a (hopefully brief) rant

My greatest earthly love is musical theater.  If I’d been blessed with an especial talent for singing, I’d do anything to have become the next Lea Salonga, the next Sierra Boggess, the next Stephanie Block or Heather Headley.  They’re my heroes. Oh gosh. Wow.  Just thinking about them makes me kind of breathless and ashamed that I’d ever even think I could be like them.  I have no such illusions. But I am planning on moving to NYC or (preferably) London to get into that scene somehow.  Anything.  I’ll be a stage hand, or a “water-girl”- I really, really don’t care. It’s the atmosphere, and the music, that I want. That I crave.  That I live for.

Les Mis is my favorite. The only thing that even nearly compares is The Phantom, and then Aida and My Fair Lady and West Side Story and Evita and Wicked and Miss Saigon are all wonderful.

And so, of all the characters in literature, music, and theater, I relate the most to Eponine. I’ve resigned myself to the background-character role in life (that’s not a pity-party, that’s my realization, and I hold to it). I don’t completely mind it- at least I can find a twin in literature, right? So Eponine’s mine. As a matter of fact, in a lot of ways, she’s not my twin, she’s me.

In the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Mis, filmed and (thank God!) put on dvd for my constant viewing, Eponine was played by Samantha Barks. Who was brilliant.  A little too pretty for the role, but wonderful.  In the 2010 cast, it was Rosalind James.  A bit angry, and her voice isn’t my favorite, but gosh can she sing and does she ever have the look down.  10th Anniversary was Lea Solona.  Don’t get my started on the epic-ness of that woman.  And lastly in my list of notable Eponines, Francis Ruffelle, the original- but she isn’t really my deal.  Kinda sounds like she’s been drugged. Anyway.

Imagine my sheer delight to find that Tom Hooper – TOM HOOPER – was making a film adaptaion of the musical!!!! I was ecstatic. Hugh Jackman as Valjean? Heck yes.  I was hoping for Ramin Karimloo, (my own true love) but it’s the best second.  And Russell Crowe as Javert will probably be amazing.  Anne Hathaway as Fantine might be good, Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried as Marius and Cosette will be fantastic, I think.  Aaron Tveit being Enjolras MADE MY DAY.

So, the next character to cast is obviously Eponine- Lea Michelle, Scarlet Johanson, and Evan Rachel Wood all auditioned and were considered.  I was thinking Rosario Dawson would be cool.  Or any number of the amazing talents in London and New York and Sydney and Las Vegas.  But no.  None of those.  Instead we’re going the typical Hollywood style and choosing good publicity over talent.  It’s time for the really really bad news.  I’ll be quick so I don’t start balling again.  *takes breath*

TAYLOR SWIFT IS PLAYING EPONINE.

I don’t care how much you happy-dance-squeal-jump-for-joy over Taylor’s music, her cool hair, or her numerous boyfriends and the pointed songs she writes about them after the inevitable break-up two months into the relationship.   Maybe you think she’s the best thing that ever tried to pair pop music with country and for that she should be worshiped.  Maybe you’re really in love with her and can’t see past her shallow lifestyle.  Maybe she’s actually a wonderful person and I’m wrong. (I mean that- I could be way off.)  I. DON’T. CARE.

Because she can’t be Eponine.  Where’s the depth?  The rugged “I’ve-lived-all-my-life-on-the-street” feel?  The girl who helps her parents rob people blind, run a crack house, and outsmart the police?  The one who’s hopelessly in love with Marius (Eddie Redmayne) and unable to get his attention as anything more than a boy-like friend?  How is she going to be “just one of the guys” to him and be awkward and boyish and blunt but silent about her own feelings because she doesn’t know how to function in the romantic world? (And for the record, I don’t think she’s even pretty.  But she is glamorous, and that is the opposite of Eponine.)

Lastly, and most importantly, where are the chops!?  She can sing a fine (somewhat weak) country song, but really? Boubil and Schönberg?  Never.  That’s not ever.  NEV-ER.  If you can’t tell, I’m really upset about this.  Call me a baby, but I cried.  I feel like I, personally, am being violated.  Anyway. That’s my rant.  I refuse to apologzie for it, because frankly, you didn’t have to read it. :/  (It doesn’t help that the google search “Les Miserables” is now filled with images of Taylor Swift.  Yeah. I’m piping mad.)

Au revoir.

  • Anande

    *Applauds*

    I can’t even tell you how upset I was when I heard about Taylor Swift playing Eponine. It is an outrage. She is so COMPLETELY wrong for the role, there are no words to even describe it. I was hoping Jackman and Crowe would object. I mean, they’re bonafide, serious actors, and this film is an amazing vehicle for them. Adding Taylor to the cast makes it seem like a joke. I wish they would take a stand and refuse to share the sceen with her. Not that I have anything against Taylor, but I DO NOT want to see her in Les Mis. She’s not an actress, and like you said, she doesn’t even have a very strong voice. If she wants to do films, fine, that’s her choice, but she DOES NOT BELONG IN THIS ONE.

  • Amen. and amen.

    I am fuming mad. I refuse to see it in theaters, you could not pay me.

  • Kim

    I’m not a musical theater fan (really), but I had seen Le Mis a long time ago. Even though my memory is foggy, it’s still safe for me to say that I can’t imagine her fitting in. Nuh-uh. Your rant was wonderful 🙂 It helps that I don’t like Swift much (I have my own, very childish reasons), haha.

  • Meghan

    So, I never read the book, or anything, I just watched the movie, which apparently left a lot of stuff out. Including Eponine. So, I wikipedia-ed her. She is a horrible person.
    Yeap that’s it:-)

  • Haha in the book, yeah, she’s not the best person in the world. But in the musical she is one of my favorites. Second, probably, only to Enjolras. (I like fiery revolutionary types, what can I say?) And yeah, I ADORE the movie, but it did leave out a lot.

  • 😀 I’m glad you thought my rant was wonderful. 😉 I meant it, if you couldn’t tell. 😉
    I don’t have anything against people who love Taylor Swift, but my plight has not helped that pretty much starting around the time I learned that she might take the role, my sister started thinking she was the greatest thing in music and has played EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. all around the house. :/ Not cool.

  • Now we can both see it with joy, my dear!! Hallelujah, Samantha Barks got the role. I am overjoyed.

  • Isn’t it wonderful how we can sleep in peace now? I was a baby and actually cried when I found out Samantha Barks got the role instead. I’ve only seen her as Eponine in the 25th Anniversary Concert, but I cannot wait to see her all made-up for the movie, with real awesome sets and such.
    I was hoping the other actors would object as well!! That would have been fantastic. Thankfully enough of us on the internet must have. The idea of her in that cast did seem like a joke, honestly. I wasn’t crazy about Anne Hathaway as Fantine because I wasn’t sure she had the depth either, even if she can sing, but I read that her audition had the whole crew in tears. So now I have hope in her as well.
    Exactly. Taylor Swift can be in all the movies she wants, but please not this one. Please not musical-theater-turned-movie in general.

  • Oh, and to anyone seeing this, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubil are writing a new song just for the movie!!!! This makes me so extremely happy. 🙂