Here it is, guys! The FAMOUS post I talked about in an older article (A beautiful mess of feelings…) is finally released!
As you can read it, my idea was to interview the fantastic ‘Marius’ (Jamie Ward) of West End! For those of you who’d be a bit lost (and shame on you if you are! (no I’m kidding) But come on, guys, I’m just talking about THE musical of the year (and also my big crush, I must admit ^^)… Does Les Misérables ring a bell to you now? I truly hope it does!!!) This show is simply amazing! But honestly, how could it be some other way when the story was written by no one but the GREAT Victor Hugo?! (Yeah, I’m a fan, a real one! But I’m French and keen on 19th century literature, so what did you expect?)
Jamie Ward as Marius
I have probably already told you I went to see the show on March, 6th (my dad couldn’t make me a more beautiful gift! Everything was so perfect… We had really good seats… in the orchestra, please (I was like « Really Dad? ») , we were not too close, not too far, not too ‘left’ or ‘right’, we just had the perfect seats right in the middle to enjoy all the things the show had to offer!) and since then, I truly can’t take the songs & the performance of this incredible 2013 London cast (notably starring (of course) Jamie Ward as Marius, Danielle Hope asEponine, Geronimo Rauch as Jean Valjean, Celinde Schoenmaker as Fantine, Samantha Dorsey as Cosette, Tam Mutu as Javert, Christopher Jacobsen as Enjolras, Cameron Blakely and Vicky Entwistle as Les Thénardier, and lots of other people who were all absolutely great) off of my head! I still have thrills when I think about it and I am still speechless… the only word I can use to describe the power and the beauty of this show is « AMAZING »!!!! (LOVED it!)
And as a real blogger, I had to write something about it! I mean, as you know, this blog is about me and what I like or hate… and I… just HAD TO write about Les Mis!!! But I wanted this post to be very special. I couldn’t write a simple common article about the show regarding how much I enjoyed it and so on. So I thought of what could make it more original and that’s how I had the idea of the interview. But then my question was « Who am I going to interview? They were all so amazing! » But the answer was actually not so hard to find… it was here, deep inside my heart. There were two songs, which truly made me cry during the show (I’m not joking! My brother kept on teasing me after that… I guess he’s not so sensitive, or maybe is he too young?); they were « A little fall of rain » and above all « Empty chairs at empty tables ». And then I knew, if I made an interview, it would be with this extremely talented guy playing Marius, Mr Jamie Ward.
I really did my best to get this interview, I never gave up (I may even have been quite annoying sometimes… So I’m sorry about that, Jamie :s), but I’ve got it now and I must say that I was really glad to meet him, it was really kind of him to accept to answer my questions (but when you think about it, it’s not really surprising! People from English-speaking countries are very nice, anyway – so much nicer than in France, where about 90% of the population is, let’s say it, RUDE. And notice that I’m quite optimistic when I say 90% and no more!). Well, it was a lovely time, and I think Jamie is a very nice, dynamic and passionate person… I only have a little brother, but to be honest, if I had had a big brother, who could have been a model to me, I wish he had been like Jamie; someone who you’re comfortable to speak with.
But I think I’m getting a bit lost here, because you don’t care about all these details, do you? You just want the ‘result’ of the interview, so I’d better start writing about it ^^. (So you’ll have the questions I asked him and then I tried to sum up his answers… in short, don’t be too critical! It’s not like I’m not used to take notes in English but each time he was telling me something, I had another question in mind that was coming, but I had to write the key words down and then I couldn’t remember what I wanted to ask, so…I hope you’ll quite like it, anyway ;)!)
1) How did you know you wanted to have a career in musical theatre?
Jamie told me that there were two categories of people. There were those, who knew what they wanted and those, who were made for something. And he definitely said he was part of the first category. He knew what he wanted and has always known it. He needed this creative aspect, he knew he wanted this in his life. So it was kind of a vocation for him.
2) How many shows have you been in before? and which ones?
Jamie has been in two professional shows, Doctor Zhivago (playing Dr Zhivago) and Spring Awakening (playing Hanschen), but he did lots of other ones too.
3) Among all these shows, which one have you preferred?
As Spring Awakening was his first one, it left its mark and this show is definitely his favourite!
4) How did you learn about Les Misérables?
Jamie was in Melbourne when it happened. He was playing Dr Zhivago and one night, there were people from Mackintosh theatre (producing Les Misérables) who came to see the show. And apparently they thought Jamie was quite good and that he could be the new ‘Marius’. But Jamie waited for a year without hearing anything from them; and consequently he posted a video on Youtube (I think the one below is an extract of it), which eventually gave him the job!!!
5) Why the character of Marius? was it a choice? or was it because a new ‘Marius’ was needed?
Jamie wishes it was a choice but it was not because he was not famous enough (which is unfair regarding how talented he is… but I know one day you’ll get to choose, Jamie ;)!). Anyway he really likes the character of ‘Marius’ because he’s got so many emotions. Indeed he’s got kind of a fire inside of him with the political aspect of the revolution, which takes his entire heart and body, and he’s also got this love for Cosette, which seems with no future for a while, and then he even kind of thinks of suicide because his love’s gone and there is nothing more for him on earth. So because of all these feelings, whether they are linked to the politics or to Cosette, he’s ready to die on the barricade. (Jamie, I don’t know if I’ve expressed everything you told me today the way you thought about it, but did my best :D).
6) How did you react when you learnt you were going to play Marius at the Queen’s Theatre?
The first thing Jamie did was, of course, call his parents. Then he told me that he sang and jumped everywhere. And I guessed he was happy then (which was a silly question, Marie! Obviously he was happy!!!!!) and he said « Definitely Happy!!! » (like, « of course, Marie! It was one of the best things ever! »)
7) You’re from Australia… Was it hard to leave your country, family and friends to come in England?
This question may seem a bit intrusive, but you already know that I left my country too and that I definitely don’t want to go back to France, … etc & I just like asking people who experienced the same thing about how THEY felt. So, of course, he told me that it was really hard, but thanks to his job, he met very nice people and he bonded ties with them & now they’re friends so he’s perfectly fine.
8) What does it bring you to be on stage?
I really liked his answer. Jamie said he « felt more alive on stage than in real life ». He made me think about it and then I thought about it again and actually that is very understandable and absolutely fascinating at the same time. Try to think about all the emotions the characters express and then maybe you’ll understand what he means.
I get it now ;)!
9) What do you love the most about being on stage?
Jamie answered that he liked the fact of feeling important, transmitting happy & sad emotions to the audience and consequently do something for the world. « It feels good » he said.
10) What do you prefer? singing on stage in front of hundreds of people or when you’re alone with your friends?
Jamie told me that both were different. He added that he was too self-conscious and that he couldn’t do in front of his friends what he does on stage. He said that it was more personal when he sang to his friends.
11) Do you have a favorite musical?
Jamie’s top 3 is : 1. Les Misérables 2. Next to Normal 3. Spring Awakening
He told that the numbers 2 & 3 dealt with incredible but tough topics. (And I don’t think I answered back when you said Les Mis was your favorite musical, Jamie; but even if it’s true that there is this coincidence you’re playing in the show when I ask what’s your favorite musical, I truly think that Les Mis is a wonder. It’s just SO good and nothing can beat it honestly!)
12) A character you’ve always wanted to play? A song you’ve always dreamt of singing?
Jamie is quite an ambitious and, above all, passionate person… so his answer to that question simply was « EVERYTHING » !
13) About Les Mis… Have you read the book? and what did you think about it?
Jamie read the book and the first words he said about it were « Each paragraph is gold » & « Victor Hugo is a genius ».
I cannot personally not agree with that, because Victor Hugo is my favourite author and I like everything he wrote, whether it was poetry, novels, plays, whatever… but my favourite book of his is DEFINITELY Les Misérables. I mean, I’ve read it and reread it; it’s just like I was born with that book in my hands and it’s almost like I’m tied to it. So I truly could not not love the musical! Anyway, let’s go back to Jamie, because this is his interview and not mine :s!
The words Jamie used to describe what he thought about the book were « The Best » and « Brilliant »… And who couldn’t agree with that? He added that the story was about 4 or 5 people and their struggle with themselves & with the outside world. So, if I can say so, this is a book about LIFE, isn’t it?
14) What is the most difficult song you have to sing (technically speaking and emotionally speaking)?
Even if Jamie said that Marius’ songs were not that hard to sing (but let’s not forget, Jamie, not everybody’s got that gift! ^^) , if he had to pick one, he’d say One Day More.
Emotionally speaking, he asserted without any doubt that the hardest one was Empty Chairs At Empty Tables.
15) What is your favorite song in the show? A little Fall of Rain
16) And what is your favorite song among the ones you sing? A little Fall of Rain
17) In one of your interview, you said that the songs of the musical spoke to people. In what extent do you think they do?
« It’s just when you have your headphones on and the song you’re listening to makes you think of your own life. » Jamie said. He also added that the orchestra lifted the songs and so amplified the emotions and everything.
How could we not agree? I’m sure we all have felt this at least once in our life!
18) Do you have a song that particularly speaks to you? and why?
The song of Les Mis, which particularly speaks to Jamie, is One Day More; notably because it’s about keeping on going in life and pushing through (which is perfectly in harmony with his personality). And he also said that the other songs spoke to him but only by the thought of it (for example, the thought of losing a friend in Empty Chairs at Empty Tables).
19) Do you think the songs can bring something to people (apart from speaking to them so they may recognise themselves in those songs)?
Jamie replied that everybody was different and so each reception of a particular song was different. He notably pointed out the fact that he could see some people crying in the crowd
(I don’t think he saw me crying, no… but after reading this blogpost he’ll definitely know I cried :s).
20) What is your typical day of work?
« I get up as late as possible ‘LOL' » (that’s quite understandable with the show in the evening!). « Then I cook eggs and bacon. I do the dishes, watch some TV series and sometimes I have an acting or singing class. » (Jamie doesn’t teach yet, as he corrected me, but I’m sure it will come :)!). And he, of course, ends most of his days on stage!
21) If I say that Les Misérables is about 3 things: LOVE, FIGHT & HOPE (LOVE because it is the sacred & profane thing which transforms & transcends/FIGHT because Les Mis reveals the need of people to fight for change & (social) justice/HOPE because it is the only thing to hold on to regarding the desperate conditions in which the characters live). Would you agree with that?
& HOPE… Yes
22) I heard that you’re finishing Les Mis in June. Do you know what you’re going to do next? Do you have any specific projects for your career?
« I’m gonna drink my sorrows! » Jamie answered « …and stay in England. » He also told me that Aladdin was going to come to London and that he will audition for it. Well, besides his incredible voice, he quite looks like Aladdin, so he’s already got a good asset ;) !
Anyway, I wish you a very good luck for everything you’re gonna undertake, Jamie – I’m sure you’ll have a great career!
I would like to thank Jamie Ward very much for giving me some of his time today to answer all my questions. I’m sorry if my English was a bit crap sometimes, but I’ll keep a very good memory of it.
I hope everybody liked this post and if you want to know more about Les Misérables, you can visit the official website at http://www.lesmis.com
A bit more about Jamie in my post Dream the dream…
Another interview of the very talented Jamie –>
Keep holding on to what you love & enjoy the ride of life ;)