When British actress Samantha Barks landed the part of Eponine in the upcoming movie adaptation of Les Miserables, the news came as a quite a shock to fans, since Grammy winner Taylor Swift had previously been rumored for the role. However, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying star Nick Jonas, who performed with Barks as Marius in the West End production of Les Miserables in 2010, immediately knew producer Cameron Mackintosh had found the perfect woman for the job.
“I am so happy for Samantha,” Jonas recently told Broadway.com of the budding starlet (his rumored former flame). “She’s an incredible talent and is going to be incredible in this role in the film.”
Barks played Eponine opposite Jonas in both the West End production of Les Miserables, as well as at the musical’s 25th anniversary concert at the O2 arena. The actress rose to fame when she came in third place on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s reality casting show I’d Do Anything, a TV search to cast Nancy in Oliver!. She later starred in the U.K. tour of the show.
“She was amazing in the 25th [anniversary concert], and I had a great time doing this show with her in London in the West End,” Jonas gushed. “I am proud of her and excited to see this movie.”
Les Miserables' star-studded film, which starts shooting next month in Chatham, also features Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Sacha Baron Cohen as Monsieur Thenardier, Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenardier and Aaron Tveit as Enjolras.
Take a look back at Jonas and Barks performing "A Little Fall of Rain" from the Les Miserables anniversary concert below.