Theatre News

Taylor Swift discusses her failed Les Misérables audition with Eddie Redmayne: ‘It became a nightmare’

Taylor Swift and Eddie Redmayne
Taylor Swift and Eddie Redmayne
© Left: Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons, right Dan Wooller

Did you know Taylor Swift was in the running for the Les Misérables movie?

The news will be discussed tonight on The Graham Norton Show, where Swift appears with Eddie Redmayne (who, ten years ago, she actually auditioned alongside). Apparently it didn’t go all too well.

Swift explained: “Basically I was up for two roles – I had the look of Cosette and the range vocally of Éponine, so it was established I was there for a good time but not for a long time, I wasn’t going to get the role…But, they asked if I would like to go to London to do a screen test with Eddie, who is one of my favourite actors, and I thought ‘This isn’t an experience I am going to get again in my life,’ so I said yes.”

The trip to the UK involved a bit of costume work, as it turned out. Swift added: “When I got there they put me in full 19th century street urchin costume and told me they were going to paint my teeth brown and I was like, ‘You are going to do that after I meet Eddie Redmayne right?’ But no, they made me look like death and it became a nightmare. When I met Eddie I didn’t open my mouth to speak.”

As it turned out, Redmayne didn’t have the best experience during the audition either: “I thought we would just be singing off each other – I didn’t know we would be in each other’s arms…My overriding memory of it is that I had had pizza and garlic dough balls beforehand and all I could think about was my garlic breath while Taylor was dying in my arms and I was trying to show emotion.”

The role eventually went to Samantha Barks, who is currently wowing audiences in Frozen in the West End. Swift went on to collaborate with director Tom Hooper on the Cats movie.

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