‘Les Misérables’ star Samantha Barks breaks out on Blu-ray and DVD, sings praises of Hugh Jackman, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Eddie Redmayne
Samantha Barks in 'Les Miserables' (Photo: Universal Pictures)
During the 2013 awards season, Anne Hathaway's Oscar-bound sweep as Fantine in "Les Misérables" sadly overshadowed one of the movie musical's biggest break-through performances -- that of Samantha Barks as Eponine. With the release of the movie on Blu-ray and DVD this Friday, audiences will have another chance to check out the pipes on the Isle of Man native who made her film debut alongside Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Eddie Redmayne.
Barks definitely comes from the glass-slipper, Cinderella-story school of show business: She was named Best Foreign Singer at the Maltese International Song Competition in 2007. The next year, at 17, she came in third on the BBC talent show "I'd Do Anything." Next up were "Aladdin" at the Theatre Royal Windsor and Sally Bowles in "Cabaret" at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and then she entered "Les Mis" territory playing Eponine, a tragic love-struck urchin, in London's West End.
Famed producer Cameron Mackintosh caught Barks at the West End and cast her opposite Nick Jonas in "Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary" in 2010. From there, she was just a song away from her film debut in Tom Hooper's Oscar-winning musical. We caught up with the dark-haired, dimpled star, 22, who was as surprised as anybody that she made the cut alongside the Hollywood A-list: "I never for a second thought I would be considered. It was a new experience for me after the West End. On film, you have to really play to a camera instead of trying to fill a 2,000-seat auditorium. To bring it into such an intimate place is very exciting."
Watch Samantha Barks performing in "On My Own" in 'Les Miserables':
Thelma Adams: Of all the major cast members, you're probably the least known outside of England. What should we know about you?
Samantha Barks: I am an actress that loves to sing.
TA: Any pet peeves?
SB: Many! One of mine is when you start singing and someone joins in on your song and changes the key so that you cannot sing your own song.
TA: What's one thing people wouldn't learn about you from the studio press notes?
SB: I have a brother and a sister. My brother is a pilot with three beautiful children. My sister is a primary school teacher. Christmas dinner is interesting because we all have different careers. No one in my family has ever sung, and we're all equally thrilled to hear about my sister the teacher or my brother the pilot.