Enjolras — the committed, charismatic firebrand at the barricades in Les Misérables, and a Tony-winning role for Michael Maguire in the original Broadway production — is hardly a shy, retiring type, but he has been surprisingly M.I.A. at all the international red-carpet premieres of the picture save for one — New York City. (The film gets officially and widely released Dec. 25.)
The reason for this conspicuous omission is that Aaron Tveit — the actor who plays him in the epic visualization of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel and its 1985 stage musical translation by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer — was in "Graceland" at the time. He has been since Halloween and will be till early spring.
This particular Graceland is not Elvis Presley's home in Memphis but a beach house in Southern California — and, true to curious Hollywood logic, it has been replicated in Fort Lauderdale, FL, for a crime series that will debut on the USA Network in May.
"I'm playing an undercover FBI agent, and basically it's a true story," the actor said by phone after a tough day of toiling on sand and surf. "In the 1990s, the FBI seized the mansion of a former cartel head who was so Elvis-obsessed he decorated his home like Graceland — and the law actually used this place in Southern California as a safe house for undercover FBI/DEA/Customs agents up until right after 9/11."
Meanwhile back at the barricades, Tveit admitted he had seen the Les Miz movie — twice! — and has no problem shilling his little soul out for it. "I'm so, so proud of that film," he trilled. "Y'know, sometimes when you're working on a project, you can sense what you're doing is different or special — and it really had that kind of feeling.
"For one thing, they had six full weeks' rehearsal before filming, which is unheard of. I had four and a half weeks' myself. It was like a play, blocking it out on mock sets."
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