Sunday, December 5, 2010

Best friends keeping them grounded

Former X Factor contestant, singer and model Lucie Jones (right), 19, and Samantha Barks, 20 (who was on BBC1’s I’d Do Anything) both made their West End debut this summer in Les Misérables as Cosette and Eponine respectively. Lucie lives in West London with her flatmate Jared Murillo from Strictly, and Samantha lives nearby.

Lucie says:
I only met Sam in June when we both auditioned for Les Misérables, but we’ve been best friends ever since. We spend every day together, doing eight shows a week, so it’s not surprising we’ve become close.
Having Sam there made my first day of rehearsals much easier.

Everyone was nervous, but we bonded over the fact we’d both done reality shows. I’d voted for Sam on I’d Do Anything; I thought she was amazing.

Now we watch The X Factor on Sunday at my place with a roast dinner, and we’ve talked a lot about how nerve-racking the experience is and how we dealt with it differently. Sam would get to a point where she just went numb and would go into her own zone, whereas I’d have five minutes of rising hysteria, and then be fine.

Sam only lives ten minutes’ drive away, so we travel to work together for 2pm every day. In the morning, we’ll walk our dogs or wander around the shops.

We go out a couple of nights a week to dinner or events, but rarely to clubs as I’m not a fan of clubbing and I’d never turn up to work hungover. We have a little routine when we’re leaving an event. We’ll check each other’s hair, make-up and clothes and ask, ‘Can you walk in those shoes or do we need to go out of the back exit?’

Sam’s the kind of friend everyone needs but not a lot of people have. If I’m upset at work, whether it’s man trouble or whatever, she’ll know when to take me out of the room. Sometimes you need to be on your own to cry – well, I’ll cry on Sam instead!

Samantha says:
Getting off the train on my way to the audition, I noticed the girl in front of me had these amazing boots. Then I saw she was walking to the same place as me and suddenly realised, ‘Wow, it’s Lucie from The X Factor!’

We hit it off straight away, bonding over our shared love of shoes. On The X Factor, I remember thinking Lucie was so lovely. She’s like that in real life, but even more bubbly and fun.

On your first day of rehearsals, walking into a room full of new people can be very scary. I felt so lucky to have someone there that I knew was going to be a good friend. It made me feel safe.

We have a lot in common, but I always like to plan and I’ve discovered that Lucie forgets arrangements as soon as she’s made them, so I have to remind her. I can always tell if there’s something bugging her and I know the best way to get Lucie chatting is to tease her. She does the same to me. She’ll wind me up by sticking her face right in front of mine or poking me! She always knows how to put a smile back on my face.

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