From West End to Hollywood: Stage Actors Take to the Screen in ‘Les Miserables’ Film

For fans of the West End production of Les Miserables, the film version featured a who’s who of the London company. While some of these cameos are brief and non-speaking (the kind of cameos that if you blink you might miss) many West End alum were featured in some of the supporting roles in the film. When it came to casting the film adaptation of Les Miserables, the filmmakers made the choice to have live vocal performances from the actors in the film. They looked for talented artists that could handle the rigorous shooting schedule, and had experience singing live for long periods of time. What better place for them to pull this talent from than the stage production of the show?

Here are just a few of the many actors that made the transition from stage to screen:

 

Samantha Barks

Samantha Barks as Eponine.

Samantha Barks as Eponine.

Barks got her start with Les Miserables, when she was cast as the street-urchin Eponine for the West End in 2010.  From there she was asked by Cameron Mackintosh to reprise the role for the 25th Anniversary concert, and received rave reviews for her performance.  After finishing her run in 2011, she played the role of Nancy in Oliver! in the UK tour of the production. While on stage for curtain call, Cameron Mackintosh surprised Barks by announcing that she was chosen to play Eponine in the film version of Les Mis.  She gave a beautiful performance in the role, and gained worldwide praise. She is currently filming The Christmas Candle, set to release later this year.

Find out more about Samantha Barks on Twitter: @SamanthaBarks

Alistair Brammer

Alistair Brammer as Jean "Jehan" Prouvaire.

Alistair Brammer as Jean “Jehan” Prouvaire.

Alistair Brammer first joined Les Miserables on the West End in 2010, alongside Samantha Barks, playing the role of the love-struck student Marius Pontmercy.  He displayed a spectacular talent, which has been further demonstrated in other musical roles on stage in London. While performing in Les Mis at the Queens Theatre, he was cast as Jean ‘Jehan’ Prouvaire in the 25th Anniversary concert at the O2 Arena. He reprised this role in the film adaptation and gave a lovely performance that left many teary-eyed during the tragic final battle scene. Brammer is currently playing the part of Billy in the West End’s production of War Horse.

Find out more about Alistair Brammer on Twitter: @alistairbrammer

Killian Donnelly

Killian Donnelly as Combeferre.

Killian Donnelly as Combeferre.

The Irish actor is surely no stranger to Les Mis. He has performed in the most recent West End production in various roles, including the rebellious young leader Enjolras. Donnelly also gave a wonderful performance as Raoul in the most recent West End production of Phantom.  Adding to the list of Les Mis characters he has played, he performed as Courfeyrac in the 25th Anniversary concert. From there, he went on to play the smart and nurturing Combeferre and was fantastic in this role. Donnelly is currently playing to role of Tony in the West End production of Billy Elliot.

Find out more about Killian Donnelly on Twitter: @killiandonnelly

Fra Fee

Fra Fee as Courfeyrac.

Fra Fee as Courfeyrac.

Fee joined the cast of the most recent West End production of Les Miserables. He has played various roles, including Marius and Jean Prouvaire, and was a swing for the role of Enjolras. Before performing in Les Mis, he was in the West End production of the stage adaptation of Dirty Dancing.  In the film, he plays the role of Courfeyrac, a student who is known for holding the group together on many an occasion.  Fee broke the hearts of many fans with his character’s emotional struggle during an attempt to save the young Gavroche. Fee recently finished a limited engagement of the show Follies in Toulon, France. He will be seen next in the production A Man of No Importance at Salisbury Playhouse.

Find out more about Fra Fee on Twitter: @frafee

Hadley Fraser

Hadley Fraser as the Army Officer.

Hadley Fraser as the Army Officer.

Fraser is yet another stage actor who has played various roles in several Les Mis productions. He got his start on the West End playing Marius from 2002 to 2003.  Fraser performed in various stage and screen roles, gaining the recognition by many as a multi-talented artist, before returning to Les Mis in the role of Grantaire for the 25th Anniversary concert. In 2011, he joined the West End cast as the ever-determined cop Javert. He joined the cast of the film as the Army Officer, known best for singing the warnings before the final battle scene. Fraser was a standout to many for his incredible talent, and portrayed the internal struggle of a misunderstood character wonderfully. Fraser will soon be in the West End production of Sondheim’s The Pajama Game.

Find out more about Hadley Fraser on Twitter: @hadleyfraser

Daniel Huttlestone

Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche.

Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche.

This young actor has a bright future ahead of him. Huttlestone began his acting career in the West End production of Oliver!, playing the role of Nipper. When the show closed, he landed the role of the young street urchin Gavroche in Les Mis at the Queens Theatre. He reprised the part in the film adaptation and became a fan favorite. His talent is remarkable and his performance left many sobbing by the time the character met his fate. Little is known about what lies in store for Huttlestone next but the future is definitely promising for this young lad.

Find out more about Daniel Huttlestone on Twitter: @danhuttlestone7

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Subscribe to Comments RSS Feed in this post

6 Responses

  1. Well actually Sam played Nancy in the UK Tour not London 😉 and was announced as Eponine in Manchaster ;D and there’re also Katie Hall, Gina Beck, & Alexia Khadime in the movie 😀 But great article anyway! 😀

    • Thank you for pointing that out, I fixed this information! Thanks for the feedback! I hope you liked it! :)

  2. Great article.

    But you forgot to list two of the most respected ‘Les Miserables’ stage alumni who also featured in the film –
    1. Colm Wilkinson – The original West End & Broadway Jean Valjean, who has been nominated for an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for his portrayal of Valjean on stage. He played the Bishop in the film
    2. Frances Ruffelle – The original West End & Broadway Eponine. She has won the Tony Award for her portrayal of Eponine on stage. She played Whore 1 in the film.

    • Thank you.

      I love Colm and Frances, and would never purposefully forget to mention them. I wanted to cover those who were in the most current production on the West End, but you are absolutely right! Colm and Frances were brilliant in the movie, as well!

      Thank you for your feedback!

  3. Wow! Great article!