Samantha Barks is making her introduction to film in ‘Les Miserables’ as Eponine, but this won’t be her first time playing the iconic character. After having appeared in the stage version of the musical in London, she was cast by producer Cameron Macintosh in the film version.
In a new interview with Movieline, Banks talks about playing Eponine, saying, “I feel ecstatic because I played this role on the West End for a year, took it to the O2 Arena for the 25th anniversary, and now to the film — it kind of feels surreal to have had three different experiences of this wonderfully iconic role. Each one has been different, but I’ve spent over four years of my life making her really the most consistent thing that’s been in my life for the last couple of years, and I feel so proud just to be a part of her.”
She also talks about the exact moment that she learned that she won the role, saying, “It was the most shocking, amazing piece of news I could receive, but done in the most unique way I think you could ever find out you’ve got a role, you know? It was very unheard of to find out like that! I was in a state of shock. He walked onstage as I was taking my bow and he made a speech about Oliver Twist and Charles Dickens, and he managed to segue onto the fact that I’d won the role of Eponine in the Les Miserables film! And that reaction of mine — I was just completely speechless. It’s also exciting for me to actually be able to watch that clip; I’ve seen that clip on the internet, and it’s kind of proof that the moment actually happened.”
When asked about how many time she’s sang ‘On My Own’, she says, “It’s hard because I’m rubbish at math, but basically… eight shows a week for a year, and then the O2 performance, and then some rehearsals on top of that, plus another definite 15 takes for the film, and rehearsals — so there’s a lot of singing that song! And it’s funny because every time I hear that song, or perform that song, it just sets my heart on fire. It’s such a tragic tale. It’s a role I relate to so much that getting to perform that song every single time makes me feel so alive. I feel so lucky to get to sing it.” The editors of the article add that all of that singing adds up to more than 400+ takes of the song.