Monday, January 30, 2012

The Thought of Taylor Swift in Les Miserables Makes Me Miserable!

Reading this article in the Guardian online; I realize I am rolling my eyes. No one is there to see me but I do it none the less! The article, which I'll post below, is about Colm Wilkinson who was Valjean and Frances Ruffelle who was Eponine in the original 1985 production joining Tom Hooper's current production.

Tom Hooper's forthcoming film adaptation of Les Misérables
 will unite original cast members and Hollywood stars.
Photograph: Alastair Muir/Rex Features
Original cast members from the musical Les Misérables are to be reunited in Tom Hooper's new film adaptation.
Frances Ruffelle and Colm Wilkinson, who created the roles of Eponine and Jean Valjean respectively in the 1985 production at the Barbican Centre, will play featured roles in the film, which starts rehearsals today and will be released in December. But they will not reprise their original roles: Hugh Jackman and Taylor Swift are set to do that.

Wilkinson will play the Bishop of Digne, from whom Valjean steals a number of valuable silver candlesticks, while Ruffelle, who is currently starring in Pippin at the Menier Chocolate Factory, will appear in the sequence built around the number Lovely Ladies, playing "the most fabulous whore", according to producer Cameron Mackintosh.

Wilkinson told the Daily Mail that the casting brings him "full circle."

Both cast members transferred with the original RSC production to Broadway two years later. During that run, Ruffelle won a Tony award for best featured actress in a musical and Wilkinson was nominated for best actor in a musical.

Other confirmed cast members in the forthcoming film include Russell Crowe as Javert, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as Thenardier and his wife and Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Birdsong star Eddie Redmayne will play Marius and Amanda Seyfried, Cosette.

In a separate development, it was revealed earlier this month that the original Les Mis cast will lose out on recording royalties because their contracts with the recording company have lapsed. After a dispute involving Equity, the actors' union, both sides are in the process of negotiating new contracts.

Les Mis celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010 with a concert at the O2 and a new production that returned to the Barbican Centre. The musical has been seen by more than 60 million people across 42 countries worldwide.

The reason I am rolling my eyes is the absolutely lazy casting job Hooper is doing. Taylor Swift as Eponine? Why? I'm sure with the magic of mixing, they'll be able to get the songs and the high notes out of her but again, why? Hooper has already loaded the Broadway classic with a plethora of big names; why the rush to throw a pop star in the mix? Is it merely to rake in a younger audience? I do wish he would give a young unknown a chance and I wonder if he's really explored the young women currently playing the part on stage. When I think of Swift, I just can't think of anything but Taylor Swift and dopey looking Taylor Lautner being silly in Valentine's Day. And I don't think I'm the only one. I think she brings a lot of unnecessary baggage to the production and the beloved role.
Yuck, Tom Hooper! You did such a lovely job with The King's Speech, I love this musical and really want it to be spectacular. If sh'e's not up to the task, I hope you'll find a way to sack her. If she is, kudos to you for seeing it!
What do you think of Taylor Swift as Eponine? Or the casting in general?

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