It’s not each lady who might pull on Julia Roberts’ thigh-high, vinyl boots evening after evening (and a few afternoons), however Samantha Barks is doing simply that in Broadway’s “Fairly Lady: The Musical.” The present opened final week to meh evaluations, however many critics applauded the 27-year-old Brit’s efficiency as Vivian, the big-hearted hooker who brings a billionaire, Edward, to his knees. Though that is Barks’ Broadway debut, she toured the UK as “Cabaret” heartbreaker Sally Bowles and made a world splash as Éponine in 2012’s big-screen “Les Misérables.”
Between exhibits on the Nederlander Theatre, she talked about assembly her idol onstage, bonding with “Les Mis” co-star Russell Crowe — and what it’s wish to play a “fairly lady” within the #MeToo age.
The film got here out in 1990, the 12 months you have been born. When did you catch it?
I will need to have seen it after I was 14 or 15 or 16. I used to be sooo in love with the film and her … However I hadn’t watched the film for a protracted, very long time since I received this job. It’s not about attempting to disregard that interpretation, however doing your personal factor. The nice factor about it now’s the character’s speaking by way of tune, so that offers you a barely completely different take.
Julia Roberts got here to the present. What was it like having her in the home?
I didn’t know she was in — fortunately! How will we even try this present figuring out she’s watching? So it was an enormous secret. [After the curtain fell], she got here onstage and gave me the most important hug. I swear to God, we stayed hugging for a minute! That was sufficient for me. That is her child — she created this lovely character, and I’m fortunate I get to have a flip at it.
Nonetheless, it have to be awkward making onstage like to Andy Karl’s Edward together with his real-life spouse, Orfeh, within the present as Vivian’s greatest pal.
You realize what? He’s such a improbable actor. It’s such a pleasure to work with him, and Orfeh’s a extremely good pal. We’ve turn into so shut. Additionally, we’re performing, so there’s no weirdness in any respect.
How does a feel-good story about a prostitute match with at the moment’s instances?
For me, it’s all within the line of the tune, “I Can’t Go Again,” [Vivian’s] empowerment anthem. That’s what this story’s about — her discovering her personal self-worth, and never being judged by society and never being belittled due to the place her life has taken her. What I all the time cherished was the scene the place Edward provides her a automotive and condo and he or she says, “no.” It’s about her discovering she’s value a lot greater than what folks choose her to be.
Congratulations on being one of many few ladies Russell Crowe follows on Instagram. How did that occur?
He’s a extremely good pal of mine. Generally we do concert events collectively and sing in a band with all our pals. It’s like a mini, indoor pageant. He writes the songs, he sings and performs the guitar — it’s an actual ardour for him and an awesome giggle.
As a finalist in Britain’s 2008 reality-TV casting present “I’d Do Something,” you had a grasp class with “Cabaret” icon Liza Minnelli. How’d that go?
It’s so loopy! My very subsequent job was Sally Bowles, and I couldn’t imagine my luck having simply sung along with her. It was virtually as surreal as Julia Roberts watching me play Vivian!