A quartet of features centered around this year's Oscar caliber actresses greets us in Variety this morning, starting with Bob Verini's piece on literary icons taking the screen:Long before Samantha Barks was awarded ragamuffin Eponine in the cinematic "Les Miserables," she had grown up seeing the tuner numerous times, and went on to essay the part in the West End and on the star-studded 25th anniversary gala broadcast. Yet despite all her previous familiarity with the property, nabbing her movie debut sent her promptly to the Victor Hugo novel.
Kristen Stewart was first dazzled by "On the Road" as a high school freshman, and later "slapped that thing on my car dashboard, I was so into it." For all that, getting cast as the pic's complex, flamboyant Marylou -- the love interest of both Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty -- led her right back to Jack Kerouac's now canonical text.
They aren't the only actresses with recent occasion to catch up on Great Books required reading. With Barks, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried passing around Hugo's weighty tome between "Les Mis" takes, Helena Bonham Carter would have had time to switch to Dickens in anticipation of Miss Havisham in "Great Expectations." And soon, scores of Oprah's Book Club fans will decide whether Keira Knightley meets their image of "Anna Karenina." ...
Read the rest of Verini's piece here, then check out the rest of the coverage: