Friday, January 27, 2012

Original Les Miz stars will join the movie in featured roles

Colm Wilkinson and Frances Ruffelle
with producer Cameron Mackintosh
The original stars of the stage version of musical Les Miserables will join Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe in the big-screen version, which begins rehearsals on Monday.

Colm Wilkinson, who was the first Jean Valjean, and Frances Ruffelle, who created the part of Eponine, have been given feature roles in the movie.

Wilkinson will play the Bishop of Digne. ‘He shows Valjean the road ahead, after Valjean has robbed him of silver candlesticks,’ says Cameron Mackintosh, who produced the musical on stage and who is also involved with Working Title and Universal in making the picture, which Oscar-winner Tom Hooper will direct.

Wilkinson, who played Valjean in London and on Broadway, said that as he takes on the role of the bishop, his journey with Les Miserables has ended ‘and I have come full circle’.

Cameron also revealed that Ruffelle will play ‘the most fabulous whore’ in the movie, and while she won’t have a song of her own, she will be part of the group of prostitutes who sing the number Lovely Ladies.

Some 27 years after Les Miserables was first staged at the Barbican, the show is still running — now at the Queens in the West End.

Russell Crowe, playing Inspector Javert, will also be arriving next week, along with Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Eddie Redmayne (Marius), Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) and Aaron Tveit (Enjolras).

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