debut, she's no singing/acting novice having played Eponine on London's West End from 2010 to 2011, and Nancy in the UK touring production of "Oliver!." In Britain, she's best known for placing third on the televised singing competition "I'd Do Anything." It just takes a watch of Barks singing "On My Own" during the 25th anniversary performance of "Les Miserables" below, to see why she won the part.
1
Samantha Barks in "Les Miserables"
Universal Samantha Barks in "Les Miserables"

Why She's On Our Radar: There's no big screen newcomer more buzzed about this holiday season than Samantha Barks, the 22-year-old UK newcomer who beat out Taylor Swift to nab the part of Eponine in Tom Hooper's big-screen adaptation of the hit musical "Les Miserables" starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried.

Although this marks Barks film debut, she's no singing/acting novice having played Eponine on London's West End from 2010 to 2011, and Nancy in the UK touring production of "Oliver!." In Britain, she's best known for placing third on the televised singing competition "I'd Do Anything." It just takes a watch of Barks singing "On My Own" during the 25th anniversary performance of "Les Miserables" below, to see why she won the part.



 

The hype for the film's been mounting for well over a year now. How does it feel to finally share it with critics and Academy voters?

It's been amazing! It's my first film. I had no idea how a film was put together. You film each scene multiple times and it's up to your director and your editors to put it together. I didn't even know how it was going turn out. I was so excited to see how the product was going to be, and I'm so proud of it. The fact that people have been responding so positively to it has been fantastic.

The audience I saw it with treated it as if it were a Broadway show with folks applauding at the end of each number. And there are a lot of numbers...

Well that's the thing, people clapping in the cinema is just so thrilling to me. Having such a background in music theater, to see people clapping in a cinema is so cool.

Samantha Barks in "Les Miserables"
Universal Samantha Barks in "Les Miserables"

So about your big number...

We did it in one continuous take about 15 times.

15 times?!

Yeah, it was quite technical because in between takes they had to snip out my mike. Because my costume was so wet they couldn't stick it to me -- they had to sow to me, take out the mic, replace the mike so it didn't get damaged between, sow it back in. Also it was raining so heavily with the rain machine, that they had to put mattresses on the rooftops to deaden the sound of rain.

So which take did they use?

I don't know! Because I'm not really aware of the film world, I didn't know about takes, single shots and closeups...I didn't know that sort of lingo. So I'd just say, "Can we do it again, can we do it again!" The thing is, once you've done it, that's it! It's forever, which is a really scary concept.

Coming from a theater background, were you totally game for Tom's singing live approach?

I was petrified and excited at the same time. I was used to live vocals, but to bring them onto a film set: it's kinda of like melding something I'm familiar with something I'm so unfamiliar with. Also working with a cast like this -- they're people I've watched for years and always respected. To be on set sharing scenes with them was petrifying, but they couldn't have been nicer.

What kind of a film career do you envision for yourself?

I would love to do more film if given the opportunity. Obviously stage is a big passion of mine. Really my aim would be to combine the two and have a varied, balanced career. Obvsiouly I look at someone like Hugh Jackman who's done it the correct way. He's got beautiful balance to his career, so he's inspiring to me in that way.

Samantha Barks in "Les Miserables"
Universal Samantha Barks in "Les Miserables"

It's been confirmed that you beat out Taylor Swift for the role. That must have felt pretty sweet.

I didn't know at the time! This is such a huge deal for me, this being my first film and being the role of my life. It was so scary for me. I put so much effort and concentration into my auditions that I didn't really know what was going out outside of that audition room. My main aim was get yourself into that room and work your ass off -- do everything you can. Because it meant so much to me.

What was the auction process like?

I did have to fight hard. It was 15 weeks going in and out! That's why in the final auditions I was a mess. I had to prove that I could translate this role from the theater to the screen. It was so grueling. But so worth it now.

This article is related to: Futures, Interviews, Samantha Barks, Les Miserables






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

Most Read



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More