To celebrate the release of Les Miserables on DVD, SheSaid chats to the gorgeous, talented Celinde Schoenmaker from London’s West End production about her beauty routine, what she gets up to on a day off in London and why we love Fantine so much.
1. Can you describe what it was like to perform the role of Fantine on the West End?
Oh it was a dream! Literally. I grew up with my parents listening to the Dutch version of Les Mis in the car on cassette tape. That’s when I got an interest in musicals, I think I was about 7 when I first started singing the songs…can you imagine? A little 7-year-old girl singing about revolutions, lost love and death. So the fact that I get to do it every night now, for real, is very exciting for me.
2. How do you stay energised night after night?
Well, when you get into the rhythm of things it’s not that hard, when you eat well and drink enough water. I sleep in till quite late, so my sleep rhythm just shifted. I don’t sleep till about 1 am and I get up at about 10/11. So I have plenty of energy for the evening!
3. Why do you think audiences connect with Fantine so strongly?
I think because everyone can identify with Fantine at certain points of her journey. I mean, I hugely connect with I Dreamed A Dream. Not literally her story of course, but everyone has felt like she feels in the song…that the ground gets pulled from underneath you.
Also, for me she is the strongest woman alive, she goes into prostitution to earn money for her child. She keeps on fighting where others would stop. I think people like to identify with her strength, I feel honoured to play her.
4. What did you think of Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Fantine in the recent film version?
I thought it was INCREDIBLE. She was such a vulnerable Fantine and I really felt for her. It not an easy song and she nailed it, along with all the emotion. Fantastic.
5. Describe your ultimate day off in London while performing in Les Mis?
Sleeping in of course! Then I like to go and get breakfast at a nice little organic food place in Hampstead where I live. Of course, in my perfect day it’s sunny so I can sit outside and read a book for a bit. Then go into town and shop, at Topshop, Miss Selfridge, River Island, Zara and Mango.
In my perfect day off all my friends on the show will be off as well so we can chill out together! Get some good curry at Busaba, and end up with some drinks at Century, because they have the most amazing mojitos.
6. Despite all that heavy stage makeup, you have such beautiful skin and hair – what is your beauty routine and which beauty products can’t you live without?
Well, I ALWAYS take off all my makeup. I never even leave a little bit of mascara on. Right now I use this facial soap from Boots Botanics. I always use night cream, and day cream, both from Boots Botanics. Though I sometimes also use 8-hour cream from Elizabeth Arden. I like to change it up sometimes though, as long as I use some kind of cream on my face I’m fine. I also like Vitamin E Moisture Serum from Body Shop. For my body I like to use everything from Sabon. It’s amazing.
My hair has been this long since I was about 15. So I’m used to taking care of it. I try to wash it not too much, about three times a week I think. Right now I use Ozzy products. After washing it I usually put either Biosilk or Moroccanoil in it and then just let it dry naturally. Also, I always sleep with a plait in my hair so I don’t have to comb it so aggressively in the morning! If I go out and want to put curls in, I always use some sort of hair protection spray.
Les Miserables is out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.