Adam Lambert throws some shade, says ‘Les Mis’ cast couldn’t sing

A few days ago, Adam Lambert went to see Les Miserables – which, incidentally, I still haven’t seen!! I want to see it. Maybe this weekend. Anyway, Glambert went to see Les Mis and he was NOT happy about it. Glambert took to his Twitter – go here to his feed – and tweeted a series of random thoughts which basically turned into some kind of Twitter review. Here’s what he said in order:

Les Mis: Visually impressive with great Emotional performances. But the score suffered massively with great actors PRETENDING to be singers. It’s an opera. Hollywood’s movie musicals treat the singing as the last priority…

Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Enjolras were the exceptions for me.

Helena B Carter and Sasha B Cohen were great too.

I do think it was cool they were singing live, but with that cast, they should have studio recorded and sweetened the vocals. . .

Eponine’s voice was cool too…

I felt like I should ignore the vocals and focus on the emotional subtext- but the singing was so distracting at times it pulled me out.

The industry will say ‘these actors were so brave to attempt singing this score live,’ but why not cast actors who could actually sound good? Sorry for being so harsh but it’s so true!

I’m so glad we are all discussing this now! Look-I grew up w this musical and so my expectations are quite high. Didn’t mean to b negative.

One more clarification: DO go see it for Anne Hathaways performance. It’s was breathtaking.

[From Adam Lambert’s Twitter]

Eh, I think he’s actually being pretty fair. Les Miserables is trying to rewrite the way Hollywood musicals are done, and the “singing live to camera” thing is very new, and I’ve seen some reviews which are basically like “It sort of works half the time.” I do think actors were cast mainly for the overall performances that they could give rather than the strength and quality of their voices. I think as a musical professional, Glambert has higher standards than the average filmgoer (or musical-goer), and I don’t think he was a flat-out bitch about it. Why are people upset with him?

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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70 Responses to “Adam Lambert throws some shade, says ‘Les Mis’ cast couldn’t sing”

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  1. Molly says:

    I havent seen it, but I appreciate what Adam is saying. It isnt like the guy isnt credible, he knows what he’s talking about.

  2. MrsBPitt says:

    Since I haven’t seen the movie yet (but def going to) I won’t give my opinion on the movie…just wanted to say that Adam Lambert was robbed on AI…he brought it EVERY week and should have won!

    • HotPockets says:

      I don’t think he was robbed because do most people even remember who won that season? I don’t. He has had a fairly successful music career with or without winning it. Look at Daughtry, that guy was the 4th runner up and has surpassed most of all the winners in record sales.

      • TheOneAndOnly says:

        Daughtry’s cheesy rock one step above Nickelback; Led Zeppelin was recently inducted at the Kennedy Award center that the Prez. attended on CBS last wed nite. Zeppelin is rock and most everything else is a pale imitation. I agree with Adam he can sing although he’s really not a rock singer and his affiliation with a talent show hurts his cred. As an aside, Anne Hathaway is really annoying Just my take.

      • HotPockets says:

        Yah I don’t care for either Daughtry or AL’s music, but I was noting that you didn’t have to win AI to be successful, if anything, it seems like the only successful winners from that show were Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. The rest faded into obscurity.

      • Zen Arcade says:

        “Zeppelin is rock and most everything else is a pale imitation.”

        Sweet Baby Jebus, Zeppelin is overrated tripe by rock enthusiasts who keep claiming music isn’t what is used to be. Yawn. Plenty of bands have written far more engaging and ORIGINAL material than the “black musician rip-offs” band.

  3. Cleveland Girl says:

    I saw the movie, and he is 100% on the money

  4. Samigirl says:

    Maybe they didn’t have the best singing voices, but the movie was amazing. I enjoyed every second of if.

    • Tiffany says:

      He seems to be forgetting that this was a MOVIE, not just an audio project like a cd.

      When people watch it, it can be worse to get great singers who can’t act. As someone who usually doesn’t like traditional musicals because of their cheese and superficial approach to story telling, I think this version of Les Mis sounds appealing because the focus of the production was on story telling. I hate hearing songs about people dying being sung like they are doing vocal run exercises on a sunny day.

      • Nan209 says:

        * kiss, kiss*. Couldn’t agree more. I actually didn’t want to see the kind of performance I would see on stage. If I wanted that I’d go see a performance. I wanted the emotional with the singing. Could it have been smoother? Sure. But the cost would have been the grit and dirt of the word. I thought it was a great experiment and though not perfect the results were very good. I was a water pot for the first and last half of Les Mis.

    • Becky1 says:

      I loved it, too. The intensity of the acting made up for any deficits in singing. I thought the singing “live to the camera” worked well. I don’t think the performances would have been as good otherwise-it was very raw and emotional.

  5. sheri says:

    I LOVED it. I think he might be calling out Amanda Seyfried, she almost ruined it. There were a couple times, the hair on the back of my neck stood up when she was singing. That’s not good.

    • Amelia says:

      From the clips I’ve seen she sounds like a little bird, which I was quite surprised at, since I think she was classically trained as a singer.
      I’m really apprehensive about going to see this film. I *loved* the stage show and saw it with Alfie Boe and Matt Lucas, and I just feel like this is going to fall massively below my expectations. I think I’m just going to have to remind myself that this is *not* the theatre and they’ve gone for a completely different direction.
      Tbh, as much as I love him, I’m worried about Hugh’s performance. He was on Graham Norton on NYE (SO freaking funny!) and sang a bit of ‘Do You Hear the People Sing’ and he has a strange voice (to my ears).
      I think I’m just too in love with Alfie Boe…

  6. gee says:

    I enjoyed it. I thought it was in the vein of West Side Story (save Maria), where the voices were supposed to be ‘normal.’

  7. lucy2 says:

    I preferred the live singing – not every note was perfect, but it conveyed a lot more emotion and made the film better, IMO.

    • Migdalia says:

      Exactly…the movie is supposed to be raw and depressing and I think the natural sounding voices just fit. This isn’t supposed to be Grease. Adam Lambert obviously didn’t understand what was trying to be accomplished and it sounded more to me like he was passed over for a role >_< or something.

      I mean again Adam speaks from the prospective of an experienced singer and I speak from the prospective of someone experienced in production. My friend I went with and is familiar with this play didn't like it either *shrug*

      P.S: I thought Anne Hathaway was ok…she was in the movie for less time than I thought and she was good. Oscar worthy??? Idk. Again the physical transformation would be the big reason for the nomination.

      • anotherrandom says:

        I definitely agree about Anne Hathaway. I mean, I knew Fantine isn’t in the play that long, so when they kept saying “Oscar” I thought maybe they did something different or her performance was that powerful but I was only “eh”. I love the theater production so while I liked the movie, I much prefer the theater production. Having the singing be more natural didn’t work for me. Then again, maybe I don’t go around singing about my life enough.

      • FirstTimer says:

        I believe Adam started in musical theater so he probably had that mentality going into the movie. Which is really not bad as it is a well-loved musical with such critically-acclaimed talents. So his expectations were higher than shall we say those who never saw the musical. I haven’t seen it but I am looking forward to it.

  8. Itteh Bitteh says:

    I haven’t seen it, but my best friend did. She said almost exactly the same thing.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I think he’s getting a lot of pushback because of his statement about casting actors “who could actually sound good”. There are quite a few people cast in this movie that have the vocal requirements for their roles. For example, Samantha Barks played the role of Eponine at the West End Theatre for a couple of years. Hugh Jackman has an extensive and varied stage background. Is it that they couldn’t sing the parts, or that they sounded different when their voices hadn’t been processed and produced as is traditional for movies and albums?

  10. cubfan34 says:

    Russell Crowe agrees with him

    Crowe actually agreed with Lambert’s opinion, particularly the thought that, while it was novel and ambitious to have the actors all sing live, they should have accentuated those performances with studio recording that “sweetened the vocals.”

    “I don’t disagree with Adam,” tweeted Crowe. “Sure it could have been sweetened, [director] Tom Hooper wanted it raw and real, that’s how it is.”

  11. Get a clue says:

    I have to agree with him. I saw it and it was terribly boring and tedious to listen to. And whoever told Russell Crowe he can sing is nuts.

  12. Rachel says:

    I saw it yesterday. He’s kind of right, but that was my favorite thing about it: the mistakes and the potential for mistakes. It added some suspense. Everything is so perfect and so packaged these days, it was kind of refreshing to hear real voices. With the possible exception of Amanda Seyfried: her parts were in such a high key that when she missed a note: whoa.

  13. V4Real says:

    I saw it. I think Adam is right on the money; it wasn’t the best singing but the cast put forth a good effort. Adam seems as if he gave his honest opinion about the movie w/o sounding spiteful and his review of the film didn’t come off negative at all.

    I saw Les Mis when it was on Broadway and loved the live performances. Overall the movie was not bad; it does grab you emotionally. That being said I still can’t stand Anne Hathaway but she did a nice job but I wasn’t crazy about her singing voice. A couple of days ago I watched the 1998 Les Mis movie with Liam Neesom and Geoffrey Rush and I tried to compare the non musical version to this one.

    On a different note I saw Django as well and was a bit shocked that it out sold Les Mis at the Box Office.

    • j.eyre says:

      I agree with both you and Adam, although I would put Anne in the same category as the rest. They were all good but the score did suffer at their hands. I like Hugh Jackman as an actor, I adore him as a person and lust after him as a man but I do not care for his singing voice. He has talent but is a bit nasal for my tastes – I have seen him sing twice on stage as well as Les Mis. Everyone did a fine job but I will admit, I demand excellence when it comes to Les Mis. Had this been Phantom, I would not have had a problem with it… but obviously that is my issue due to preferences.

      Eponine was wonderful – she is a theater performer and I, personally, thought she and Cosette had the best voices.

      The movie did grab me emotionally. As I mentioned in another post, those close-up, face-just-off-center shots were killing me. If I had to watch one more tear make a two story decent down someone’s cheek to ultimately end up in their mouth I was going to rip my chair off its hinges.

      Side-note: Enjolras has always been my favorite character. Liked him in the film too.

      A San Francisco critic said something I agree with: there was no letdown after the numbers. On stage you would have had a cathartic roar of applause to allow you to recalibrate after these emotional songs. During the film, after Red & Black I instinctively raised my hands to clap, so moved was I, and when nothing came of it, I felt a little disappointed.

      Sorry – probably going on a bit too much on this. I love the book, the opera, the Neeson movie and, probably this one as well.

      • V4Real says:

        I completely understand how you felt about the close-ups of the teardrops on stained cheeks; a bit overly dramactic for me as well.

        LOL about your instinct to clap; I myself fought the urge to put my paws together and give the applause of a lifetime. I say that because I was always the one in a movie theater bitching about audiences who clap at the end of movies. This is not a live show I would scream, the actors can’t hear your applause. Yet, I found myself in a peculiar position as I raised my hands but found myself just closing them together in a prayer like motion as others around me gave their seal of approval through cheers and thunderous applause. But you’re right there’s nothing like seeing it live and given the time to lose yourself in your emotions after one of those powerful ballads have finished. The movie kind of felt like okay, next scene.

      • j.eyre says:

        V4R – let’s put on the cd,sing at the top of our lungs and cry until the neighbors call the cops, ‘kay?

    • Miss M says:

      I agree with both of you. I enjoyed the movie a lot.

      Some of the actors could not sing well (Russel and Anne, for example). Overall, it captured the emotion.
      Eponine was superb . Even gerard Butler would had been better than Russel. Emmy Rossum could had played Fantine, just saying…

      @J.eyre: I wa sjust talking to a friend of mine about Enjolras and the actor who played him did it wonderfully and he is really cute too, :) . Maybe I will substitute Tom for him…

      • j.eyre says:

        Ohhh – and IMDB lists him as 6′ so he makes OBella’s “Must Be This Tall to Ride” cut-off. Hmmm – if he has advanced degrees, we may have found our jump off!

        Although I am not abandoning ship yet on Hiddles. He still makes me tingle…

      • V4Real says:

        Ladies we were getting along so well and you had to bring up Hiddles; now I’ m going into attack mode. Paws off my European boy. LOL

      • Miss M says:

        @j.eyre: Well, If he keeps insisting in making our love stronger as time goes by, It will be hard to move on… But…He needs some competition to appreciate his woman (me). Oh, yes Aaron is tall. According to wikipedia, he went to college and turned down many business school scholarships to pursue acting in college. I see some resemblance to Guy from coldplay…
        @V4real: darling, please. I have so much respect and admiration for you that I will recommend you to go back to Tom hiddleston’s NYE post and read my advice to Ms KayDoo… :) Tip: It’s a saying…

      • j.eyre says:

        Darn it! I was going to log off too. Then I just HAD to check back. I am all for Hiddles having a run for his money. You’re right, MOL, let’s make him sweat.
        But VRe, you throwing down the gauntlet in a Les Mis post; now I have visions of baracades going up all over London – only ours are made up of discarded Vanity Fairs, Starbucks cups and last seasons shoes. And then Kay-Doo and Eve launch some Revlon lipstick at us and we sing out “But we boycott Berry!” But Cumby comes by and reads the phone book and we go all mooney-eyed and swoon. Then Hiddles quotes Yeats to bring us together but then someone shouts that they have spotted Bana and we all take off for another barricade.

        Seriously, I need to go to bed.

      • V4Real says:

        ROTFLMAO.YOu guys are hilarious. Ms. M I read the NYE post . Bana…..mmmmmm; now i’m drooling for real.

  14. Rachel says:

    I haven’t seen it yet (*sniffle*), so I can’t form an opinion. However, he is wrong in declaring Les Mis an opera. Les Mis is not an opera.

  15. Jen'sMom says:

    Hasn’t Hugh actually appeared on Broadway? In a musical? The rest, I see the criticism, and honestly, don’t know why they didn’t use Terrance Mann in the Javert role. He originated it on Broadway and is a phenominal singer/actor. Russell Crowe? Not so much.

  16. Suzy says:

    I’m sorry, but how many Tony awards has he won??

    Oh, that’s right, NONE.

    The movie was freaking AMAZING-Russel Crowe sucked, but he tried hard-so Adam needs to stfu.

  17. judyjudy says:

    Am I the only one who finds Les Mis dreadfully boring? It’s the Mr’s favorite musical and because I’m happy to have married a man who likes musical theater I fake enjoyment every time we see Les Mis. It kills me. We haven’t seen this movie yet because I’m trying to summon the will to go. Hugh Jackman might make it worth it – are there any full-frontal scenes?

    • midnightmoon says:

      Ditto! Thank the Goddess i do not have to go see the movie. Have been sorely disappointed in the ‘boy’s musical like Les Miz, Phantom, and Wicked, not to mention Rent. Overloud, unsingable, and BORING.

      Glambert looks hilarious in the top photo but I SO WOULD if he ever said yes to a girl… my lord he is BEAUTIFUL, even if his dress sense is Liberace from the 80s, and not in a good way.

      He is an awesome singer and will find his way into global domination. I hope someday there will be a movie musical with him as headliner.

  18. aims says:

    Glambert, lmao!! I still havent seen this. I do want to go though. Yeah, maybe they didnt hit the right notes, ect. But on the same note. I was watching Adam sing with Queen on you tube. Let me tell you, hes no Freddie. So maybe he shouldnt be so harsh.

  19. workdog says:

    Actually, I don’t think Russell was agreeing with him; I think he was politely telling him that, yeah, you COULD sweeten the vocals but then the ARTISTIC intent of the director was somewhat lost. Subtle difference in stage and screen choices, I guess. But, imo, he definitely wasn’t agreeing with his assessment. I was also shocked that Crowe didn’t use a bit more heavy hand with the criticism. But then it is award season and perhaps he is mellowing? <-not sure if that's a real question or just a bit of sarcasm…you choose.:-)

  20. erika says:

    i think people are upset with him because he comes off as a bizzarro looking freak! sorry, not hot on the A. Idol shows and less than on their ‘offspring’

    so, Adam, what do you think people see your sexual tryst in a bathroom w/ some Norwegian guy as?

    whatev, not gonna fight this. i do see his point though, A. Hathaway’s version of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ mehh…meh….personally having sung that song I put a little more ‘fight fight figh’ and anger in when she sings of dark clouds at night, thunder, worlds tearing apart and shame….but ehhhh

  21. cutelittlehappything says:

    Haven’t seen the movie, but I just had to pop in and say “My GOD, is Glambert starting to look like Dave Navarro, or what?!”

  22. Diana says:

    I haven’t seen the movie but I kind of hated his comments. Whatever, I don’t find HIM all that, actually his singing high-pitch voice hurts my ears.

  23. M says:

    I saw the movie a few days ago and I couldnt disagree more with Adam. The vocals were not supposed to be perfect, they were supposed to be real. There were very few spoken words in the film so the actors had to get out all the emotion they could in their singing and the only way to do that is live or else they become lifeless dolls. I loved how raw they all sounded, Russell Crowe wasnt a perfect singer but his sound fit his character very well as did Jackmans and Redmayne’s. Everyone sounded great to me, and if you cant get past the imperfections, than this movie is not for you.

  24. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    I guess the director was going for “acting” over “singing”? Haven’t seen this movie yet, but plan to soon. I loved the play.

    • Migdalia says:

      I mean Adam answered this himself:

      Hollywood’s movie musicals treat the singing as the last priority…

      No duh! They casted actors that had a musical background to keep some legitimacy, but they casted well known actors…bankable actors. It’s a Hollywood film no one but theater lovers wants to see broadway regulars on the big screen.

  25. Cait says:

    Well, to me Adam’s voice and schtick is grating so… I really liked the movie and thought the singing were solid all around. The standout for me was Eddie Redmayne’s “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”, so well done and moving!

  26. amanda says:

    After looking this guy up on youtube to see what his great contributions to music are… this guy needs to sit down and shut up. I have yet to see the movie (can’t bring myself to endure AH in a film without the ability to fast forward her bits) but I find it really hard to believe that Samantha Banks didn’t sing well.

  27. Jen B. says:

    “which, incidentally, I still haven’t seen!! I want to see it.”

    If you’ve not seen the movie, then how can you possibly give any fair evaluation of Lambert’s comments? I’ve seen Les Miserables on stage, and I applaud the choice to have the actors sing live. It gave more depth to the performances, and as Hathaway said in an interview that it would be easy to go for the pretty version of the song (I Dreamed a Dream). Singing live gave her the chance to make the performance more real and really emphasize the struggle that her character went through.

  28. Liza Jane says:

    Saw it,loved it..very emotional film.came away nicely uplifted by the music and acting ( well except for the very insipid Amanda Seyfried) .and enjoyed it as a film,not as a life changing experience but as entertainment very well done! I think Russell hit the nail on the was what the director wanted it to be! I actually thought Russell was perfect for his part! Rough voice and all! I was glad to see the voices had not been studio fixed up.
    As to Adam Lambert..over rated little poseur.. Get really sick of his pretentious appearance,his over made up face and frankly his putting his opinions on to anything he hasn’t liked!!! I liked him on IDOL, felt he was robbed but seeing his antics and personality since,quite glad he didn’t as his level of obnoxiousness would be unbearable..Sit down AL!

  29. Amy says:

    I’ve seen Les Mis twice on Broadway (when it was still there) and it is absolutely one of my favorite musicals. However, I kept my expectations low for the movie. I was afraid if I got too excited, I would be disappointed. For the most part, I thought it was well done. I didn’t think Russell Crowe was as bad as everyone made him out to be. I was seriously expecting him to be completely tone deaf and a horrible singing voice, the critics and everybody made him sound awful. I was actually pleasantly surprised.

    In my opinion, Amanda Seyfried was the weakest singer. She was rather nasal and I honestly think they could have cast someone else as the adult Cosette (little Cosette was perfect!).

    My father didn’t enjoy it as much, but that’s because he didn’t think he was going “to see an opera” as he put it. There is very little spoken dialogue, mostly everything is sung which might bother some people. There is also a scene where a major character dies and my father sort of shook his head and said laughing, “That reservoir of rushing water is not found anywhere in Paris!” (Father is from France)

  30. emma says:

    Hugh Jackman’s singing performance wasn’t good, which is a shame because he’s actually a Broadway guy! The key was just too high and he should have sang in a falsetto instead of how it came out.
    And Russell Crowe of course wasn’t good.
    Sascha B & Helena B C could have done their parts a little better, with more sass…
    Eddie Redmayne was excellent.

  31. Jennifer12 says:

    People are upset with him because he’s flat out telling the truth. It’s a musical and you should hire people who can sing.

  32. CaliYalie says:

    Okay….So remind me of which school of music Adam graduated from? Oh, he didn’t? Alrighty, then please remind me which place he came in on American Idol? Oh yeah, NOT first.

    It’s not that I don’t think he’s a talented singer, I simply don’t think he has the right to criticize anybody else who is singing (well) and also acting for a movie at the same time. I thought their voices were respectable, but certainly not breathtaking, which I never expected. I want to kill Anne, but that’s on a personal level– she annoys the sh– out of me!