Les Miserables sold $18 million worth of tickets on opening day yesterday, and there was a resounding "Who is that girl?!" across the country when Eponine belted out the tearjerker "On My Own" after realizing Marius (Eddie Redmayne) will never love her the way he loves Cosette (Amanda Seyfried). Stripped from her Les Mis dirt-covered wardrobe, that girl is the gorgeous Samantha Barks, a 22-year-old actress and singer from the Isle of Man (an island between England and Scotland). Barks first gained fame in 2008 when she placed third on the BBC talent competition show, I'd Do Anything, which searched for the lead character in the revival for Oliver! in London's West End. Despite her loss, the actress went on to become a theater star: In 2010, she landed on West End to play Eponine in Les Miserables, where she perfected the role, and, fun fact, she performed alongside Nick Jonas when he starred as Marius. Now, aside from being a scene-stealer for the same role on film—in her first movie casting ever, no less!—she stars in the UK Disney Channel series Groove High and is touring with the company of Oliver! through February 2013. Click through the gallery to see her off-stage and off-screen style, from Emilio Pucci to Stella McCartney. No doubt, Samantha Barks is a star on the rise.
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