Director Tom Hooper explains he PASSED on Taylor Swift in 2012's Les Miserables

Seven years before starring as Bombalurina in director Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaptation Cats, Taylor Swift was up for the role of Eponine in the filmmaker’s 2012 adaptation of Les Miserables.

While the role ultimately went to Samantha Barks, who played Eponine at the Queen’s Theater in London in 2010 and 2011, Hooper revealed in an interview with Vulture that Swift, 29, why she didn’t land the role.

The director revealed that Swift, ‘rather brilliantly auditioned’ for the role, but he didn’t give it to her for a very flattering reason: she was seemingly too attractive. 

Reunited: Seven years before starring as Bombalurina in director Tom Hooper's big-screen adaptation Cats, Taylor Swift was up for the role of Eponine in the filmmaker's 2012 adaptation of Les Miserables.

Reunited: Seven years before starring as Bombalurina in director Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaptation Cats, Taylor Swift was up for the role of Eponine in the filmmaker’s 2012 adaptation of Les Miserables.

‘I didn't cast her, but I got very close to it. Ultimately, I couldn't quite believe Taylor Swift was a girl people would overlook,’ Hooper, 47, said. ‘So it didn't quite feel right for her for the most flattering reason.’

While Barks was an established performer on the stage, also starring in Cabaret, she made her feature film debut in Les Miserables, alongside a cast featuring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins.

Les Miserables would go on to box office success, earning $148.8 million domestic and $441.8 million worldwide, from just a $61 million budget.

Flattering: 'I didn't cast her, but I got very close to it. Ultimately, I couldn't quite believe Taylor Swift was a girl people would overlook,' Hooper, 47, said. 'So it didn't quite feel right for her for the most flattering reason'

Flattering: ‘I didn't cast her, but I got very close to it. Ultimately, I couldn't quite believe Taylor Swift was a girl people would overlook,’ Hooper, 47, said. ‘So it didn't quite feel right for her for the most flattering reason’

Les cast: While Barks was an established performer on the stage, also starring in Cabaret, she made her feature film debut in Les Miserables, alongside a cast featuring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins

Les cast: While Barks was an established performer on the stage, also starring in Cabaret, she made her feature film debut in Les Miserables, alongside a cast featuring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins

Les cast: While Barks was an established performer on the stage, also starring in Cabaret, she made her feature film debut in Les Miserables, alongside a cast featuring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins

Swift would make her feature film debut in 2010’s Valentine’s Day and she also voiced Audrey in 2012’s The Lorax and played Rosemary in 2014’s The Giver. 

But still, Swift had yet to star in a musical, and Hooper thought of her when he was casting. 

‘But I knew she was curious to work on a musical. When this came up, I wrote to her and just said, “Would you like to meet? Would you like to see the world I'm creating?”‘

Movies: Swift would make her feature film debut in 2010's Valentine's Day and she also voiced Audrey in 2012's The Lorax and played Rosemary in 2014's The Giver

Movies: Swift would make her feature film debut in 2010’s Valentine’s Day and she also voiced Audrey in 2012’s The Lorax and played Rosemary in 2014’s The Giver

‘And I did a presentation. Eve Stewart had these wonderful paintings she did of the world. I had a ten-second clip of a dancer with fur, lifelike. That was my pitch,’ Hooper said.

‘She loved it and was very gracious and really supportive from then on. At that point, I had no idea she'd end up getting involved in writing the new song and getting involved as a lyricist,’ Hooper added.

Swift wrote and performed Beautiful Ghosts in the Cats adaptation, and she also performs in Macavity: The Mystery Cat. 

Gracious: 'She loved it and was very gracious and really supportive from then on. At that point, I had no idea she'd end up getting involved in writing the new song and getting involved as a lyricist,' Hooper added

Gracious: ‘She loved it and was very gracious and really supportive from then on. At that point, I had no idea she'd end up getting involved in writing the new song and getting involved as a lyricist,’ Hooper added

That same interview with Vulture began by asking Hooper, ‘Sir, explain yourself?’ as the director attempted to explain why he brought this Broadway play to life on the big screen.

He said he saw the stage musical when he was eight years old and he ‘fell in love with it,’ but Cats’ journey to the screen truly began when he was finishing up Les Miserables. 

‘I remember thinking Les Mis was particularly exciting because that musical had never been adapted as a movie before,’ Hooper added.

Explain: That same interview with Vulture began by asking Hooper, 'Sir, explain yourself?' as the director attempted to explain why he brought this Broadway play to life on the big screen

Explain: That same interview with Vulture began by asking Hooper, ‘Sir, explain yourself?’ as the director attempted to explain why he brought this Broadway play to life on the big screen

‘And I remembered thinking, “Well, are there any other great musicals left that have not been adapted?” I thought Cats and about how much I had really loved it as a kid,’ he added.

‘I knew Steven Spielberg had optioned it in the mid-'90s. Well, why had it never been made? Was it that people hadn't figured out what the cats would look like? And was there perhaps some shift in visual effects, some technology that might allow a way of making it work?’

Cats opened with just $6.6 million at the box office in its opening weekend, from a hefty $95 million budget. 

Bomb(alurina): Cats opened with just $6.6 million at the box office in its opening weekend, from a hefty $95 million budget

Bomb(alurina): Cats opened with just $6.6 million at the box office in its opening weekend, from a hefty $95 million budget

 

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