Trio from area join Hollywood stars in Les Mis
THE new film version of the West End musical hit Les Miserables, which stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, will also feature three familiar Dover district residents.
Melanie Blake, from Deal, is one of the members of the World War Two/1940s re-enactment groups which take part in events across the district, including the Wartime Weekend at the Dover Transport Museum, 1940s events in Pencester Gardens and on Dover seafront, and the World War Two Day at Dover Castle.
Melanie plays one of the factory woman in the musical number At The End Of The Day, which features the character of Fantine, played by Anne Hathaway.
Joining Melanie as a factory woman is Dover actress Karol Steele, who will be seen alongside Miss Hathaway in a featured close-up as the disapproving factory woman. Karol also had lines in another scene, in which she has to call for help when the cart driver Fauchelevent is trapped in the mud and is rescued by Valjean, played by Hugh Jackman. The same scene will feature Melanie as Fauchelevent's wife.
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Joining them on set was Karol's son, Ben, a drama student at the University Centre in Folkestone. Ben, 18, plays one of the poor who is pushed aside when Javert, played by Russell Crowe, arrives in Valjean's town. All the scenes were shot in The Chatham Historic Dockyards in March and April, where the trio had attended an open audition in February.
Karol, from Buckland, said: "The casting was a mad affair – over 4,500 people turned up on the day, and we were some of the lucky 2,000 who were eventually seen by the casting team. The weeks of waiting after were agonising – I really thought we didn't stand a chance as only 400 roles were available.
"When the call came through and I heard that both Ben and I had secured roles I was really pleased. At costume fitting I found out I was to be a factory woman, and that I was to learn a song and dance moves for the factory scene. That was scary enough, but when I attended the rehearsal I found out I was to have a featured role and close-up alongside Anne Hathaway. She was such a lovely person, and has a very beautiful voice.
"Hugh Jackman was in the same scene, and I have to say that not only is he friendly and fun to work with, but he has the most amazing voice. The scene with the cart accident was filmed on a very soggy day – we all ended up covered in mud, including Hugh and Russell Crowe, but we all had a laugh shooting the scene."
The first trailer for the film was released last week and can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v>5slbuWpZwjg&feature>youtube_gdata_player
The film is due to go on release in American in December, but will not be seen in British cinemas until January 2013.