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minarik's take on X

So i put myself on google alerts and i got all these "grantaire" things pop up and I kinda wanted to respond to some people generally and why I made the choices I made in the Les Mis revival. sooo here goes:

When i was cast in June of 2007 (?) i had 2 weeks to learn the role and then make my bway debut on July 4th of that same year. I bought a copy of Les Mis and read the sucker (yes un-abridged) in 2 weeks so i could understand the enormity of what I was getting myself into. In that 2 weeks i realized something..well a few things..actually a lot of things. Namely, X was probably one of the smartest students there and knew at all moments exactly what was going on. He valued friendship above all else. He was at the cafe' because his friends were there. He ran around with his friends behind a cart cause his friends were there and he sat at that barricade because his friends were there and he did ALL this (in my head) because he was trying to protect them from certain death.

X knew this was a suicide mission. The student revolution is essentially like getting 20 NYU kids to barricade st marks place and hoping all the degenerates from Washington Square Park would rise up and fight the National Guard. Not gonna happen. X knew this BUT needed to stay close to his 3 best friends, Gavroche, Marius and Enjrolas at all times to make sure they stayed safe. Yes he was drunk but he was more aware than most (at least thats the way i played it). I sat with Gavroche down-stage left and tied a flag with him but all the while asking him "are you sure you wanna do this. I mean we can go play cards or wrestle instead" and the boys always wanted to go fight.

I used tactics to get them to stop but to no avail. I tried to make fun of marius in the cafe so i would get him to focus on that love instead of fighting. I tried to joke with Enjrolas to stop his focus and come back to getting girls and drinking..didn't work. Tactics tactics because X knows the end is dire. He gets it. he ISN"T A DRUNK bafoon he is a nihilist and a brilliant man. He knows the end is near and he would rather die with his friends than life an empty life without them. So he follows.

He watches them all closely at the barricade. Drink with me is one of his last tactics to try and tell them to surrender. He pleads with Enjrolas, "Will the world remember you WHEN (not if) you fall can it be your death means nothing at all"...x knows. One last tactic to try and go home. Max was amazing as he would whisper in my ear "i love you buddy but either fight with us or go home"> i would cry knowing my friend would be dead soon. it was heartbreaking for me on that stage.

Battle begins, Gav goes over to get bullets and i go nuts. TRYING to stop him pleading with of my 3 best friends in the world just jumped over the wall...and died. I made an acting choice to fold up his flag and salute his death and while i do that my second best friend gets shot, marius..I don't know what to do..I scream at JVJ to not touch him and get the hell away..and the ONLY thing in my head is this. 2 of my 3 best friends are dead..(not knowing marius is just unconcious) and all i have left is Enjrolas. I have to get to him and take him away..I climb as fast as I can up the barricade, i slip and right when i am about to save him (i screamed his name in the show as i was about to touch him) he gets shot and dies. I pick up his flag like i did with Gav and wave it and die..but I die happy cause i am with him..and them..

Those were the choices I made. They are not right or wrong they are just what I felt on that stage. In the book X is sleeping through the whole fight and when he awakens he sees all theses guns pointed at his best friend and what does he do? He walks to him, holds Enjrolas's hand and dies with his friend. I tried to recreate that bond of love and friendship in les mis in my 4 months...I hope this makes sense.
Brother Marvin Hinten, S.


You don't have to explain your actor's journey to anybody. If you take fan criticism personally, you'll never have an original thought as an actor for the rest of your career, always wondering if it's worthy of their applause or if they'll nitpick every move you make. If you explain yourself once, you'll be explaining yourself forever and ever till the end of time. The way you explained it, you're doing a damn good job having original thoughts, and forming a character the way you see it. Keep doing it. Screw the peanut gallery; love you or hate you, that's all they are. More importantly, keep working!


thanks for your kind words but

I wasn't taking anything personally. Smile
I was happy people were talking about it and a few people were wondering what my motives were for making choices. Just thought i would clear the air by saying why i chose what i did.

Best of luck to you all!

Ahh. Cool. For a while there I thought one of us might've said something that was out of line. And I was a bit confused since the only comments made about your performance lately were between two other members, and I didn't get anything negative from their convo. In fact, it seems they very much enjoyed your onstage antics. Mr. Green

We can all get a, passionate around here, and sometimes say things we later regret. I'm glad that's not the case here.

At any rate, welcome!

...why do you keep typing "X" whenever you should be typing "Grantaire"? Is it some kind of theatre shorthand that I'm unfamiliar with?

Bustephen wrote:
...why do you keep typing "X" whenever you should be typing "Grantaire"? Is it some kind of theatre shorthand that I'm unfamiliar with?

I've been wondering that too.
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