Worldscreen: Actress Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals, The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, The Seven Sorrows of Mary), Dominic West (The Affair, The Wire, Appropriate Adult) and David Oyelowo (Selma, Gringo, Spooks) are among the stars of the new epic adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th-century classic Les Misérables that are heading to Cannes to launch the drama to the international market.
Screenwriter and executive producer Andrew Davies (War and Peace, Pride and Prejudice) and director Tom Shankland (The Missing, Ripper Street) will be on hand as well. Also in attendance will be Faith Penhale executive producer for Lookout Point; Bethan Jones, executive producer for BBC Studios; and Rebecca Eaton, executive producer for Masterpiece.
Les Misérables is produced by Lookout Point and BBC Studios for BBC One and Masterpiece.
Paul Dempsey, president of global markets at BBC Studios, said: “With Dominic West and David Oyelowo leading an all-star cast and with Andrew Davies’ at the helm of another remarkable adaptation of an all-time classic, Les Misérables will be a bold, refreshing and modern take on one of the most famous and epic stories of all time.”
Penhale said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing to MIPCOM some of our incredibly talented cast and the two brilliant creative minds behind our adaptation, Andrew and Tom. Together they have created the definitive Les Misérables for a new generation and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Mipcom takes place between 15 and 18 October in Cannes, France.
Ellie Bamber graces the cover of Rollacoster’s Autumn/Winter 2018 issue, available now to pre-order.
Here’s what the 21-year-old The Nutcracker and the Four Realms actress had to say…
On her favorite actresses: “Definitely Nicole Kidman. Moulin Rouge was one of those films that I watched as a kid and was like ‘Oh my god, that’s what I want to do.’ And I love Emma Stone, I think she’s a really amazing actress.”
On her upcoming Les Mis mini-series: “The funniest thing is that I was in the musical version of it at my school when I was younger. I really like re-imagining the classics and looking at all the different adaptation. With our version of Les Mis, it’s very much based on the book – which is wonderful because there’s so much detail in it. It’s 1500 pages!”
On her acting journey: “I think I can be very self-critical, for sure. I’ve still got tons to learn. But it makes me really, really excited, I think you can probably hear that. I don’t know much at all, so I’m looking forward to being challenged more and learning more from my peers and directors. I’m always ready. I just want to be as open to that as I can possibly be.”
For more from Ellie, visit Rollacoaster.tv.
Ellie talked about her next work, the BBC mini-series Les Misérables, with WWD during the Chanel Haute Couture Show today in Paris.
“It’s like a terrarium,” said Ellie Bamber, who had wrapped filming “Les Mis” the day before. (The six-part drama adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th century classic also stars Dominic West and Lily Collins, with Bamber in the role of Cosette.)
“It was really challenging, it’s been amazing creating Cosette’s journey. I feel like there are so many new things that an audience is going to see that, if they’ve watched the musical, they might not know about,” she said. “The book is 1,500 pages long, Victor Hugo goes into so much detail, and [screenwriter] Andrew Davies has captured that so well.”
Coming “from that to this was just beautiful,” she continued, adding: “I sat in my room and had French onion soup last night — it’s something I do every time I come to Paris.”
Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel Les Misérables has been adapted into a multi-award stage musical as well as an Oscar winning movie.
But proving there’s still life in the classic tale, the BBC is working on a new adaptation of Les Misérables, with some of the all-star cast spotting filming in the heart of Brussels on Sunday.
Dominic West, who leads the series as Jean Valjean was pictured with Ellie Bamber who stars as Cosette at the church of í Saint-Jean-Baptiste.
Ellie was in full costume, teaming a bonnet with a full-skirted cream dress and an elaborate curled up-do.
The streets around the church were transformed for filming, with period shop fronts in place while a horse and cart paraded up and down.
Filming for Les Misérables began in February 2018 in Belgium and Northern France with an air date yet to be confirmed by the BBC.
See the photos by clicking on the thumbnails below.
Ellie Bamber is no stranger when it comes to the classics. The 21-year-old is set to portray Louise in the upcoming film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, followed by a starring role in the BBC’s six-part version of the iconic musical Les Misérables. And while Ellie’s version of Cosette (played in the 2012 film by Amanda Seyfried) won’t be hitting any high E’s — since the series will not be a musical — the performer is certainly comfortable singing her heart out.
Ellie tells Teen Vogue on the set of the Young Hollywood shoot that her first dip into acting was onstage, in a musical called Aspects of Love. From there, the rest is basically history, since she fell in love with performing. Incidentally, this won’t be Ellie’s first trip to 19th-century France; she also performed in a production of Les Mis when she was in school. However, she adds that Cosette is “a dream role,” noting that this version of the musical will be a totally different experience.
“You’re going to see these characters in different ways because we’re going back to the original novel,” Ellie explains, citing the 1,400-page classic by Victor Hugo. “We’re bringing details that have never been seen before,” she adds, describing elements being included as “very romantic” and “stunning.” The actor notes that fans of the musical are in for a “new and interesting” take on the popular Broadway classic. She starts filming in Brussels soon and has gotten a chance to see some of the wardrobe — which she knows is an essential part of telling a character’s journey.
The young artist’s upcoming projects may take her out of the theater momentarily, but she raves about the lessons she’s learned while working on productions in venues both big and small. She recounts doing the musical comedy High Society at the Old Vic in London and working with Kwame Kwei-Armah, who changed the way she looks at new roles. Ellie describes the experience as being like one big family, thanks to spending countless hours in a close environment, which included plenty of dancing around to playlists brought in by the other performers.
For Ellie, one of the best parts of revamping these classic titles is bringing in new audiences. Even if musical theater isn’t your cup of tea, you might fall in love with this version of Les Mis and want to go see it onstage — and Ellie hopes that’s exactly what happens. “There is really nothing like seeing a live stage performance,” she promises.
Les Mis isn’t the only classic that Ellie gets to bring into 2018. She tells Teen Vogue that The Nutcracker — which will be released in theaters in November — is a “reimagining” of the traditional story found within the holiday-themed ballet. The film also stars Twilight’s Mackenzie Foy as Clara, Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger.
In addition to her passion for telling timeless stories, Ellie cares deeply about gender equality within Hollywood — especially in light of the current Time’s Up movement. She notes that it’s essential to have women behind the camera as well as onscreen, adding that everything that happens behind the scenes “translates to the front.”
“The idea of bringing equality not just to entertainment but to every walk of life, I think it’s very important,” she says. “There should be no segregation. Everyone should be united, and everyone should be seen as equals.”
If Ellie has her way, Hollywood will continue down this path. She hopes that roles will continue to get better for women, and she also looks forward to obtaining more challenging roles herself — ones that would “take me somewhere that maybe I haven’t been before.” Given that she’s already accomplished so much, we’re expecting to see her go to many new places — and continue to shine all the way.