Let me tell you a thing. So about 6 years ago, when she was just 17 years old, she was a contestant on a television series called ‘I’d Do Anything’. It was a competition to cast Nancy in a production of Oliver. At the time that she auditioned she didn’t own shorts or skirts because she never showed off her legs. The first show she came out in this and rocked it:
She performed ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ complete with some pretty sexual movements and everyone was completely blown away. This 17 year old girl rocking this song in a sexy, yet modest way and belting it out with the most beautiful voice. Throughout the weeks she was on the show, she received the criticism that there was nothing showing in her eyes and that she was lacking emotion. Sam then works her ass off and goes from the most breathtaking singer, to also a breathtaking actress. Watching her perform all of her songs, she was absolutely phenomenal, and not just for a 17 year old, but for anyone. Now, when I mentioned before that she went from not ever showing off her legs to wearing tight black shorts, I don’t mean she got sleazy or did something she was completely uncomfortable with. What I mean by this is that she went a little bit outside of her comfort zone and owned it. It seems as if Sam has always been very mature, but on the show she appeared to have grown up so much. Now, unfortunately she didn’t win this competition, though she did get extremely close. She was, however, granted the part of Nancy in the end.
Can we talk about the emotion she’s showing? Look how far she had come as an actress. No one was more deserving of this part than Sam. She was young and she was willing to work so hard and put everything she had into the role. Sam showed real dedication, which in this business is something we really need in a role model. Throughout the duration of ‘I’d Do Anything’, Sam really helped me to believe in myself more and made me feel so much self confidence and I cannot begin to tell you how much she means to me just because of that small thing.
Now, I’m assuming you are familiar with her journey on Les Miserables, but I’m going to explain it to you anyway. Here we have Sam when she found out that she was going to be Eponine in the 25th Anniversary Concert (notice the lovely Nancy dress because it’s pretty):
Just look at how thankful she is. She debuted as Eponine in the West End in 2010 and the role meant so much to her. Looking at that photo (and watching the video, which is on YouTube) I begin to feel so immensely proud of her. Hard work and dedication, friends. In case you’re unaware of how big of a deal Les Miserables at the O2 is, let me explain you a thing. The 10th Anniversary Concert featured stars like Colm Wilkinson, Michael Ball, Lea Salonga (as Eponine) and many more big theatre stars, many of which belonged to the original Broadway (or London) cast, or were replacements. I believe the 25th Anniversary to be an even bigger deal in many ways. It also featured huge theatre stars whom I’m sure you all know about, and also Nick Jonas who is very famous, though we don’t really talk about him for reasons. Samantha’s performance in Les Miserables was just wonderful. She captured Eponine in such a unique way and represented the character from the book in the best way possible given the fact that Eponine is so romanticized in the musical. She was so raw and she brings me to tears every time. I realize some people may argue that that is not what Eponine is about because she is just a manipulative fighter of the streets. Well, I have to give it to Sam because I believe she portrayed that without flaw. The way she first walks out during ‘Look Down/Paris’ you can tell Eponine is a strong character who doesn’t take any shit from anybody. You’re quick to realize this just by the way she walks out. Remember back to when she was told she had no emotion when she performed? In ‘Eponine’s Errand’ we first see the manipulative side of Eponine and Sam delivers this astonishingly well. ‘Attack on Rue Plumet’ is when Eponine attempts to fight off her father to basically save Cosette, which shows that she does not hate her. Sam gives this scene so much it’s almost unbelievable. The way she performs it makes Eponine exceptionally fierce and it is just wonderful in every way. She is so strong in the character. I won’t go into any more detail about her incredible portrayal of Eponine, though I will say that she balances the sensitive and fierceness of Eponine better than most performers probably could.
Of course, then Samantha gets cast in the Les Miserables film. She explained her audition for the film as the most important audition of her life, claiming that she worked the hardest for it. She wanted the part more than anything. This journey is honestly one of the most inspirational for many reasons. There are so many that I won’t list them all now, but I just know that Sam makes me want to be the best that I can be. Because of Sam I’m always pushing myself to try my hardest because I know that the hard work will pay off in the end.
There she is looking absolutely stunning, as always, in the film. Okay, now you try and sing such a difficult piece of music such as On My Own in the rain, while crying, and while wearing that corset that makes your waist the size of a lifesaver. I am constantly being blown away by her talent.
She’s also appeared in other films such as ‘The Christmas Candle’ and continues to grow as an actress. But let’s talk about Chicago for a moment.
Just look at how hot she is. She is totally rocking that dress and plays the character up so well. Not to mention her stellar American accent. I never get tired of watching her as Velma Kelly. Not just because she is incredibly attractive and nice to look at, but because of her exceptional talent. Went from not ever showing off her legs to playing one of the sexiest characters in musical theatre history. I am thoroughly impressed. How does this not give you self confidence? She was just another teenager and she could do it, and one day I hope you can rock the bare leg look confidentially too because I know for a fact you have stellar legs.
I’d just like to end with the fact that not only is she an exceptional talent and is amazing to look up to as a performer, but she is also amazing to look up to just as a person. Sam is the most caring, kind, accepting, humorous, and driven girls possibly ever. I look up to her more than almost anybody else in this world. I aspire to have many of her qualities one day, though she’s also taught me to always be myself and I think that that is a very important lesson. Sam is an absolutely wonderful person who I am happy to consider my role model.
I could go on and get into more depth, but I think I’ll just leave you with this for tonight. Also, thank you for asking because I feel like everyone needs to be reminded of how beautiful this girl is, inside and out. And I only teared up once while writing this which is something to be proud of.