Samantha Barks is a Manx professional singer and actress who is best known for coming third in the BBC talented show I'd Do Anything for the search of Nancy for the musical Oliver! and the role of Éponine in the Les Misérables musical, 25th anniversary concert and in the 2012 film. Her vocal range is Mezzo-Soprano.
Samantha was born and brought up in Laxey, Isle of Man with older brother, Carl, and older sister, Kim. She attended Laxey Primary School in Laxey and St Ninian's High School in Douglas before moving to London (United Kingdom) when she was just sixteen to study her A levels at The Arts Educational Schools (ArtsEd) in Chiswick.
I'd Do AnythingEdit
In 2008 Samantha become known with the audience when she competeted in the BBC talent show I'd Do Anything, which was held in the search for the new main roles of the musical Oliver!, Nancy and Oliver. Samantha was continuously referred to as "our youngest Nancy" as she was only seventeen at the time, soon to be eighteen.
Samantha got through eight weeks without getting in the bottom and she was able to perform many known songs including I love Rock 'n Roll, Sway, Survivor and one of her personal favorites Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked. To become ready for her Defying Gravity performance, Samantha got help from famous Broadway star Idina Menzel, world's first Elphaba. During the final, she and the other finalists, Jessie Buckly and Jodie Prenger- who ultimately won the role, worked with Liza Minelli.
In the ninth week, after performing When You Believe from the film The Prince of Egypt, Samantha got the lowest number of votes and came in the bottom in which she had to perform against the already experienced Rachel Tucker. They had to perform Memory from the musical Cats together and in the end, Andrew Lloyd Webber chose to save Samantha with the words:
"Last night Cameron and I were both saying that we thought both of you would be fantastic Nancys and now here am I faced with this. But I've got to make a decision and I've got to think of where the show ultimately for Cameron is going to go and I think I have to go with you Samantha".
In the finals, Samantha performed Anyone who had a heart and got the least votes of the three Nancys, leading to an immediate elimination. She came third with the words of Andrew Lloyd Webber: "Do you know what, I did think this would happen. But you've done so well to have got this far Samantha." and Samantha said, "It's been the most amazing experience of my life. Thanks to everyone and the panel for making it so incredible."
After becoming third on the I'd Do Anything show, Samantha was able to play other roles, including Sally Bowles in the UK tour version of Cabaret, Velma Kelly in Chicago, the role of Éponine in the West End production of Les Misérables and Nancy in the UK tour of Oliver!. She briefly starred in Groove High as Zoe with Jonathan Bailey as Tom, a UK Disney Channel TV show for one season(26 episodes). Samantha also was in the Christmas Candle, and will be in the Devils Harvest.
Samantha was chosen to play Éponine in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables at the O2 Arena on October 3, 2010 by Cameron Mackintosh after he saw her play the role in her opening night at the Queens Theatre in London's West End.
Samantha auditioned for the role of Éponine for the 2012 film alongside of Hayden Panettiere, Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele, Emily Browning, Lucy Hale and Evan Rachel Wood and it was heavily rumored the Taylor Swift had been offered the role. In the end Samantha was cast and was able to reprise her role on the big screen. While performing in Oliver! in Manchester, Cameron Mackintosh came on stage and announced that she had been cast as Éponine. She later described it via Twitter as the "Most incredible moment of my life!!!!." Samantha was joined in the 2012 movie cast with Daniel Huttlestone(Gavroche) who starred as the Artful Dodger in her cast of Oliver!.
Curently she's playing Avril/Mallory in "City of Angeles", along with Hadley Fraser, Rosalie Craig and Tam Mutu.
- Before the movie, Samantha Barks played Éponine in the 25th anniversary concert and in the West End 2011 cast.
- Samantha's fans calls themselves Sprouts, for her well-known love for brussells sprouts.
- She appeared in Dracula Untold, but her scene was deleted from the film.