Colm Wilkinson, original Jean Valjean, on ‘Les Miserables’ movie

“Les Misérables” fans of a certain age may remember Colm Wilkinson, the big-voiced stage actor who originated the role of Jean Valjean in London and later on Broadway.

The producers of the new movie version have given the actor a cameo role as the Bishop of Digne, the priest who takes pity on Valjean. It’s a brief role but an important one -- his act of kindness sets Valjean on a different path in life.

After playing “Les Misérables” on Broadway, Wilkinson embarked on a career in Canada. He played the title role in “The Phantom of the Opera” in Toronto and frequently tours the country. He also has released several solo albums.

In the video above, Wilkinson talks about his role in the movie. “Obviously, I’m too old to be climbing barricades and running around,” he said.

Wilkinson isn’t the only original cast member of “Les Misérables” to be cast in the movie. Actress Frances Ruffelle won a Tony Award for playing the role of Eponine in the Broadway run of the musical. In the movie, she plays a bit part as a bawdy prostitute.



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