It’s easy to see how most people could assume Jessica Sanchez‘s post-American Idolprospects were DOA right after the May finale — the 16-year-old came in second to the show’s 5th White Guy With A Guitar winner Phillip Phillips, her debut single was a forgettable bomb, and she wasn’t even offered an album deal out of the gate. But oh, what a difference a few months makes — Sanchez is looking to the cast of Glee, finally nabbed that album deal with Interscope, and she’s now in contention for the lead role in a film adaptation of Miss Saigon.
A movie version of the Broadway musical, with a score by Les Miserables vets Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, has been in development since 2009 with Lee Daniels, the director of Precious, at the helm. Other actresses considered for the lead role of Kim, a Vietnamese prostitute who falls in love with an American G.I. during the Vietnam War, include Godspell‘s Anna Maria Perez de Tagle and Filipino pop star and Glee actress Charice.
Lea Salonga, the Tony winner who originated the role of Kim in London when she was 18 years old, gives Sanchez her stamp of approval. “If she’s the one that they’ve chosen, or she’s somebody in serious consideration, then that’s a good thing,” Salonga told Broadway.com. “We all know she’s talented, we all know she’s actually quite beautiful.”
Most of Kim’s songs in the play are pop-leaning power ballads, which suits a mini-diva like Sanchez perfectly. If she were to score the part, it would be a game-changer for the singer: a juicy lead role in an anticipated adaptation of a beloved musical? Sounds pretty familiar to other Idol alum Jennifer Hudson, whose career catapulted to another dimension when she landed the role (and won an Oscar for her work) in Dreamgirls.
Can’t you already picture Jessica effortlessly belting out the show’s classic duet, “Last Night Of The World”? Get that part, girl!