Taylor Swift Offered Role In Upcoming ‘Les Miserables’ Movie Musical

While Justin Timberlake mulls over the possibility of playing Elton John in a musical biopic, another famous face from the world of pop is gearing up to sing on the big-screen. Though her rep has yet to confirm, Taylor Swift has reportedly been offered the role of Eponine (aka the one who sings what is arguably the show’s most well-known song, “On My Own”) in the upcoming screen adaptation of Les Miserables. If this turns out to be true, as thrilled as we are for Swift landing one of the hottest roles in Hollywood — Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson and Evan Rachel Wood were all allegedly gunning for the part — this is a terrible idea for several reasons.

Though Taylor and the character of Eponine share a lot of the same qualities — they’re both young and prone to falling in love with the wrong guys and singing about it — we just can’t stand behind this choice of casting.

First of all, this show requires extremely gifted actors. It’s a musical, but it’s an emotional drama, too, and director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) certainly knows that by the pedigree of the rest of the cast he’s picked out: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen, Anne Hathaway, and just-announced Amanda Seyfried, who will playing the role of Cosette. Not all of the these people are Oscar winners, but they’re all fairly respected actors who have previously done impressive work in their field.

And then there’s Swift in Valentine’s Day:

Yeah.

Secondly, much of the singing will be filmed live on-set. Yes, Swift is obviously a singer — one of the most successful singers the music industry has right now — but being able to sing country-pop songs you’ve written specifically for your voice is a lot different than being able to pull off beloved Broadway standards that require some extreme belting:

Yes, we purposely chose a clip of Lea Michele singing “On My Own”. As grating as her character can be on Glee, she nails this song, and we’re assuming it was Swift’s star power that nabbed her the part over Michele. (If that’s the case, then why not just cast Justin Bieber as the pint-sized street urchin soldier Gavroche?) But can you picture Swift effortlessly delivering the necessary power and control on a ballad like this? Live?

What’s more, the film opens on December 7, 2012, and rehearsals begin next week. This means Taylor will barely have any time to focus on her follow-up to the immensely successful Speak Now. We already knew it would take her at least a year to write new tunes, but if she’s too busy rehearsing, filming, recording and promoting Les Miz, we’re looking at a major album delay. And that we just can’t stand behind.

What do you think of Taylor in Les Miserables? Will she surprise us all? Tell us below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

[Via Vulture]

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  • Cory

    I just find this casting to be a terrible idea. The fact that the singing for the film will be done live only adds to the miscasting, because, let’s face it: Taylor Swift isn’t the best live singer. I like her, but she’s made for the country genre. Having to sing a massive Broadway belter live while acting in an adaptation of one of the most famous musicals ever? I hope T-Swizzle starts vocal training…yesterday.

  • Katie

    This is just shame. I like Taylors songs but the girl can’t sing. To think she beat out actually decent singers because of star power is terrible.

  • Josh

    really out of all the qualified people to play this role…Taylor Swift? you have enough star power with Hugh, Russell and Anne…you don’t need to add someone else. Next they are going to announce that Justin Beiber will play the role of Marius.

  • Paula

    Taylor is NOT a good choice for this role! How can the casting directors NOT see that? She just does not strike me as a belter, or someone who can pull off the strong, street tough character qualities of Eponine. Taylor is just too whispy, dainty, and “damsel like” for this part. I mean, really?! C’mon!

  • Marc

    Apparently, Taylor Swift will not be doing any singing in her role. It’s been announced that the singing voice of Eponine will be played by Lea Salonga.

    • Becky Bain

      And who announced that?

  • Katie

    This is such a stupid call on the casting directors parts! The role of Eponine requires a strong voice that Taylor Swift does not have!! Yes she may have some of the same qualities as Eponine but it stops at that. Taylor Swift is a pop/country singer, not Broadway! Eponine is a belter while Taylor is NOT AT ALL! If she accepts this part she better be prepared for some major criticism coming her way. Les Mis is one of my favorite movies of all time and this/she will ruin it for me!

  • Bob

    Taylor will be great in this roll. Her beautiful singing voice is perfect for “On My Own.” I can’t wait to see the movie.

  • amee

    just watch out,knowing taylor,she’ll pull a surprise for all of her and fans and critics.

    go for it taylor.

  • Cassandra

    Seriously?! If this is the case, I will NOT be seeing the movie, which I have actually been pretty anxiously awaiting as it is one of my favorite musicals. What a shame.

  • Laura

    Please don’t have her play Eponine! I’m not saying that she is a bad singer. I think that she is a great singer, but her acting career has not been lengthy or remarkable. Plus, the only songs that she has performed are country-pop songs that are written specifically for her voice. For any Broadway character, the actor needs to be able to become that character in their acting and their singing, and I feel that Taylor Swift just doesn’t fit that part. I don’t care if the role is played by someone famous, I just care that they can play it well!

    I love this musical so much, and I just want the cast to do it justice!

  • Sara

    What a horrible idea! There is no good reason Taylor should play Eponine. Unless we are doing a innocent counrty version of the play, she should not have this part. I don’t disputer her talent but this is not a part she should play, there are so many other singers who will be so much more perfect for this. As a die hard Les Mis fan, I am offended and upset if this follows through, and I’m sure this will ruin it for me, and plenty of other fans as well.

  • Amy

    I have a lot of respect for Taylor but this is a terrible casting choice! Les Mis is one of the greatest musicals of all time and the songs are huge! You need a Broadway voice to pull them off and I’m not sure if she can do that! Lea Michele seems like a good choice and I would have said her star power was almost as big as Taylor’s, with the popularity of Glee.

    Anyway, if this has to happen, best of luck to Taylor and we shall see what she comes up with.

  • sara

    Give the girl a chance. She might surprise everyone… We know what ScarJo and Lea Michele can do…..Taylor Swift may have acting talent not reflected in her videos….and she might handle the music just fine.

  • Rebekah

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  • BK

    I agree this is a terrible. I believe the part should have gone to Lea Micelle or Samantha Barks from the Les Miz 25th Anniversary concert who was fantastic. Lea would have brought in the younger audience due to Glee’s success. Taylor Swift was a horrible choice and won’t bring in much additional audience that one of the other main starts would not already bring in. I have seen Les Miz 5 times, including this past October, in London. Her casting will make me seriously consider going to theater to see. I can see why so many people are talking online about this be a joke and praying in is not the truth.

  • kylie

    I honestly cant find anything wrong with her voice, even live, she doesn’t need any training. AND on top of that she is a great actress,when I saw valentines day, i didnt even know that this was one of her first roles. Everybodys just jealous that lea michelle didnt get the role. Lea’s a good singer, but taylor’s better. ♥

  • kylie

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS ♥

  • kylie

    By the way Laura, it doesn’t matter if her acting career hasn’t been long, she was great from the begining, and this will only give her more experience, I think that she is going to shock people, in a good way ♥

  • kylie

    Just because Lea can sing doesn’t mean Taylor can’t. Taylor is a much better singer and people only hate on her because she’s good at everything she does, and she’s only getting better. If she was such a horrible singer and actress, they wouldn’t have given her the role in the first place. Hating on her isn’t gonna make that change. ♥

  • Macman

    Taylor will do a great job in the role of Eponine. She will bring so many more people to the movie that may never have watched it before. Her fans are solid and faithful. So you add them to the fans of Les Mis and you will sell out theatre after theatre. Then those who doubted will have to blog how wrong they were. She is a great singer and has so much talent that has developed over and over since she started.. I will be the first one in line for the sell out crowd.. Better than the iPhone!

  • Michele

    You’re kidding, right? I guess they’re casting to the teen-age audience. Taylor does not have the stage experience or the voice power to do this role justice.

    Shame, shame, shame!

  • zugarita

    My all-time favorite Broadway show. Have seen it many times with various folks playing Eponine. I think Taylor will be terrific. I have CDs from the original British and Broadway shows as well as a VHS copy of the 25th reunion show and have watched multiple times the recent get-together at the O. Her voice will blend in nicely. It’s the other voices I have concerns about. I love Hathaway, but nobody beats Lapone as Fantine. The voice should be a mezzo soprano. Even Huge Jackman will be hard-pressed to equal Colin Wilkinson, but I am sure I will enjoy the movie version because the show is my favorite.

  • ambah

    well, that just proves that they only cast her for star power. really, hugh jackman alone could sell the movie. but they really had to fill it with stars just for profit. it’s really sad, because the show is such a classic, and with the right cast it could have been incredible.

  • KarenK

    I could see Taylor in the role of Cosette. But Eponine? No way. She just isn’t right for the part.