Best of 2016 Countdown #4 :: George Blagden was as ever a little light in darkness. [ 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15  ]

George had a slightly quieter year than last year, though no less busy, and kept a bit of a lower public profile but was no less lovely for it. He continued working on and promoting Versailles, did some independent film work, sat for a million beautiful photoshoots, and—at last, happily—got himself back onstage at the end of the year in London.

And of course, on June 5, Barricade Day, George offered Grantaire’s verse of Drink with Me—cut from the Les Mis film but forever in our hearts and imaginations—filming as close as he could in Paris to where it would have been sung, and sharing the video with the now fannish-immortal clue the password is the name of the cafe. [ video / audio ] I wrote about this gift here, but summed it up with a bit I’ll repeat here just because I can: Fanservice? Yes. But also a genuine gift, presented with grace and the sort of charming dignity we’ve been lucky to be able to expect from George Blagden, presented at the right time and in the right way, by the right person.

Only the Good Die Young (Enjoltaire)
  • Only the Good Die Young (Enjoltaire)
  • just-french-me-up

I just had an epiphany and decided to rewrite Billy Joel’s Only the Good Die Young into an Enjoltaire song

Come out, Enjolras, don’t let me wait
You rebellious boys start much too late
But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one
Passion’s your virtue, you fight for the day
Your features are marble and mine are from clay
And I never told you that I like the way
Your light shines like the sun
Only the good die young

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain’t too pretty, we ain’t too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
But that never hurt no one
So, come on, Enjolras, show me a sign
Send up a signal I’ll throw you the line
The bright red banner you’re hiding behind
Never lets in the sun
Darling, only the good die young

You’ve got so much noblesse and a blind faith in your revolution
You got a brand new goal
And a cross of gold
But, Enjolras, are you ready to die for your nation?
You didn’t count on me
When you were fighting for democracy

They say there’s a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it’s better but I say it ain’t
I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun…
You know that only the good die young

You say all you dream about are France and your revolution
Will you ever be free?
Did you ever dream about you and me?

Come out, come out, come out
Enjolras, don’t let me wait,
You rebellious boys start much too late,
But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one,
You know that only the good die young


-draws on eyebrow moustaches in the bathroom and then almost gets caught what a wild nerd
-such a lively presence in the group chat!! So much personality!!
-a theatre person? Honestly I’m sure she’s great at it
-crazy pretty omg similar face structure to gblags what more do I need to say
-so sweet so lovely
-just today I exposed her to my les mis faves I’m so proud
-adopted the Versailles hype before even watching the show I’m proud we did a good job in the group obviously

So, that novel I was absolutely not going to write about Gblags’ Drink with Me vid, right. I’m not even going to overthink this. Just. Boom.

• First, the thought to do it in the first place. Yes, he’s been asked several times about the lines cut from the film, but he’s gently rebuffed requests to perform them until last night. In absolutely no way do I think his decision to finally offer this is the result of any specific request from any specific person or group of persons (I mean really; come on); this felt more like a perfect situation presenting itself with him being in Paris and able to do it how he felt would best present the verse: with situational respect as well as timing, in good voice, and with enough distance from filming to make the most beautiful impression. Paris—all of France—has been kind to George Blagden on several levels, and this feels like a small but heartfelt gift to her in return as well as one to fans of Les Miserables.

• Then, the beautiful clever kindness of a Brick-student knowing his entire audience of Brick, Musical, and Film fans: giving the password as the name of the cafe, to which many would say Musain, from the film—and that was indeed the correct password—but then titling the video itself The Corinthe, which is true to the Brick.

• The choice to go where he did to sing it, to bring the verse as near as he could to where it belonged in Paris. Several of the actors who played students in the film have, since filming, ventured to the site of the barricade, some as a laugh and some in more serious mood, but this was truly something special, in the darkness and quiet.

• The strong but still quiet beginning; this is a man who probably sang this verse a hundred times before filming even began, and then who knows how many times on set, and he sounds smooth and lovely as you’d expect from what we know is a rich, plummy voice (he categorizes it on Spotlight as clear/natural, but I’d say it’s thicker and warmer than that). There’s also a very gentle determination in the way he begins; a sense of occasion and pleasure in finding himself alone and able to do this.

• Then the shaky only-just-slightly-off will the world remember you when you fall, not quite as smooth as the rest of it, but recovered nicely. The section from will the world through nothing at all is tricky for some Grantaires, unable to balance bitter and sweet, and I think Blagden is no exception, but oh, the recovery for the final line.

• And last but not least, the decision to make the song itself the emphasis as opposed to performing it, acting it out in an situation that would be any modern au writer’s dream come true (even as someone who writes modern au as well as canon era, I appreciate that choice) but would never achieve the same result. The haunting feel of the video on some level depends on us not seeing him, only listening to him (for him, too—for the hitches and hesitation, for the dream-soft sadness balanced with certainty and faith in the power of those few, few lines) and seeing what little we could in the darkness and imagining what we could not.

Fanservice? Yes. But also a genuine gift, presented with grace and the sort of charming dignity we’ve been lucky to be able to expect from George Blagden, presented at the right time and in the right way, by the right person.


Jamie Muscato, Jos Slovick, Iwan Lewis, and Joey Peters combatting their on-set boredom with a little acapella Blue Moon. Bless you GBlags for digging this out and sharing it.