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Who is Samantha Barks? Bear Grylls: Mission Survive 2016 profile

Being a vegetarian, the Les Misérables actress knew Grylls' challenge would be tough – find out more about the actress here

Published: Thursday, 3rd March 2016 at 7:00 pm

Name: Samantha Barks


Age: 25

Famous, why? Actress best-known for playing Éponine in the film version of the musical Les Misérables

Bio: Barks rose to fame after placing third on BBC talent show I'd Do Anything in 2008, which searched for a new actress to play Nancy as well as young actors to play Oliver in the West End.

In 2012 she joined the Disney Channel series Groove High before making her big screen debut alongside Eddie Redmayne as Éponine in the film version of the musical Les Misérables. Barks will star in upcoming film Bitter Harvest as well as working on an album and tour.

Why did she join Mission Survive? "It’s a difficult thing because being a vegetarian isn’t anything I was ever trying to get over. It was quite tough. The worm was a problem for me. Day 1 – we have to do that. That was a low point. It’s gross, it’s disgusting. But I thought it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, I've got to see how it goes."

Although she knew the whole drinking-your-own-pee thing was bound to happen: "We had a bottle when we arrived and it was like, 'fill this up by the morning!' We got the bottle and we knew. For me I was like, I want to drink it as fast as I can. You don’t want it sat there chilling out… You’ve just got to think of it as something else."

Without any previous experience, Barks thinks viewers will connect with the fact that they're all just learning as they go: "None of us knew what we were doing – that’s the whole point. We’re all just trying it out. Someone says put up a hammock and you think, what do you mean put up a hammock? When has that crept up in daily life? So that can cause a bit of tension as you’re saying to others, 'Could you do a better job? Could you?'"


Bear Grylls: Mission Survive starts Thursday 3rd March at 9:00pm on ITV


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