By Michael Arbeiter, Hollywood.com Staff
So far so good in terms of all the Les Miserables news we've gotten: Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert. All classy actors, all pretty much universally lauded choices. The world has been in relative argeement over the positive casting thus far undertaken by Les Mis. But now, what with the reveal of four viable candidates for one supporting role, some serious fists are about to fly. Brace yourselves as we enter a titanic battle: who should play Eponine?
We've just today caught wind of four young actresses, each with a pretty steadfast following, being considered for the role of the spoiled daughter of the Thénardiers whose fortune turns, causing her to live life as a street urchin. The names in question: Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift and Evan Rachel Wood. And now, we examine the choices...
Lea Michele: Glee's leading lady is no stranger to playing spoiled close-to-rotten. Rachel Berry, while not a malicious character, is just about the most self-absorbed human being in contemporary television. Plus, she's got pipes. I'd say she's got a fair shot at the title, and is indeed worthy of the cause.
Scarlett Johansson: I can't recall ever hearing Johansson sing. As for her acting abilities, it's sort of dependent heavily on the material. She has wowed me in the pastI really appreciated her Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring performances. Considering that we're dealing with Les Mis here, I don't doubt that the film will be strong enough to showcase the (very) good side of this actress.
Taylor Swift: In sort of a reverse of the Johansson phenomenon, I know I've heard her sing...but definitely haven't seen Swift do much acting. Truth be told, her live action performance history is limited to Valentine's Day and one episode of CSI. She may be a talented singer, but Les Mis requires someone who can really tap into the essence of the character as well.
Evan Rachel Wood: For some reason, I've got a strong feeling that the role will be Wood's. True, this actress doesn't have the same cult devotion that the other three enjoy, but she has done her share of acceptable workmost notably in The Wrestler. Wood is the dark horse of the bunch, but one I wouldn't put all my money against.
So there it is. Four actresses, one role. Who will take it? Tom Hooper, you evil genius...
Les Miserables heads to theaters Dec. 7, 2012.