Barks at the 85th Academy Awards
|Born||Samantha Jane Barks
2 October 1990
Laxey, Isle of Man, UK
|Other names||Sam Barks|
Samantha Jane Barks (born 2 October 1990) is a Manx actress and singer who has notably performed both on stage and screen as well as television. She first rose to fame after coming third in the BBC talent show–themed television series I'd Do Anything in 2008. In 2012, she starred alongside Jonathan Bailey in the Disney Channel series Groove High, and made her film debut as Éponine in the film version of the long-running musical Les Misérables. For the film, Barks received nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, and the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble. As well, she won the Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer and shared in the National Board of Review Award for Best Cast.
Barks was born and brought up in Laxey, on the Isle of Man, to Ann, a teacher, and Richard Barks, a building surveyor. She attended Laxey Primary School in Laxey and St Ninian's High School, Douglas before moving to London to study A levels at The Arts Educational Schools (ArtsEd) in Chiswick. Barks began dancing at the age of 3, training in Ballet, Modern and Tap with Dancers Barre, then Stagecoach Isle of Man, Theatrix, Stage One and the Manx Ballet Company.
She also has an older brother named Carl, an older sister named Kim and two nieces.
2007–08: Early work
In April 2007, Barks released her debut album, Looking in Your Eyes, which sold around 600 copies. The album featured several songs which she co-wrote herself and was released on the independent label Brunswick Studios. She also performed at the Peel Bay Festival in June 2007 supporting Matt Willis and the Sugababes, which also saw appearances by Madness and The Who. In December 2007, Barks represented the Isle of Man in the Maltese International Song Competition where she won the main prize of €2000 and the title of Best Foreign Singer. She sang the song "Nothing Else" from her album and "Play On", a hit song in Malta.
2008: I'd Do Anything
In 2008, Barks competed in I'd Do Anything in which she was one of the finalists in a search for a new, unknown lead to play Nancy in a West End revival of the British musical Oliver!. She reached the final where she finished third. On 29 April 2008, the Isle of Man was renamed by the Tourism Minister Adrian Earnshaw to be the "Isle of Sam" as a sign of support. Welcoming signs at Ronaldsway Airport and Douglas Sea Terminal were changed after a renaming ceremony.
In week eight of the show, Barks performed "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked and in the week leading up to the show she was given support from American actress Idina Menzel who achieved fame for her performances as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked.
In week nine, Barks received the lowest number of public votes and so had to participate in the sing-off with Rachel Tucker. They sang "Memory" from the musical Cats. Andrew Lloyd Webber chose to save Barks and eliminate Tucker saying, "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 week leading up to the final shows on 31 May, the Nancy finalists posed for publicity pictures recreating some of Madonna's iconic images. Barks was dressed in hotpants copying the pose from the cover of the 2008 album, Hard Candy. Each Nancy also had a "Master Class" with Liza Minnelli in London.
At the end of Show one of the final, Barks was announced as finishing third with Andrew Lloyd Webber saying, "Do you know what, I did think this would happen. But you've done so well to have got this far, Samantha." Barks said, "It's been the most amazing experience of my life. Thanks to everyone and the panel for making it so incredible."
Performances on I'd Do Anything
|Week one||"I Love Rock 'n' Roll"||Safe|
|Week two||"See the Day"||Safe|
|Week three||"Somewhere" from the musical West Side Story||Safe|
|Week five||"Since U Been Gone"||Safe|
|Week eight (quarter-final)||"Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked||Safe|
|Week nine (semi-final)||"When You Believe" from the film The Prince of Egypt||Bottom Two|
|Week ten (final)||"Anyone Who Had a Heart"||Third Place|
In June 2008, one month after I'd Do Anything ended, Barks sang the Isle of Man National Anthem "O Land Of Our Birth" on Senior Race day of the Isle of Man TT to begin the races. Barks was then announced to play the lead role of Sally Bowles in the UK tour of Cabaret from 29 August 2008 to 11 July 2009. Barks performed alongside her I’d Do Anything cast-mates Sarah Lark and Jodie Prenger at the Theatregoers Choice Awards in February 2009. Toward the end of her run with Cabaret, Barks put on her own concert, An Audience with Sam Barks, at the Villa Marina on the Isle of Man on 3 January 2009 to thank those that supported her during her time on I'd Do Anything and to thank those that have continued to support her.
Barks launched the new Manx Ship, the Caly Manx, in Shanghai, China on 30 September 2009. Barks, along with Wendy Craig and Jess Conrad, switched on the Christmas Lights in Windsor's town centre on 21 November 2009. Barks officially launched BreastHealth UK's new clinic at the Spire Thames Valley Hospital in Wexham on 27 November 2009. She played the title role in Aladdin during the Christmas Pantomime Season 2009/10 at the Theatre Royal, Windsor.
Barks starred as Éponine in the London production of Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre from 21 June 2010 to 18 June 2011. Barks was chosen to play Éponine in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables at the O2 Arena on 3 October 2010 by Cameron Mackintosh, after he saw her play the role in her opening night at the Queens Theatre, in London's West End.
Also in 2010, Barks resumed her music career by releasing a song called "Let Go", which she co-wrote with Garry Lake. The single debuted in 2010, but received an official release in 2011 through the independent label Flour Records. Barks promoted the song with a live performance on SB.TV. Barks performed the song at a benefit concert for Dress Circle, the Dress Circle Benefit Gala, on 7 August 2011 at Her Majesty's Theatre and the song was later included on the tribute compilation album Standing Ovation: A CD Tribute to Dress Circle which was released on 17 August 2011.
Barks began 2011 with a starring role in the concert Direct From the West End. Run by a company called "Musical Ovation Ltd" set up by Scott Garnham and Martin Neely, the concert was performed for three nights—23 January in York, 6 February in Oxford and 13 February 2011 in Windsor. The concert featured two hours of songs from popular West End musicals. On 27 February 2011, Barks performed in the concert The Songs of Bobby Cronin at the New Players Theatre. On 20 March, Barks performed in Stars of the West End Sing the Songs of Steven Luke Walker at Charing Cross Theatre. Barks performed "On My Own" at the Classical Brits 2011 at The Royal Albert Hall on 12 May 2011.
Barks performed in a concert at the Battersea Barge in London on 21 August 2011, singing work by British composer/lyricists Laurence Mark Wythe, Grant Olding, Dougal Irvine and Tim Sutton. She performed alongside fellow West End stars Stephen Ashfield, Annalene Beechey and George Ure. Barks performed the Grand Final anthem "Jerusalem" for the Engage Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on 8 October 2011.
Barks starred as Zoe in Disney's television series Groove High, a mixture of live action and animation, which premiered on the Disney Channel UK 10 November 2012. The first season lasted 26 episodes and has been sold to broadcasters across the world. Barks recorded her voice for the series in April 2010, with live action filming completed in Ireland a year and a half later in October 2011. During an interview in January 2011 Samantha said this of Groove High: "I play Zoe one of the leads who is really sweet, but also a little feisty, she tells it like it is and doesn’t take any rubbish from anybody. It’s great because I also get to do a lot of singing for the show."
Barks starred as Nancy in the UK tour of Oliver! from 10 December 2011 to 1 April 2012. Barks had planned to perform the entire tour, but temporarily left the tour on 1 April to film Les Miserables. She was replaced on the tour by Cat Simmons.
Barks reprised her role as Éponine and made her film debut in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables. She learned the news from Cameron Mackintosh during an Oliver! curtain call. During filming for Les Misérables, Barks recorded the song "Defective" for the album Scott Alan Live which was released in December 2012. In June 2012, just days after completing Les Misérables, Barks returned to the UK tour of Oliver! for two weeks at the Edinburgh Playhouse. On 24 June 2012, Barks performed in a Little Women charity concert at the Playhouse Theatre in London. On 13 October 2012, Barks performed at the Indoor Garden Party concert in New York City's Gramercy Theatre. The concert was part of a concert series created by Russell Crowe and Alan Doyle. Barks performed at another Indoor Garden Party concert at New York City's Joe's Pub on 8 December. In early November 2012, Barks briefly returned to the Oliver! UK tour at the Grand Theatre, Leeds. Barks permanently returned to the Oliver! on 12 December at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Ireland and continued with the tour until 20 February 2013 at the Bristol Hippodrome. She left the show early in order to head to Los Angeles for rehearsals with fellow Les Mis co-stars for their cast performance at the Oscars on 24 February 2013. Her rendition of "On My Own" from Les Miserables reached number 97 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 43 in the UK, being her first entry on each chart.
On 11 February 2013, Barks won Best Breakthrough Performance at the Elle Style Awards. Barks performed with her co-stars from the film Les Miserables at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony on 24 February 2013. Immediately after the Oscars, Barks flew to the Isle of Man to begin work on her second film, The Christmas Candle. In March 2013, Barks took part in the television special Andrew Lloyd Webber: 40 Musical Years for ITV, performing "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" in honor of Andrew Lloyd Webber. In June 2013, Barks performed at The Recording Academy Honors. The same month, Barks took part in the one-night only 24 Hour Plays at the Broad Stage Theater in Santa Monica, California.
Barks played the role of Velma Kelly in the 2013 production of Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl from 26–28 July 2013. In late 2013, Barks starred as the romantic lead in The Devil's Harvest, a film scheduled to be released in 2014 and co-starring Max Irons and Barry Pepper. In October 2013, Barks played the part of "Jules" in the private workshop production of a potential musical of Bend It Like Beckham with a score by Howard Goodall, lyrics by Charles Hart, and book by Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges.
Barks had a role in Universal's film Dracula Untold, which was released on 10 October 2014. She portrayed Baba Yaga, an angelic woman who turns into an atrocious evil witch; however, her scenes were cut from the film.
In 2014, Barks was cast in the ensemble drama A Hundred Streets and announced she would be returning to West End theatre in the revival of City of Angels directed by Josie Rourke with musical direction by Gareth Valentine and choreography by Stephen Mear.
As part of the Chance UK's 'Big Influence' programme, Barks stated that she began singing back in primary school and credits a particular teacher for giving her the necessary confidence, stating her strong belief in mentoring.
|2008||I'd Do Anything||Herself||Andrew Lloyd Webber BBC Competition, 3rd place.|
|2012||Groove High||Zoe||Disney Channel series|
|2008–09||Cabaret||Sally Bowles||UK national tour (stage debut)|
|2010||Aladdin||Aladdin||Theatre Royal, Windsor|
|2010–11||Les Misérables||Éponine||Queen's Theatre (West End debut)|
|2010||Les Misérables: 25th Anniversary Concert||Éponine||Concert at The O2|
|2011–13||Oliver!||Nancy||UK and Ireland tour. Left in April 2012 to film Les Misérables, but returned later in the year to complete the tour.|
|2013||Chicago||Velma Kelly||One weekend only staging at the Hollywood Bowl|
|2014||City of Angels||Mallory/Avril||Donmar Warehouse|
|2007||Looking In Your Eyes||Debut album||Brunswick Studios|
|2010||"Strong Without You"||Song from the album Move With Every Line: The Music of Tim Prottey-Jones||My Protégé Records|
|2011||"Let Go"||Single||Flour Records|
|"Tir Na N'og"||Song from Acoustic Overtures: The Songs of Dougal Irvine||Simon Greiff/SimG Records|
|2012||"Defective"||Song from the album Scott Alan Live||Billy-Boo Records|
|Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack||Cast recording of the film||Universal Republic Records|
|2013||Les Misérables: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|2014||"You Fixed My Broken Wings"||Song from the album Love on 42nd Street||DLC Records|
- "Nancy Contestants – Samantha". BBC. 22 March 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
- "Disney Channel UK To Premiere New Series "Groove High" November 2012". DisneyChannelEars. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Dunn, Carrie (31 January 2012). "BREAKING NEWS: Samantha Barks To Play Eponine In LES MISERABLES Movie". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Awards of Samantha Barks". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "Super Sam Barks' star is rising". Isle of Man Newspapers. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2008.
- "Sam Barks update". St. Ninian's High School. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
- Cassell, Paul (3 June 2009). "Samantha Barks in the popular musical Cabaret". GetReading. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "SamanthaBarksOnline". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "The Nancy who can do anything: 17-year-old Samantha Barks". Daily Mail. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Maddrell, Orry (5 June 2008). "Samantha Barks performing at the Peel Bay Festival". orrymaddrell.com. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Anderson, Vicky (2008). "Life is a Cabaret; From a Saturday night talent show to an iconic lead role. Vicky Anderson talks to the new Sally Bowles". The Free Library. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Looking in your eyes [Limited Edition]". Amazon.co.uk. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "'Isle of Sam' honour for TV star". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "I'd Do Anything". 1. Episode 17. 17 May 2008.
- "Reviewing the Situation: Week Nine Result Rachel was the ninth Nancy to leave". BBC. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
- Roberts, Laura (27 May 2008). "The Nancies as you've never seen them before: I'd Do Anything trio pose as Madonna". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
- "Reviewing the Situation: Final, Samantha came third in the competition". BBC. 31 May 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
- Scene set for thrilling Senior TT. Iomtt.com. Retrieved on 22 June 2013.
- "From 'Nancy' to 'Sally' Reality TV Finalist Lands Star Role in Hit Musical 'Cabaret'"
- "Whatsonstage.com Awards – Theatregoers' Choice Awards". Awards.whatsonstage.com. 15 February 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Sam Barks to perform family show on January 3 – Isle of Man News". iomtoday.co.im. 6 October 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- "Caly Manx Named in Shanghai Ceremony | Newsroom". Isleofman.com. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- McPherson, Gareth (23 November 2009). "Maidenhead Advertiser Online – all the latest news, sport and entertainment from the Maidenhead area – VIDEO: Panto star turns on Windsor lights". Maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- "Archives". Breasthealthuk.com. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- Maidenhead Advertiser Online: Shane Richie talks panto from the spooky Hellfire caves. Maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk. Retrieved on 22 June 2013.
- "Les Misérables | Samantha Barks". Lesmis.com. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- "Let Go – Single". Amazon.co.uk. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Samantha Barks and Garry Lake perform Let Go on SB.TV". SB.TV. August 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Ruthie Henshall, Ramin Karimloo, et al. Featured on STANDING OVATION Album". BroadwayWorld. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Aled Jones to Host Dress Circle Benefit, August 7". BroadwayWorld. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Samantha Barks & Lucie Jones in Direct from the West End Concert". Musical Theatre News. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "STAGE TUBE: Fraser, Triplett, et al. Sing Bobby Cronin". BroadwayWorld. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Dunn, Carrie (15 March 2011). "BWW INTERVIEWS: Composer Steven Luke Walker". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Bull, Sarah (13 May 2011). "Katherine Jenkins leads the glamour at the Classical BRITs as she shows off her slender figure in backless silver gown". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Ian (21 August 2011). "There Ought To Be Clowns: Review: Summer with the Composers, Battersea Barge via britishtheatre.tv". Oughttobeclowns.blogspot.com. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Feeder to headline Grand Final". The RFL. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Byrne, Suzy (2 February 2012). "Meet Samantha Barks, the Girl Who Beat Out Taylor Swift for the Role of Eponine in Les Mis". Glamour (magazine). Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Ramin Zahed (31 October 2012). "Planet Nemo Scores Sales for 'Groove High'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
- "INTERVIEW: Ten Minutes with Samantha Barks". The Public Reviews. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
- LES MIS Movie Update: Samantha Barks Departs OLIVER! 1 April. Broadwayworld.com (10 March 2012). Retrieved on 22 June 2013.
- Cat Simmons Joins OLIVER! Cast, Replacing Samantha Barks, 3 Apr. Westend.broadwayworld.com (3 April 2012). Retrieved on 22 June 2013.
- Gans, Andrew (4 December 2012). ""Scott Alan Live Special Edition," Featuring Bonus Track with "Les Miserables" Film Star Samantha Barks, Now Available". Playbill.com. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Stubbs, Steve (14 June 2012). "Samantha Barks Returns to Oliver! At The Edinburgh Playhouse". backstagepass.biz. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "WICKED's Gina Beck + Nikki Davis-Jones & More to Star in LITTLE WOMEN Charity Concert Adaptation June 24". Broadway World. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "STAGE TUBE: Samantha Barks Sings 'Too Far Gone' with Russell Crowe and Alan Doyle at INDOOR GARDEN PARTY". Broadway World. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Snetiker, Marc (16 November 2012). "Russell Crowe Enlists Alan Doyle & Les Miserables Co-Star Samantha Barks for Joe's Pub Concert". Broadway.com. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Welcome Back Neil Morrissey!". Cameron Mackintosh Limited. November 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Wiseman, Andreas (28 February 2013). "Samantha Barks and Susan Boyle start shoot on Christmas Candle". Screen Daily. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Susan Boyle, 'Les Misérables' star begin shooting 'The Christmas Candle' – Movies News. Digital Spy (28 February 2013). Retrieved on 22 June 2013.
- N/A, N/A (31 March 2013). "Samantha Barks, Sierra Boggess & More Sing in Andrew Lloyd Webber Easter Special Tonight". Broadway World. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Angermiller, Michele (27 June 2013). "Melissa Etheridge, 'Les Miserables' Honored at Recording Academy's New York Gala". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "24 HOUR PLAYS Features Sasha Alexander, Samantha Barks, Melanie Griffith & More". Broadway World. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Mitchell, Wendy (15 November 2013). "Max Irons, Samantha Barks go for Harvest". Screen Daily. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Samantha Barks, Tara Divina Lead BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM Musical Workshop; Aiming for West End in 2014-15?". Broadway World. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- N/A, N/A (8 April 2013). "Dracula(2014)". IMDb. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "Les Miserables star Samantha Barks joins Universal's Dracula". PanArmenian.net. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- Noonan, Kevin (14 August 2014). "Idris Elba Drama ‘A Hundred Streets’ Casts ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘Hobbit’ Actors". Variety. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Shenton, Mark (27 May 2014). "London's Donmar Warehouse to Revive City of Angels, Starring Samantha Barks; Season Details Announced". Playbill. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Le Mis star makes a big splash to stop 'cruelty' to fish: Samantha Barks 'drowns' in controversial new advertising campaign," The Daily Mail, 28 February 2015.
- Charalambous, Sophia (16 February 2014). "Samantha Barks and new boyfriend Richard Fleeshman make their red carpet relationship debut at the 2014 BAFTAs". Mail Online. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- Wolf, Matt (5 March 2014). "Richard Fleeshman on Dating Samantha Barks & Grossing Out Brits in Urinetown's London Premiere". London.broadway.com. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- "WEB CHAT: SAMANTHA BARKS". Stylist. 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "More With Every Line". iTunes. 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Let Go - Single". iTunes. 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Acoustic Overtures the Songs of Dougal Irvine". iTunes. 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Gans, Andrew (26 November 2012). ""Scott Alan Live Special Edition," Featuring Bonus Track with "Les Miserables" Film Star Samantha Barks, Due in December". Playbill. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Lea Salonga, Samantha Barks, Ramin Karimloo and More Featured on LOVE ON 42ND STREET Album; Out March 17". Broadway World. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Samantha Barks at the Internet Movie Database
- Samantha Barks' CV at United Agents
- "Sam Singing Defying Defying Gravity"—YouTube