Tom Hooper's Les Miserables is one of my 12 most anticipated movies of the new year, and that's largely because of the excellent casting he's done so far. While I don't know that Russell Crowe is much of a singer, he'll be a great Javert. Hugh Jackman is the obvious guy to have leading your movie musical, and he's playing Jean Valjean, one of the great good guys. And then there's Anne Hathaway as Fantine, everybody's favorite hair-selling prostitute. I like that line-up.
There have been two more actors offered roles in the film; one is exciting, the other... feels studio mandated. The exciting one is Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Fantine's daughter (grown-up version, of course). Seyfried is a strong actress, is lovely and most of all can sing - she's trained in opera. This is a good, good choice.
But the other choice is troubling. It's for the role of Eponine, Cosette's rival for the affection of Marius (played in the film by Eddie Redmayne). Eponine is a fan-favorite character; where Cosette is all girly and soft, Eponine is independent and tough. She also has the show's most famous number, On My Own. The actress offered the role of headstrong, streetwise Eponine is... Taylor Swift. While I understand that Swift's name on a poster will probably sell more tickets, I just feel like she's woefully miscast here. Nothing about Swift - whose acting chops remain way up in the air - says Eponine to me. If there's any good news, it's that:
SPOILER!!!!! we will get to see Taylor Swift shot dead.
This takes my excitement for the film down a serious peg. Here's hoping that Hooper - who isn't exactly my favorite director in the world - knows what he's doing and that this choice wasn't mandated only by marketing people.