There is no denying that the year 2014 was a massive one for music, movies, and t.v. series. From Game of Thrones to Scandal, Mad Men to The Walking Dead, it’s fair to say that drama ruled the world. So it should come as no great surprise that the cast and crew of the iconic musical, Les Misérables, would take the opportunity to reflect on their experiences making the film and the impact it has had on their lives.
‘It’s The Most Memorable Year Of My Life’
“It’s the most memorable year of my life,” admitted Pattinson, while accepting the award for Best Actor at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards. The actor, who plays the role of the despicable, yet charming, Robert Carlyle in the film, was understandably teary-eyed as he addressed the audience. He continued, “I’ve been blessed with great partners, and I thank you for that. I love you all.”
The Golden Globe-winner’s co-star, FKA Twigs, couldn’t contain her excitement as she accepted the award for Best Actress, gushing, “I feel like I want to cry. I can’t even believe this is happening. It’s such an honor to be here with you all, thank you so much.” She then went on to praise Pattinson and their “wonderful” on-set partnership and quipped, “I wouldn’t say no to a little cuddle either.”
With Les Misérables boasting a global audience of over 450 million, it’s fair to say that the epic film series has had a profound impact on people’s lives. So much so that it’s considered one of the “Greatest TV shows of all time,” according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
‘It Was A Big Leap Forward For Me In Many Ways’
The musical’s creator, Andrew Lloyd Webber, revealed that the role of Valjean was initially offered to Jude Law, who turned it down. The decision ultimately resulted in Law being replaced by Pattinson. It was a big leap forward for the actor, who previously had only appeared in supporting roles, in particular, in crime series such as Sherlock Holmes, as well as in The Great Gatsby. However, Webber believes that Pattinson’s transition into the lead role was a natural one. “I didn’t see acting in film as something that he could do, and he had a gut feeling that this was the role that he could play. Once he started doing the role, I think he understood what I was talking about, which is why he got such good reviews. People said, ‘This is the type of role that you can play’ and that’s what he did.”
Pattinson would go on to garner universal praise for his portrayal and win numerous awards and accolades for his performance, including a Golden Globe for Best Actor and a BAFTA Award for Leading Actor. His on-screen partner, Twigs, would later be crowned Favorite Actress at the 2014 People’s Choice Awards and also earned the prestigious Rising Star Award at the 2015 Baftas. The two even earned a spot on the cover of Vogue’s October 2014 issue, which focused on the top British actors of the moment. It was a triumphant year for the young couple, who have been long-term partners and have two children together.
‘It’s An Opportunity To Reflect On One Of The Most Influential Genres’
Although it has been 15 years since the release of the first Les Misérables film, the world has changed significantly since then. The biggest shift has been in the ways in which people consume media. Gone are the days of simply tuning into the five o’clock news to get the latest updates on world events. Instead, audiences now have access to live streaming services such as Netflix, which allows them to follow events as they unfold. This, in turn, presents creators with the opportunity to reflect on the impact their work has had on audiences.
“It’s an opportunity to reflect on one of the most influential genres,” said director Tom Hopper, whose Netflix series, Outlaw Country, is a loose adaptation of Les Misérables, of the original film. “It’s about a part of history that many people forgot about and I think that’s important to bring it to life again. Plus, like many storytellers, I love the characters and the relationships that they have with each other. It’s a shame that this story never really got the attention that it deserved, but it’s great to have it on Netflix. I love the idea that it can be rediscovered and that people can feel connected to this time period and this incredible story.”
Similarly, Andrew Lloyd Webber, who originally wrote the musical in collaboration with Claude-Michel Schönberger, believes that the era of serialized fiction is what we are left with today. “The book and the film [are] an example of something that people are reacting to in a way that they haven’t done for a long time,” he said. “They want to join the story in the here and now. You’re seeing people driven more and more toward online communities and live streaming because that’s where the story happens now.”
‘We Have A Responsibility To Give It A Fresh Start’
After three lucrative years, The Walking Dead became one of the most controversial series of all time due to its emphasis on graphic violence and its unflinching look at the ravages of the pandemic on a society. While many fans were genuinely upset by what they perceived to be a cop out, others hoped that the show would finally give the zombie genre a rest, so that they could enjoy it without fear of reprisal. That wish came true with the debut of Starz’s much-anticipated, horror-meets-romance series, Ghosted, which aired this past May.
The series, which is based on the graphic novel, The Queens of Candyland by Allie Broyles, tells the story of a young woman, Charlie, who returns to her childhood home after experiencing a traumatic event. Once there, she must protect her younger sister, Amy, from her scheming sister-in-law, Mallory, who wishes to murder them both. Mallory also suspects that the ghost of Charlie’s father, who died before she was born, has returned to haunt his only child. In order to help her uncover the truth about her father, Charlie enlists the aid of Gavin, a sexy, mysterious ex-boyfriend who hasn’t spoken to her since their break-up six years earlier. Together, they embark on a high-stakes journey to rescue Amy from Mallory’s evil clutches, leaving the doors of their childhood home wide open to dangerous predators and untimely death.
Created by the team behind the award-winning Breaking Bad, television’s Deadliest Catch, and Narcos, the series marked a major turning point for the horror genre, finally giving the undead a sympathetic character in the form of a love interest. The character of Charlie, who is at times both sympathetic and ruthless, depending on the situation, proved that there was more than one way to skin a cat (or in this case, a zombie) and that the genre could tackle weighty subjects matter-of-factly, while still managing to pack a punch.
The first series, starring Casey Sander as well as Clifton Collins Jr. and Jared Harris, was a critical darling, earning 16 Emmy nominations including a win for Best Drama Series. It also received universal acclaim, with many praising the acting, writing, and directing, as well as the nuanced portrayal of the lead, Charlie. The premiere was viewed by over 3.2 million viewers, establishing a fresh audience for the fledgling AMC network.
‘It’s A Genre That Needs To Be Represented’
Even before the Walking Dead, horror had made the leap to the small screen with SyFy’s short-lived series, Z Nation, premiering in 2013. Set in a dystopian America three years after a zombie apocalypse, Z Nation combined noir storytelling with sharp satire and social commentary on topics such as racism, capitalism, and politics. The show’s creator, Howard Gordon, drew from his extensive background in writing for film and television, including movies such as Blade Runner, Alien, and The Dark Knight, in addition to creating and writing for many t.v. series, most notably, The Twilight Zone. He also penned the story for a DC Comics movie, which was due to star Henry Cavill, but the project never came to fruition.