AT the age of 20 Danielle Hope has already been a West End leading lady after winning an Andrew Lloyd Webber programme and is now starring in the iconic show Les Miserables, just as it is set to hit the big screen with Anne Hathaway. But the Manchester performer is still incredibly grounded and is looking forward to performing at Adams Park next weekend. She talks about Michael Crawford, Toto the dog and rugby.
I spoke to Danielle Hope whilst she was enjoying a well earned week off from her West End stint in Les Miserables playing Eponine.
It was the last time she would get a holiday until February so she was at home in Manchester enjoying some family time. She was rocketed to stardom in 2010 , when she won the Andrew Lloyd Webber show, Over The Rainbow.
At the age of just 18 she came first and was given the role of Dorothy in the musical adaptation of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in the West End. And she said she was absolutely thrilled to land the role of Eponine this June.
She said: "I mean I could not have gone from two more different roles- from doing Dorothy to doing Eponine. "It is such a great challenge.
"I was absolutely thrilled when I got the opportunity to be a part of it.
"Obviously they are releasing a film so it is so exciting to be involved in it at this time."
Les Miserables is coming to the cinemas on January 11, 2013 and stars Anna Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman.
Danielle said: "I am a huge fan of Anne Hathaway. I love the things she has done."
And Samantha Barks is in it, who starred in another Andrew Lloyd Webber programme, coming third in I'd Do Anything in 2008. She will play Eponine in the film version.
"That was amazing to have one of us make it into a big film which was so exciting," Danielle said.
But she said starring in the West End when she landed the role of Dorothy actually turned out to be less demanding than the show.
She said: "Because I did the TV programme first- that was even more demanding in a completely different way. "At first I had to get used to that. "It was every day. We had Mondays off but in a competition style environment you can never relax until it's over."
And she said rehearsals for the West End show are 10am-8pm, but when they are performing they rehearse 1- 5pm and get ready for the show at 6.30pm and finish at 10.30pm.
She said: "When we do rehearsals we have got to wake up with the rest of the world- that seems really backward!"
When she moved to London she lived on her own for the first two years, which she said she didn't find too much of a shock as she always helped out at home. She left the Wizard of Oz show in February which she said was very said but her and co-star Michael Crawford, who played the Wizard, had talked at length about it.
Danielle said: "It was something we felt we should go together as a pair as we started as a pair. I have a very special relationship with Michael.
"I see him like an Uncle. We felt we should go as one."
She said she loved working with the dogs who played Toto, who even had their own little dressing room, although there were a few tense moments.
She said: "My show was totally based around the dogs once I was onstage.
"If that dog got trapped or went in the wrong space that is kind of my fault.
"That responsibility for me was my main thing- to take care of them.
"He did pooh on stage once on the yellow brick road.
"One of the dancers had to come on and pick it up.
"It was the worst moment for everyone on stage."
She said the audience noticed when it was being cleaned up.
Danielle said: "I think that was the worst.. He was my favourite dog.
He was mortified. "He tucked his bum under and stood by my feet."
Once she left the Wizard of Oz she joined Les Mis in June. Her boyfriend, Robbie Boyle, is currently in Loserville, which she got to see on a rare day off.
Next weekend she is making a special guest appearance on Sunday, November 25 at London Wasps fixture against Leicester Tigers at Adams Park where she will be performing during the day.
She said her whole family love rugby.
She said: "I have never really watched it. I was always cooking Sunday dinner while the lads were watching."
But she said she is really excited and rugby would be her sport of choice. She said: "I haven't done a gig or anything like that for a year. It is really nice to come down and do something completely different."
Follow Danielle at https://twitter.com/DanielleHope26
Vote for Danielle for nominations for the "What’s On Stage Awards 2013 best take over role" at http://awards.whatsonstage.com/awards/nominations
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