So apparently the powers that be behind the Les Miserables film stopped huffing glue long enough to realize that young Taylor Swift, queen of the semi-literate mid-tempo rock ballad, was not the best choice to play Eponine, the best belter on the barricade.
No fucking kidding, said everyone on earth.
Enter British stage actress Samantha Barks, who is best known to American audiences as… well… Eponine. See how logical this is? Barks played ‘Ponine in the televised 25th anniversary concert of Les Miz, and is now set to reprise the role in the film. Cameron Mackintosh — always one for subtlety, that guy — made the big announcement onstage at curtain call last night in Manchester, where Barks is playing Nancy in a national tour of Oliver!
What do you need to know about Samantha Barks, besides the fact that she’s super cute and can sing her whole face off? Here’s the rundown:
- She’s weirdly kind of like the British Lea Michele. Only not an obvious parody of herself.
- She’s from the Isle of Man.
- She’s 21.
- She’s Nick Jonas’s (reported) ex and Killian Donnelly’s (rumored) current. Clearly, right out of the gate, we love this girl for her crafty moves and solid taste.
- She’s been performing on stage since she was almost literally a baby, but her breakthrough was on an English reality show called “I’d Do Anything” which sought to cast the role of Nancy in a national tour of Oliver! Go figure, Samantha lost. In fact, she came in third. “But wait a tick,” you’re thinking. “Isn’t she playing Nancy in Oliver! right now?” Yeah, she is. We don’t pretend to understand, and neither should you.
- She played Eponine onstage on the West End from 2010-2011.
- She’s slated to voice the lead in a Disney animated TV series called “Groove High,” but we’re guessing her looming famousness is about to derail that little project.
- We’re already taking cash bets on how quickly Aaron Tveit will put the moves on her.
Further reading: Aaron Tveit Is Enjolras and Everything Is Going to Be Just Fine