Report: Samantha Barks, Not Taylor Swift, To Play Eponine in Les Miserables Movie

Taylor Swift may have been offered a role in Tom Hooper's Les Miserables film, but has she recently been replaced? According to Broadway World, theater impresario Cameron Mackintosh, who is also producing Hooper's film, announced onstage at a curtain call for Oliver! that stage actress Samantha Barks has been chosen to play Eponine -- the role he cast her in for the 2010 25th anniversary Les Mis concert. Les Mis purists, you may exhale in 3, 2, 1...

According to Broadway World, reports flew in from audience members in attendance:

"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.'"

The 21-year-old Barks competed on the 2008 BBC reality musical television show I'd Do Anything and played Eponine onstage multiple times previously in London, and she certainly knows the material (see below); she'll be joining a cast that already includes Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, and Amanda Seyfried.

There's been no word yet on what happened with Swift and her camp, but Mackintosh's grand gesture in front of a packed house at the Manchester Palace was a pretty public way to break the news. Oh, don't you worry, Swifties. The busy warbler has a film coming out this year (The Lorax) and is bound to pick up another acting gig sooner or later.

UPDATE: THR confirms the initial report here.

BREAKING NEWS: Samantha Barks To Play Eponine In LES MISERABLES Movie [Broadway World]


  • Matt says:

    Too bad I was looking forward to seeing Taylor in this movie. I will pass on it now and just wait for redbox. I hope Taylor gets a new movie soon.

  • Wayne Beau says:

    If this is the role Lea Michele was being considered for, I'm very sorry she
    was not cast.

    • Grace O'Keefe says:

      Really? Lea Michele? Really? I would have preferred Taylor Swift to that. Glad it's Barks though, she'll do an excellent job I know and must be even more fantastic than she's appeared in the past to complete such a fantabulous cast.

  • Janet says:

    Oh. Gosh, this is sort of a disappointment to me. I know there are those that have certain ideas about Taylor Swift, but I can definitely say that she IS a talented actress. I'm sure Samantha will do wonderfully, but really, couldn't Taylor have been given a chance? Some people I know would be very astonished to see her act.

    • Nicole says:

      It's based off an iconic Broadway show. She isn't Broadway, simple as that. She needs to stay off the stage and away from theatre.

  • [...] was she ever really in?CliqueClackMovieline -Daily Mail -Up and Comersall 23 news [...]

  • Melissa says:

    Perhaps her acting is not bad, but Taylor would've struggled with the singing material. Taylor is a POP singer, and it takes a lot more than that to sing Les Mis. Glad Samatha Barks got it. She knows what to do with the material anyway. Taylor has a voice for country and pop, but not huge, haunting melodies. Les Mis is really hard to sing, not just anyone can do it.

  • Audra says:

    Both Lea Michele and Taylor Swift have already made their stardom marks in other mediums, and their fame isn't going anywhere anytime soon. This is a wonderful opportunity to give a truly talented young lady the chance for exposure beyond her stage renown. This way, she can truly own her performance without needing to rely on any help from auto-tune (*cough*taylorswift*cough*), or having to put up with the constant "oh, that's the girl from Glee, right?". I'm so happy for Miss Banks, can't wait to see it!

    • Audra says:

      And YES, I know Lea Michele started on Broadway as Young Cosette, and later the Immigrant's daughter in Ragtime, etc then Wendla in S.A., etc.. but the REST of the world knows her best as Rachel Berry... so I can imagine it might be hard for the average movie-goer and TV-watcher to not think of her Glee role while seeing her play Eponine (though there's no doubt she'd pull off the singing/acting)

      • Audra says:

        sorry, last thing. Scratch that last comment... now that I think about it, Lea Michele might be a little TOO over-the-top with the drama... meh.

  • Sean says:

    Thankful that Samantha will be performing in the film, she is very deserving. Also, Taylor and Lea need to go far, far away. That is all.

  • Kay says:

    Taylor Swift wasn't replaced; she was never hired in the first place. It was all just internet rumors. Nobody connected with the production ever said she was hired or rehearsing. She may have been offered the role but even that was never verified officially.

  • Sam says:

    When I heard that Swift was offered the role I could not believe it because I have heard her in concert and on live shows on TV and the girl can not sing. She only sings in low octaves and her vocals are all over the place. I wondered how she would get the role as you have to sing live and Swift can not do that to save her life. Glad someone in casting has some sense.

  • NicNac13c says:

    Awwwww, man. I was looking forward to Taylor Swift's death scene when Kanye steps out and goes "Yo, Eponine. I'm gonna let you finish but Tosca had one of the best death scenes of all time."

  • tom says:

    The studio corrected their mistake in casting her in the first place. The role is to important and Taylor is not a good actress at all. They decided to go with someone that can handle the role. This makes me happy.

  • Angie says:

    You know, this seemed like such a ridiculous casting decision that you have to wonder if it was a PR move or a "testing the waters" deal. Maybe somebody threw the idea out there, and others said, "Ok...I'll make you a deal. Let's get the public's take on it, and if there isn't a huge uproar, we'll cast her." At the very least, it got a little buzz going for the production. I honestly didn't know they were making Les Mis into a movie until I heard about Swift's potential involvement.

    • Mary says:

      I absolutely agree with your take on it possibly being a PR move. OTOH, I thought TS being cast was plausible only because Nick Jonas already played Marius in London and in the 25th anniversary concert. So I kept thinking, no, they'd never cast her - but then I reminded myself that anything was possible, as they'd already done something equally ridiculous.

  • Alex Luise says:

    Les Mis producers, I see what you did there! haha! They used Taylor Swift so that the public will be relieved even if they cast a mediocre Eponine (just like what happened here). The truly great ones are too old to play the role anyway. Still let's give Sam credit. Given more training,she might just pull it off.. It's a movie anyway and not Theatre so anyone can actually play the roles, the wonder of Autotune!

  • Kristine says:

    I was really upset when I read that Taylor Swoft was playing Eponine whose role happens to be my favorite. When I think of her acting all I imagine is that annoying dumb girl she played in Valentines Day. She is not a good singer and as far as I know just a mediocre actress. Lea Michelle would have done a good job and she looks the part but I am glad that this character is being played by a professional broadway performer.

  • LesMissette says:

    Listen; both Taylor Swift and Lea Michele are where they are for a reason; they've got to be good at what they do or they wouldn't be at the top. It does seem to make sense that they cast someone who has experience with the role, but honestly? That doesn't mean the Swift and Michele would have been horrible for the part. What if Taylor surprised us all and turned out to be really good? Lea Michele would probably also be a nice fit. I think that they did a good job casting the part; we haven't really seen Swift's acting chops yet so we can't judge, so we're going with the casting people have good sense and we trust their judgement. Just because people don't like a certain person does not mean you can go around hating on them.

  • Celine says:

    Personally, I didn't really want Taylor Swift to be cast as Eponine... it didn't really fit to me. I actually think Taylor Swift would've made a better Cosette than Eponine. This is just my personal opinion.

    • Jess says:

      No, Taylor would definitely look the part, but she most likely couldn't sing it. No offense to her, I love Taylor.

  • [...] We've got Jackman as Valjean, Crowe as Javert, Seyfried as Cosette, all of whom have been known to flex their vocal chords from time to time. Redmayne, who starred most recently in My Week With Marilyn and plays Marius, has yet to show off his pipes but apparently was a chorister at Eton College - not too shabby. Then there's Samantha Barks as Eponine, who'll probably blow everyone else in the cast away seeing as she's an actual West End star. (Remember when we thought Taylor Swift had the role in the bag? Oh, Internet.) [...]

  • [...] Barks recalled enduring many sodden takes of singing "On My Own" in the rain. “There was a big rain machine which followed me around for a lot of the film. Sometimes I’d arrive on set and they’d have to hose me down," she recalled. "After the rain, you get so cold, your teeth start to chatter and they say, ‘We’re picking up on a weird sound, what’s that?’ So I’d chatter, ‘It’s my teeth!’” [...]

  • [...] Mackintosh made the surprise announcement, onstage after your show in front of an entire theater, that you had landed Eponine in the film. There were Tweets left and right and it sounded like quite a magical way to learn that you’d won [...]

  • [...] Mackintosh made the surprise announcement, onstage after your show in front of an entire theater, that you had landed Eponine in the film. There were Tweets left and right and it sounded like quite a magical way to learn that you’d won [...]