Les Miz movie: Original Valjean Colm Wilkinson "voice of God" in new film

by Buffy Naillon

The thought of the Christmas Day release of the Les Miserables movie already has fans of the musical undoubtedly excited in part because they’ll see their favorite characters from the Victor Hugo novel come to life. Chief among them will be Jean Valjean. The role was made famous by actor Colm Wilkinson and a newly released Les Miz movie featurette gives the actor center stage as it introduces audiences to the new character he’ll be playing in the film.

Click here to watch the Les Miserables movie featurette with Colm Wilkinson.

Les Miz Movie Character Updates

The Les Miserables movie cast has an impressive line up of actors already. The Dark Knight Rises own Catwoman, Anne Hathaway sheds the crime fighting ways of the superhero film to play the soulful and downtrodden, Fantine. Russell Crowe joins the Les Miserables movie cast as Javert, and Hugh Jackman will bring Valjean, the powerhouse character to life.

But there’s an unexpected addition to the new Les Miz movie: Colm Wilkinson. Although he was the original Jean Valjean, he won’t reprise his leading man role, but in the arch of the story, the role that he will play is pivotal. Colm Wilkinson in this Les Miserables movie plays the bishop, the man who turned Valjean from a life of crime and showed him compassion when no one else did. The small acts of kindness that this character showed Jean Valjean changed the path of his life.

Les Miserable Movie Cast: Colm Wilkinson, the Original Valjean, Passes the Torch

The actors and crew talked about the symbolism of having Wilkinson pass the candlesticks to Jackman in the film version of Les Miserables and discussed at length how Wilkinson made the role of Valjean his own by playing it differently than how it had been written. It was advice that the elder Valjean passed on the younger one, and on Christmas Day, audiences will see how both men play their new roles.

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