The 2012 film adaptation of the musical Les Miserables had a lot of big stars, but not Taylor Swift, although that apparently could have happened. She auditioned to play a role, but according to her, it was a “nightmare” experience. Taylor recounted the moment while on an episode of The Graham Norton Show with actor Eddie Redmayne. Eddie was her scene partner in her audition and she was so embarrassed by how things unfolded in front of him.
“Basically, I was up for two roles.…I had the look of Cosette and the range, vocally, of Eponine, so it was established I was there for a good time but not for a long time—I wasn’t going to get the role,” she said. She added that she was asked to come to London and was thrilled to hear she’d meet Eddie because she’s a big fan.
Taylor said, “I thought, This isn’t an experience I am going to get again in my life, so I said yes.”
She was right…but not in the way she thought.
The filmmakers wanted Taylor in “full 19th-century street-urchin costume” for her screen test and even painted her teeth brown.
“I was like, ‘You are going to do that after I meet Eddie Redmayne, right?’” Taylor recalled. “But no, they made me look like near death and it immediately became a nightmare for me.…When I met Eddie, I didn’t open my mouth to speak!”
Oddly, Eddie was also having mouth problems at the same time.
“My overwhelming memory of it is that I had just been to Pizza Express beforehand and had garlic dough balls…and all I could think about was my garlic breath,” he joked.
“You were weeping and I thought it was because of how I looked,” Taylor replied. “It’s nice to hear we were both struggling in that moment.”
Eponine eventually went to actor Samantha Barks, and Eddie was cast as Marius. While Taylor didn’t get to be in her dream role, she has definitely done some other exciting projects since.
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