Taylor Swift wasn’t cast as Eponine in ‘Les Miserables’ after all

This is really weird news! Weeks ago, it was flat-out confirmed by multiple sources that Taylor Swift had been cast as Eponine in Les Miserables, which begins filming in England very, very soon. Swifty was in London for a few weeks, hanging out with Gwyneth Paltrow, wandering the Princess Diana Memorial park and looking teary as she chanced upon some swans. It’s thought that Swifty was in London as she prepared for the film. But now it’s looking like Swifty is OUT, and a stage actress named Samantha Barks is in? Swifty just got Blake Lively’d.

Samantha Barks is set to play Eponine in the film version of Les Miserables – the role she played at the 25th anniversary concert.

Cameron Mackintosh announced it live on stage at the Manchester Palace at the end of this evening’s performance of Oliver!, in which Barks is currently playing Nancy.

He told the cast and audience that he had a big announcement to make before flying to America, and then revealed that Barks would be taking the role of Eponine.

It seems to have come as a surprise to Barks – audience members reported that “the look on her face was priceless”.

She tweeted soon after the curtain call: “Most incredible moment of my life!!!! X”
Fellow cast member Jack Edwards, who plays Mr Bumble, called it “amazing”. Matt Harrop, in the ensemble, added: “so happy for my nancy babes. Amazing and incredible news. So worthy! Mx”, with Kade Ferraiolo saying: “Congratulations to the amazing @SamanthaBarks I’ll never forget what just happened on stage:-)”

Barks’s former castmate Lucie Jones, who played Cosette in the West End, tweeted: “I’ve never been so proud I’m literally BURSTING!!! TEARS and everything!!!”

Lea Salonga, who played Fantine alongside Barks in the 25th anniversary concert and previously played Eponine, said: “It’s official: @SamanthaBarks will be Eponine in the Les Miz movie!!! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!! Thank you, casting gods!!!”

Frances Ruffelle, who created the role, tweeted to Barks: “So proud of you!! Well done my darling girl xxxxx”

Taylor Swift had originally been linked with the part.

One audience member tweeted: “Best night ever just knowing I was there when Samantha got told. She really was the best Eponine!”

Samantha Barks trained at the Arts Educational school for a year before entering “I’d Do Anything”, the BBC search for the new ‘Nancy’ in Cameron Mackintosh’s “Oliver!” where she finished in the top three. Following “I’d Do Anything” she took part in the workshop for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies”. Samantha made her stage debut as ‘Sally Bowles’ in the national tour of “Cabaret”, before taking the classic role of ‘Aladdin’ in “Aladdin” at the Theatre Royal Windsor. Last year Samantha made her West End debut in the role of ‘Eponine’ in “Les Misérables”, and played the role again in the “Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert” at The O2. Television credits include the lead role of ‘Zoe’ in the Disney TV series “Groove High”.

[From Broadway World]

Everyone is using this Broadway World story as their source for the “Swifty got pushed out” stories, so am I wrong in thinking that this might not be a done deal? I think it’s sketchy – Swifty was in London, seeming to prepare for the film, although she came back to California this past weekend. Did she mess up? Did she have the part at one point, but producers rethought their choice? Did she get sent packing, shunned from England? Oh, this is going to be a good song.

I’m not joking when I say that it seems like Swifty just got Blake Lively’d. The same conversation we had about Rooney Mara getting cast over Blake… we need to have that conversation about Swifty now. Maybe Hollywood simply isn’t ready to make Swifty a movie star yet. Maybe they’re worried about her immature, princessy, girly image.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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56 Responses to “Taylor Swift wasn’t cast as Eponine in ‘Les Miserables’ after all”

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  1. normades says:

    Wow! Someone mentioned this in the last swifty post. They were right!

    • normades says:

      AB says:
      January 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      “The reason she’s sad in the pictures, she didn’t get the Les Miserables part. All the rest of the crap from USWeekly is just that: crap. She got over Jake long ago, believe me, I know from people that know her. She’ll be flying home any day now, not in London for weeks or months. Its a shame really, I hear she blew the directors away with her audition but the online crapfest by people that hate her was too much, they’re afraid her presence would negate any possible award nominations. “

      • INeedANap says:

        Really? I mean, if this is true I feel bad for her because having a talented cast should be more important than a few trophies. But honestly, given her poor acting, girly-bland personality, and weak singing voice, I find it hard to believe she wowed anyone at her auditions.

      • mia girl says:

        Yup @Normades, got to give AB credit because both of us were a bit disbelieving in her comment (well me more than you I think!).

        This is good news for the film, and for Swift in the long run I think. Unless this girl was able to deliver the performance of a lifetime, it was going to be a no-win for her. A good performance would still be marred by her celebrity, and a bad performance would assure her the scorn of most and loose her favor with Hollywood.

        In terms of film, she’s better off walking before she goes for a full on sprint.

      • normades says:

        AB come back and give us more dirt!

      • originalone says:

        Wow, kudos to AB! Obviously someone in the know!

        And glad someone in the know is calling out bullshit on all that Jake heartbreak crap. That Swifty is very shifty indeed.

  2. Asli says:

    Thank GOD!!!!

    Did she get Blake Lively’d or Rooney Mara’d. Rooney stole the role. Rooney rifles role. Rooney ransacks role. T-Swift got Rooney Mara’d.

    Also, I think Hollyweird is realizing that people want to see actors/actresses who can actually ACT. Long overdue. We’ve practically been bombarded with talentless ‘actors’ these last couple of years. Hope casting directors realizes this soon enough.

    Edit: Hmmmmph. Maybe she did get Blake Lively’d since it was the ‘blacklash from internet commenters’ that resulted in her loosing the role.

    • Jo says:

      If we, the Internet commenters, have that much power, there will be no way in the world Lindsay will get the Elizabeth Taylor part. I think there is more to this story than that.

      • podzol says:

        I could also imagine someone from Camp Swifty trying to do PR prevention – since the word was already out that she secured the part, well maybe they can leak that it’s been taken away because the producers have bent to the will of others. But hey, she BLEW THEM AWAY at her audition, she was so good. Maybe I’m imagining all this, but it could make sense. I agree that there’s more to the story.

  3. Abby says:

    her cat dress is cute.

    • originalone says:

      Not a Swifty fan. She literally makes me gag. But in this instance, I’m submitting the possibility that Swifty is not ready for a big-production movie role.

      I mean, even in her princessy music vid roles, although she completely seems to believe in fairy tales, she looks forced and fake…So imagine taking on Eponine, not on an off-Broadway production, but on multi-million dollar big movie production.

      Whatever the situation, I did not see her as Eponine. Getting someone I’ve never seen in a movie, but has held the role brilliantly on stage, gives it more credit, than sad-song-always-broken-hearted Talyor-Swift.

  4. brin says:

    Yep, it’s the musical version of the Blake Lively story (morose song to follow).

  5. helvetica says:

    I don’t really like Lea Michelle, but she could be Eponine

    • Arianna says:

      If i can remember correctly, I think she actually was in a Les Mis production? not sure of her role though

  6. RocketMerry says:

    “Maybe Hollywood simply isn’t ready to make Swifty a movie star yet”

    …or maybe Swifty is JUST A SINGER and should practice more on being a SINGER?
    Honestly, so very few people have real competitive multiple talents: it’s not that easy. It takes years of training and under the radar projects for which very little recognition is given, and even then you might realize you’re just a singer with good facial expressions or an actress with good singing voice or a writer who likes to paint or a … well, you get my point.
    Maybe some producer looked at Swifty trying to act and went: “Yeah, I’d say you’re probably just a pretty model with a decent singing voice, go back to that. Oh, you mean you sing FOR A LIVING?!”.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      I, at first. thought the same thing about Katherine McPhee..’American Idol, pretty face, decent voice. How could she get the lead role in upcoming show ‘Smash?’ Ok, then I watched the pilot online. Woah. Amazing talent. We need to not be so quick to judge and give credit where credit id due. Watch out, Swifty on the rise!

  7. normades says:

    I think these were both rumors(for both Blake and Swifty) “leaked” by their managment in hopes of securing the role. This seems like a tactic that is being used more and more. (It worked for Jessica Alba in Fantastic 4). However it can seriously backfire. Lively looked bad, and this doesn’t look good for Swifty either.

    • podzol says:

      Good intel in remembering the AB post! And yes, discretion is an underrated virtue these days. Swift’s got a publicist who is on top of all things. We’d best believe that if the rumours were completely false, they’d address it in a heartbeat and shut it down. So I really do think she was in contention all this time, or even secured the role, only to lose it later. Well… at least it’ll provide good heartbreak fuel for a couple of future songs?

      • normades says:

        Being in contention is easy. Several readings, call backs, maybe even a “you’re it!” by the director.

        But when the contract isn’t signed, lips should remain sealed imo, because you can’t hold someone just to their word in hwood.

        Maybe it wasn’t Swifty’s team that jumped the gun, but at any rate the rumor did hurt her.

      • normades says:

        That Alba thing was just a rumor, but I can’t imagine in what world she’d be cast over Mcadams.

        Maybe Swifty/Blake’s PR team had nothing to do with it, but it just goes to show you the power of such rumors in these decisions.

        Anyway, this is looking even worse for Lively as new financing for the project was secured -a day- after Mara was announced. Ouch.

  8. Rose says:

    I remember Samantha Barks on that program ‘I’d do anything’ Andrew Lloyd Webber was really super impressed by her and said she’d be mega, i’m pleased for her if that’s the case.

  9. Lisa says:

    Britney could be Epominine. She looks les miserable all the time.

  10. Anna says:

    Thank god, although Lea Michele (in spite of being a bitch) was born for this role.

  11. Sarko says:

    First I dunno anything about Taylor Swift and don’t follow her so not really bothered in the long run
    I know this is celebitchy but I DO find it irritating that subjective opinins about what 5-10 people constitute as talent is passed off as fact/law.
    If Blake/Taylor are sooooo worthless in the role simply because faves of you guys did not get the part maybe the director/producer heaven forbid do not share that opinion.
    If the movie works it works if it flops it flops.
    There is no guarantee of anything on earth.

    For all the gushing about Michele Williams she does not bring in the box office while this does not denigrate her artistic abilities it does suggest maybe not everyone is enamoured of her, though you wont know it to read these blogs
    Hollywood is a cut throat game, the way blogs tell it ish like this has NEVER happened
    And I honestly doubt Blake would have attended Soderbergh’s Haywire premiere and hung out with him sans previous dialogue about her being in his film or his know how of some sort. Sodebergh has been in the industry for yonks and isn’t an idiot
    And why so people talk as if they only mentioned Blak had been cast. There was also a confirmation of seemingly the principal characters with Jude Law and Channing Tatum bringing up the rear. The announcement of the central cast by the Hollywood Reporter would suggest it was considered at the time to be a done deal rather then Blake’s all powerful PR getting the blame again. But the Lainey sheeple can’t contemplate that

    • kazoo says:

      tl; dr.

    • normades says:

      More tl; dr! (sorry)

      “I honestly doubt Blake would have attended Soderbergh’s Haywire premiere and hung out with him sans previous dialogue about her being in his film or his know how of some sort. ”

      Maybe she was very involved and in the late stages of securing the role, but even if she wasn’t it’s not strange she’d be supporting his premiere. It’s campaigning for a role and in no way does it mean she had it.

      When the rumor came out that she was the lead, Soderbergh’s producer distanced themselves in a pretty strict manner.

      From huffpo:

      Then again, as producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told The Huffington Post this week…the casting was just a rumor -

      “We don’t have any cast set yet. We’re definitely very interested in those actors, but there’s nobody set,”

      Also when it was announced in the Hollywood reporter on January 18 that Annapurna films would be finacing the film, Lively was never mentioned.

      My take on things (which isn’t worth shizzz, it’s just MY opinion):

      Blake was involved in the project, probably read many times for Soderbergh, but nothing was official. Then Megan Ellison came into the picture. Again, the cast was not set. Rumor came out that Blake had the lead(mayyybe “leaked” by her peeps). This freaked out Ellison and they pull out. Sodergergh’s peeps freak out and release that statement saying she wasn’t cast. After seeing financing would be hard with Blake on board, they quickly and OFFICIALLY announce it’s Mara.

      Also, “Lainey’s sheeple” would be all “poor Blake” like her post on this story was. Yes, I read Lainey, but have never bought into the “Blake has game” shtick.

  12. Anna says:

    I saw Samantha Barks playing Eponine last year and was completely blown away. She was by far the best in an already incredible cast. SO excited about this. I have nothing against Taylor Swift but I just couldn’t see her as Eponine, and I’m glad someone who knows what they’re doing was cast. What an incredible opportunity for her.

  13. Lucinda says:

    I highly doubt she is a good enough singer for the role of Eponine. Her range is pretty limited. The girl is a good songwriter, she is pretty, and ahe has marketed herself well but she really is not a very good singer in my opinion and certainly not stage musical caliber.

    I don’t think this has anything to do with someone stealing the role from her and more to do with her leaking she was cast before the deal was done.

  14. kate says:

    How about she was fired because they realized she really can’t sing? Remember the duet with Stevie Nicks? I truly hated her for subjecting Stevie to her caterwauling.

    • T.C. says:

      Exactly. She is not that great as a singer and horrible as an actress. It would have been stunt casting to get her fans to watch their movie.

  15. lucy2 says:

    Yeah, I think it has to do with her not being an actress and not having a strong voice. I still kind of like her, but her voice isn’t great.

    Lea Michele bugs the crap out of me, but I agree she’d be good in it. Though it sounds like this other girl is very talented, so that’s good.

  16. kim says:

    well, the musical theatre community aka the people hollywood are counting on to see this, were not pleased when it initially was announced. Besides the fact that she can’t act, they’re not recording the music in a studio they are doing it live, and she doesn’t have the vocal ability to sing the role.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      Oh, it’s live? Thought it was the film version of the play; That’s what it states in the opening line of the article.

      • MB says:

        I think what Kim means is that the actors will not be miming to tracks that they had already recorded in the studio – they will sing live in each scene.

  17. rachel says:

    you know what? this is the business. I don’t feel bad for taylor swift A because I’m a massive Les Miserables fan and couldnt stomach the thought of her playing Eponine and B shes a massive country star who makes millions. Why would anyone feel bad for her? Get used to it honey cause this is showbiz.

    End rant

  18. TheOriginalVictoria says:

    Lea Solonga aka Pocohontas is that bitch. Everyone else is meh…

    I go to Les Mis every time it comes to Philly. And when it was in NYC, I lived there just to hear Master of the House which makes my night every night! Best cleaning music ever.

    Also I remember someone calling this info out last week. You go girl/boy! Nothing like real tea served before the official story comes out.

    Taylor Swift is no Broadway singer. It takes years to develop that type of voice if you don’t have an innate talent for it. Lea Michele may be try hard and her voice annoys the shit out of me in any other genre she does, but Broadway IS her thing.

    • Christy A says:

      Firstly: Frances Ruffelle has never been bettered as Eponine, although Samantha Barks will do the role justice.

      Secondly: For someone who’s a fan of Lea Salonga, you should really know A) How to spell her name, and B) That she wasn’t in Pocahontas. That was Judy Kuhn, who previously played Cosette. Lea Salonga was the singing voice of Mulan.

  19. grace says:

    So weird. I don’t think her people leaked the story. The news about Amanda Seyfried being offered a part was in the same news story so it was obviously the same source. Taylor definitely met with the producer in London. Hope we eventually find out what went down..

  20. Mitch Buchanan Rocks says:

    It is hard to sit through Les Mis the play and find it boring, I’d rather watch old episodes of Baywatch.

  21. jen says:

    Ive seen Samantha Barks play the role of Eponine and she is AMAZING, just watch the 25th Anniversary production on dvd and you’ll see for yourself! So pleased she got the part and not some hollywood person who would no doubt butcher the role!

  22. Reece says:

    Thank God! So much better. So much better!

  23. Bermuda Blues says:

    Swifty should have been cast as Snow White in that Julia Robert’s movie. The princessy girly thing would go very well with that movie’s tone.

  24. Nibbi says:

    whatever. that leather zippered top is killer and i want it. any clues? …

  25. Holly Hobby says:

    She lost the role because she was vocally challenged. Sorry but there is no way she can sing On My Own in her usual monotone voice.

    There is a god after all!

  26. Scarlet Vixen says:

    Thank. God.

  27. jr says:

    Has anyone seen Valentine’s Day where she and Taylor Lautner played the teen couple? Everyone second she was on screen was beyond cringe-worthy.

  28. SCREEEE says:

    My first thought was that people read Lainey (and everyone else)’s totally justified bitching about her casting, especially vs Lea Michele. But to then put an unknown in the role? That just seems like steamrollering poor Taylor for publicity.

  29. aprayerforthewildatheart says:

    I don’t see why Taylor Swift SHOULD be cast in any film. I thought she was a singer, despite what her fan-base may think. This isn’t a personal attack on TS, I just don’t see what she’s done to earn this honor. She simply hasn’t been around long enough nor has she proven herself.

    I am sick of the so-called “Triple-Threats” a la J-Lo, Madonna (great performer), Beyonce (great performer), Jamie Foxx et all. I’m not saying they don’t exist but it is RARE, think John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Meryl Streep, these could be thought of as true triple-threats, but it has taken them YEARS of perseverance, and talent to earn that title.

    Just because you can sing it doesn’t mean you can act, just because you can act doesn’t make you a singer, model, dancer, etc.

    All of these different components of media have been bastardized to death. Actresses/singers modeling for cosmetic companies, who need to be Photoshopped to death because they don’t have the necessary “look” naturally, just name recognition. See the recently UK banned L’Oreal advert featuring actress Rachel Weisz for being “misleading” due to the over-zealous use of Photoshop. The pic doesn’t even look like her.

    I’m sick of seeing certain celebrities wrapped up and sold as if they are these super-humanly talented creatures, and not just a commodity created by a PR machine heavily armed with auto-tune, Photoshop, and “sources” with a direct line to TMZ. In reality these people usually do their triple-threat act with nothing more than a huge shot of mediocrity. Yet still they are shoved down the media consuming public’s throats ad nauseum.

    Entertainment has become completely homogenized, as the alternative to true talent, what we are assaulted with relentlessly, are rarely more than these overexposed triumvirate “personas” who are second rate at best.

    Sorry for the rant, I am just so sick of reading about all these young bloods, and it-girls being pushed out for huge film roles with no effort on their part to earn these great roles other than their great PR machines, and “leaked” rumors.

  30. samira677 says:

    Was Taylor actually cast? The last I heard she was up for the part but there wasn’t an announcement. Also it doesn’t seem like she was in London for the movie. She was only photographed walking around and shopping.

  31. Agnes says:

    i don’t mean to dump on children, but she’s wearing a cat skirt, for f’s sake. she’s too old to wear it in a little girl sort of way, too young to be a crazy cat lady. good god.

  32. well... says:

    What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall at that audition. I can’t even begin
    to imagine what Taylor Swift must have sounded like trying (and failing) at
    performing as Eponine. Can someone please leak just one song? One scene?
    Anything? Please. I imagine it would go something like Chris Klein’s Mama
    Mia! audition and the possibilities are simply titillating. Obviously she scared
    the piss out of the director/producers because they wouldn’t trade singing
    ability for millions of fans. You know it’s bad when money isn’t enough in
    Hollywood…but I digress.

  33. Jover says:

    Excellent excellent post aprayerforthewildheart – many people on many blogs have been saying the same thing you just summarized everything. This whole trend started maybe 10-12 years ago and its gotten out of hand. Lets face it it’s easy money for JHO for loreal or julia roberts for lancome, and they are greedy. (the supermodel era of the 80s/90s was better beauty and no photoshop). Yes, jr where i saw that pic, people snickered and cringed when she came on;she is for 12 yr olds – not adults.

    • Tito says:

      GREAT POST aprayerforthewildheart !!

      So true! If only more people could become aware of this lame sickening trend to just STOP IT. they’re stifling REAL artists..

      It’s already gone too far.