Wroxham & Coltishall

Hoveton girl appears in new Les Mis film

Just Regional
Jan 11, 2013 3 mins read

The long-awaited film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s epic French novel, Les Miserables is finally out today in cinemas and Lauren Simpson, from Hoveton, was fortunate enough to be part of it! BETH ALSTON caught up with her.

Lauren Simpson has been acting, singing and dancing for most of her life so she was well prepared when she attended an open casting looking for extras in the film version of the stage musical Les Mis.
Castings were held all over the country but the one Lauren attended had a massive turn-out of 6,000 people.
A lot of people were turned away but Lauren said: “Luckily I was one of the first couple of hundred to be seen.”
And that turned out to be very lucky indeed seeing as the film boasts a fantastic cast of Hollywood elite such as Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.
Lauren plays one of the factory workers towards the beginning of the film in which Fantine (played by Anne Hathaway) is fired and thrown out of the factory. There are around 30 other women in the scene with Lauren, who all had to sing At The End of the Day.
This scene is only short, however it took a long time to film. Lauren said: “We began filming at around 8am and did the same bit over and over in the freezing cold until about 8pm.”
Despite being cold, there were some perks for being in this scene for Lauren. Both Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway feature in the scene and Lauren said: “It was an unbelievable experience being in the same room as such wonderful actors.”
Many fans may have been overcome with excitement but Lauren made sure to keep her distance and not bother them during filming.
While Lauren may have maintained a professional attitude towards the actors, she was not going to object when Hugh went out of his way to come over and talk to everyone.
Les Miserables is set against social and political upheavals in 19th century France so the factory scene was not glamorous in any way.
Lauren recalls being asked to come onto set with unwashed hair and no makeup on and said: “We had to look pretty awful. We had thick wax put into our hair to make it look really greasy and dirt painted on us to make us look filthy.”
The London stage production, which opened in October 1985, has gone on to become the world’s longest-running musical. While there is no substitute for a live performance, audiences can expect the film to bring close-ups that give a bigger emotional dynamic and parts of the story will also become far clearer.
Lauren can be proud that she is part of something that people will doubtlessly want to see again and again just like the stage show.

More of what's happening in Wroxham & Coltishall