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“I Dreamed a Dream” is perhaps one of the most well-known tunes from the musical version of “Les Misérables,” but without leaning on those songs, PBS’ six-part non-musical series based on Victor Hugo’s novel goes deeper with its storytelling. Lily Collins, who plays the lowly grisette Fantine, was able to reveal more backstory when her character falls in love and becomes pregnant by a rich student (Johnny Flynn), who abandoned her.
In an interview with IndieWire and during a panel for “Les Misérables” earlier this year, Collins shared her thoughts about this version of Fantine.
Side - Fantine - Storyline - Factory - Fall
“I was really excited to get to show a side of Fantine that we really haven’t seen before. Usually, you cut into her storyline when she’s already in the factory,” she said. “You don’t get to see her fall in love, and be naive, and fun-loving, and having fun. You don’t get to see her laugh, really. So this was a really interesting opportunity to get to show a side of a character that we haven’t. We got to take a lyric in a song and make it an episode.
“There are certain situations that she has gone through that I can’t relate to. But for young women out there, I think most of us know what ghosting is, or having a guy just disappear on you. That’s not a modern phenomenon.”
Details - Fantine - Swift - Downfall - Job
Episode 2 details Fantine’s swift downfall after she loses her job at a factory run by Jean Valjean’s alter ego Mayor Madeleine (Dominic West). “This was definitely a challenge. It’s the most raw I’ve ever just had to be in the moment, especially mostly when Fantine’s demise starts,” said Collins. “Physically and emotionally, it was the most grueling for me that I’ve ever done. So that was fearful in and of itself. But I thrive off that...
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