‘Les Miserables’ Star Samantha Barks Had ‘So Much to Learn’ Going From Stage to Screen (VIDEO)

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Although many of the stars of Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the stage musical Les Miserables had previous experience as singers – some were even classically-trained – none had the pedigree of Samantha Barks, who performed in hundreds of stage performances of the musical in London’s West End.

Nevertheless, Barks admitted that she struggled to find the right approach to playing Eponine, the character whom she’s played so many times before, when faced with the challenge of doing so in front of a camera rather than on stage.

“This is a piece I knew a lot about, having performed it in the West End,” Barks told Celebuzz. “But I was entering a world I knew nothing about, so I had a lot to bring to it, but there was so much to learn.”

Barks explained that the stage experience demands more from a performer, at least in the sense that he or she must project enough volume and power to reach everyone in the audience. Comparatively, being filmed meant that she had to dial back her more theatrical impulses to find something more understated and intimate.

“In theatre you have to project your voice to fill a 3,000 seater, but on this you could be stripped back and your emotions could read,” she said.

“The camera was right here, so you could be so intimate. Obviously you still want to build to that musical climax, but it meant you could start in such a place of intimacy that you had a longer journey than a musical arc to go on – because it’s so exciting to have that depth.”

Les Miserables opens in theaters nationwide on December 25. Watch Celebuzz’ interview with Barks’ co-star, Anne Hathaway, and let us know what you think of the film itself in the comments below!

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