I’m not going to lie: I definitely cracked a smile during this clip of LL Cool J beatboxing (with the, ah, help of Taylor Swift), but it wasn’t because I thought it was cute or endearing or anything like that, no sir. It was because sometimes, when bad things happen, like there’s a lot of tension in the room because someone (no names mentioned) ate the last six fish sticks without telling anyone else, or when, you know, someone accidentally sets themselves on fire and I have no other reaction because my natural response to a crisis is to laugh or smirk, it’s what I do.
I mean, that probably means that there’s something wrong with me, and that there are various emotional receptors broken in my soul and the parts that connect to my face, but it happens, and even if it’s insulting, it honestly means nothing. Nothing. No, when that last fish stick is all but in the toilet or the neighbor sets himself on fire again trying to make his annual firepit, it’s genuine discord I’m feeling. Discord. And I take no perverse joy or mirth in knowing that there’s no fish sticks left or that neighbor-man has to be admitted to the burn ward again because of that infection he’s just getting over from last year. No sirree. All I feel is sadness and concern, but because there’s something broken inside me, I kind of smile.
I think that’s the only explanation I have for my reaction to this video.
And I bet you anything that she is listening to “On My Own” on that iPod, singing along in her head and relating the lyrics to how some totally mean people kicked her out of what would have been a totally awesome movie. Totally. Well, that, or she’s listening to “On My Own” and pining over Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s really got to be one of the two.
The reason for Taylor Swift‘s most recent sadface is, of course, because the role of Eponine, that glorious role that was widely rumored to have gone to Tay Tay, was given to someone else! Can you imagine? It was pretty much official that Taylor would be butchering this role and ruining the entire movie for everyone, but now, thankfully, all is right in the world, because a legitimately good actress was offered the part, and she accepted it:
Samantha Barks is set to play Eponine in the film version of Les Miserables – the role she played at the 25th anniversary concert.
Cameron Mackintosh announced it live on stage at the Manchester Palace at the end of this evening’s performance of Oliver!, in which Barks is currently playing Nancy.
He told the cast and audience that he had a big announcement to make before flying to America, and then revealed that Barks would be taking the role of Eponine.
It seems to have come as a surprise to Barks – audience members reported that “the look on her face was priceless”.
She tweeted soon after the curtain call: “Most incredible moment of my life!!!! X”
Here’s Samantha in action:
That is what we’re going to get. This is what we could have gotten:
I’m not going to get into how Taylor Swift isn’t that great of a singer, because that’s what the comments are for. I’m just going to say that Taylor Swift’s voice was never meant for musical theatre, and certainly not for one of the most beloved characters in musical theatre. She can obviously thrive as a preteen idol, and she fits in well in with Justin Bieber and whoever else the kids go crazy for these days, but there’s a huge gap between that and being able to do justice to a film version of Les Mis. Just think about Taylor putting her obligatory little bit of country twang in “A Little Fall of Rain.” Did you just die inside a little? Because I certainly did.
Oddly enough, I had a quick texting conversation with my BFF yesterday, the girl who introduced me to Les Mis in the first place, the girl who is so in love with this show that she bought two pricey tickets to a performance and drove us five hours so that I could fall in love with it in person and so that she could have someone to do singalongs with. We couldn’t talk long because I was having guinea pig issues (some people are cat ladies, I am a guinea pig lady), but we did make an IM date for tonight so we could talk about the movie in depth. The odd part is that she was totally for Tay Tay as Eponine. I didn’t have the chance to punch her in the throat for blasphemy via text, but I’m curious to hear her reasoning. Were any of you actually excited to see Taylor in this movie?
It doesn’t really matter though, because thankfully, Taylor Swift will not be ruining Les Miserables, and I can go back to counting down the days until this movie premieres in December. I’d like to thank everyone who threw a fit along with me, for our hurt feelings and outrage probably contributed to this wise casting choice. Pats on the back for everyone!
So Taylor Swift is on the cover of the new issue of Vogue, as you can see above. And before I read it, I was really ready to give her a chance. See, I don’t like Taylor because she insists on doing these awful covers of great songs and I feel like at least some of her popularity is undeserved and because she’s a 22-year-old who is stuck in 10th grade. It’s annoying.
With all my annoyances though, I’d never really read all that many interviews with Taylor, because I just don’t see them that often. So I thought maybe this would be different. I thought maybe she’d seem really adorable and likable and I’d change my mind and buy all her albums and be a changed woman.
But you guys. All she did was talk about middle school forever. How is she 22 and still obsessed with middle school? Not even high school. Middle school. Oh, and the one thing she said that actually sounded cute and charming (honey badger!), she asked that it be off the record. UGH.
On honey badgers: One of the first things she mentions is the infamous honey-badger clip on YouTube that features a deadpan obscenity-laced narration. Swift knows every line—though she asks if her cursing can be off the record. She may be edgier than her image suggests, but she is not Courtney Love. She has a deeply ingrained sense of appropriateness. She also knows her audience—and knows that they aren’t ready for her to grow up quite yet.
On middle school: “So . . . middle school? Awkward,” she says, launching into the first of many comic riffs. “Having a hobby that’s different from everyone else’s? Awkward. Singing the national anthem on weekends instead of going to sleepovers? More awkward. Braces? Awkward. Gain a lot of weight before you hit the growth spurt? Awkward. Frizzy hair, don’t embrace the curls yet? Awkward. Try to straighten it? Awkward!” She starts to laugh. “So many phases!”
More on school: “I think who you are in school really sticks with you,” she says. “I don’t ever feel like the cool kid at the party, ever. It’s like, Smile and be nice to everybody, because you were not invited to be here.”
Even more on school: “All of my favorite people—people I really trust—none of them were cool in their younger years,” she says. “Because if you know how to be cool in middle school, maybe you have skills you shouldn’t. Maybe you know how to be conniving, like, naturally.” She laughs. “There’s always that seventh-grade girl who looks like she’s 25. And you’re like, How do you do it? How do you do it, Sarah Jaxheimer?” She lets out a comically ear-piercing shriek: “Why is your hair always so shiny?!”
More school: Swift finally stopped caring about being cool. “I think that happened as soon as I left school, when I was sixteen, because then all that mattered was music and this dream that I’d had my whole life. It never mattered to me that people in school didn’t think that country music was cool, and they made fun of me for it—though it did matter to me that I was not wearing the clothes that everybody was wearing at that moment. But at some point, I was just like, I like wearing sundresses and cowboy boots.”
Sad news today, friends. Real sad news. Because further casting of the Les Miserables movie was announced today and, well, things aren’t looking so hot. What makes this even sadder was that I was seriously, genuinely excited about this movie. I love the musical with all my heart, and to see it immortalized in movie form was a dream come true. I was so thankful that the youth of today gets the privilege to experience one of the most loved musicals of all time this way, I truly was.
I’ll tell you what, friends. My favorite character, Eponine, getting the justice she deserves, that would be sweet. Hearing a true vocalist, nay, a true artist move me with a heart-wrenching rendition of “On My Own,” captured on film forever. I was truly worried that this would never come to be with the talk of that hellish sounding battle of actresses vying for the role. And, as it turns out, I was right to be worried.
Taylor Swift got the role, you guys. Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift, one of the most annoying ladies out there, is playing the role of Eponine. Why? Did she stun the director with her Dixie Chicks covers and her role in Valentine’s Day? You know, if they were going to pick an utterly obnoxious person anyway, they could have gone the extra mile and hired someone obnoxious AND talented. Like, you know how much I can’t stand the likes of Lea Michele, but that girl got shafted. I thought Lea was a shoe-in, and I think the rest of the world did too. I wonder what she did wrong?
Oh, and here’s some more casting news that I don’t feel as strongly about: Amanda Seyfried got the role of Cosette. I’ve never seen Mamma Mia!, so I can’t bitch about her voice like I can about Taylor’s, but Amanda was apparently trained in classical opera and worked with a voice coach for five years, so that sounds fair enough.
Back to Taylor real quick: did you know that the actors in this here Les Mis movie are going to be singing live on film? Have you heard Taylor sing live? Why is this happening? I honestly can’t understand it. To be fair, I am sick and feverish and I feel gross and there have been several times today where I’ve had to stop and analyze my surroundings so I could figure out if I was in reality or not. So maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe Taylor Swift was the obvious choice, and I’m too crazy to see it.
Please tell me I don’t live in that world. Please tell me this is ridiculous and upsetting and that this beloved musical deserves better. Please?
Can you guys believe that it’s only ten days until Christmas? Because I can’t. I’ve only made cookies once this holiday season. I haven’t gotten a topper for my Christmas tree yet, which is especially tragic because this will be my first time having a Christmas tree in like six years. I haven’t even gotten anyone’s Christmas presents yet, which wouldn’t be such a big deal if this wasn’t my little guinea pig’s first Christmas. I feel like the worst, you guys. But nothing makes me feel as bad as knowing that I have no idea what to get Taylor Swift.
Her own holiday wish list is a bit simpler: it includes a pasta maker, antique picture frames and “anything from Free People or Anthropologie,” she shares. She has big holiday hopes for her fans, too. “I hope that they’re happy, wherever they are … [that] they feel loved by the people around them,” she shares. “And most of all I hope they feel appreciated by me. My life would look nothing like this without them.”
Ugh, Taylor, whatever. I tell you, I was thisclose to Googling good pasta makers, but now you’re off the list. You know why? Because I don’t really like you, and also pasta makers cost like $35 at Target. Why would I spend that much on you when I have a little guinea pig to think about? Selfish, Taylor. You’re just being selfish.
Can we get into musical theatre for a minute, friends? Because that Les Mis movie is happening, and it’s happening fast. The release date is December 7th, 2012, and so far the cast includes Hugh Jackman as Val Jean, Russell Crowe as Javert, and Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Things are looking pretty good so far, but who will play the beloved Eponine?
Taylor Swift, Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson and Evan Rachel Wood are all in the running for the highly coveted role of Eponine in Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper’s big-screen version of “Les Misérables,” sources tell us. A source close to the film confirmed that the four actors have all auditioned for the role. Another said that Michele “knocked it out of the park” when the “Glee” star — who played Young Cosette in the Broadway show — recently performed for the “King’s Speech” director. But it will be a tough choice because each star has her own magic ingredient for the musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel. “Scarlett brings acting ability, and she can really sing,” said the source. “Evan Rachel Wood brings her indie cred.” And casting Swift would mark a major move over to Hollywood films for the pop star.
You know, as much as I dislike the girl, Lea Michele is clearly the way to go here. Scarlett’s too old and just not right for the role, and you know I adore Evan Rachel Wood, and she’s definitely a strong second choice, but I’m just not feeling this for her. As for Taylor … please don’t make me explain why Taylor Swift would be a reprehensible casting choice.