Does Taylor Swift have the chops to star in Les Mis?
The country music superstar is up for a big role in the film adaptation of the classic musical — but she'll have to beat out Lea Michele to get the part
Taylor Swift has already won nearly ever music award the industry offers. Could an Oscar be next? The pop-country crooner, who had a cameo in last year's A-list ensemble flick Valentine's Day, is in contention to play Eponine in Tom Hooper's (The King's Speech) upcoming film adaptation of the musical Les Miserables. The New York Post reports that Swift is being considered alongside Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson, and Evan Rachel Wood for the chance to play the impoverished, tragically lovesick girl who sings the musical's wrenching ballad, "On My Own." The impressive cast already boasts the likes of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway. Does the "You Belong With Me" singer belong with this award-worthy bunch?
No way: Swift can carry a tune, says Kevin Jagernauth at Indie Wire. But her film resume is quite limited: It's basically just a blink-and-you'll-miss-it role in Valentine's Day and voicework in the upcoming Lorax adaptation. There's no indication that Swift can handle a meaty role in an Oscar-baiting film. It "seems like a stretch."
"Taylor Swift, Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson & Evan Rachel Wood in the mix to play Eponine in Les Miserables"
Actually, it's not a bad idea: Eponine is a tricky role, and not just because of the acting required, says Jen Chaney at The Washington Post. Fans love Eponine, and "On My Own" is a song that "every teenage musical theater nerd listens to repeatedly while struggling with unrequited feelings for a boy." While Swift's unproven acting skills leave questions about her ability to handle the part's dramatic heft, the numerous songs she's penned about heartbreak suggest she can tap into the necessary emotion. Also a plus: Casting her would instantly sell the movie to her "legions of heart-hand-gesturing" young supporters
"Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, or Evan Rachel Wood: Who should play Eponine in Les Miserables?"
Forget it. Lea Michele will nab the part: The New York Post reports that Michele "knocked it out of the park" in her audition, which is no surprise, says Michael Arbeiter at Hollywood. She's played the part at the Hollywood Bowl, sung "On My Own" on Glee, and starred as a young Cosette on Broadway as a little girl. With her pipes and acting chops, "I'd say she's got a fair shot at the title, and is indeed worthy of the cause."
"Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson, and Taylor Swift in talks for Les Miserables"