Hundreds queue for Les Mis parts

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People turned up in their hundreds for a chance to be an extra in the most talked-about musical in history.

Couples, grandparents and students lined up to catch the eye of the casting crew for the movie Les Miserables. The cast will include Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne.

And, if their luck was in, there will be plenty faces from Northamptonshire in the crowd scenes.

The county is one of a number of locations, including Portsmouth and Kent, chosen by the movie-makers for the big screen musical version of Victor Hugo’s tale of revolution in 19th century France. The exact location in Northamptonshire is being kept a closely guarded secret but filming is due to start next month and the movie will be released in December.

People queued for the auditions at The Deco Theatre, Northampton, from 8am on Saturday and some were eliminated before they got inside the door.

Wayne Berko, of UniVersal Extras, at Pinewood Studios, said: “We had staff going up and down the queue telling people if they were unsuitable. We were looking for people who would fit into 19th century France, so anyone with pink highlights in their hair wouldn’t do.”

Men and women over 16 were invited to audition and there was no need for singing or dancing talents, but military experience was a distinct advantage for extras in some scenes.

People who went along were measured and photographed and those who were successful will be contacted in two or three weeks.

Mr Berko said: “There will be a cast of thousands. We’ll look through all the photographs and go for people who we think will fit the period.”

Among those at the audition was Michael Bowie, 17, of Mawsley, a pupil at Moulton College. He said: “I really hope I get picked. It would be terrific to be one of the extras.”

Laura Clarke, 18, of Boughton, a drama student at Moulton College, said: “I went along because I just love Les Miserables.”

Other hopefuls turned up from Wolverhampton, Liverpool and even Belgium.