Young star talks about life

Isabelle Allen with the Hollywood sign in the background
Isabelle Allen with the Hollywood sign in the background

Since rising to fame after being picked to play a leading role in the film Les Miserables Isabelle Allen’s life has changed dramatically.

As well as contending with school work the 10-year-old’s schedule has seen her being kept busy performing at the West End and attending auditions for other acting work.

The Eastbourne starlet was chosen to play the young Cosette in the big budget cinema release after her talent was spotted when she played the lame boy in the Piper of Hamelin during a school production. Jeremy Taylor, who heads the National Youth Music Theatre and was directing the show in Eastbourne, was bowled over after seeing her sing a solo.

She had to go through several auditions and Izzy, who lives with dad Nigel, mum Elaine and 15-year-old sister Amelia, found out she had landed the role when she got a phone call and her name was read out next to the role of young Cosette. In March she then enjoyed her first rehearsal with Helena Bonham-Carter at Pinewood Studios.

Fast forward a year later and the Moira House School pupil, known as Izzy, has not only been seen by countless numbers of people across the globe on the cinema screen, she has also attended premieres and has been busy performing the stage version of Les Miserables at the West End.

Asked if she could imagine being where she is now this time last year, she said, “No I don’t think so. I still don’t think it’s real. It’s amazing.”

Recalling filming scenes for the big budget cinema release, which saw her star alongside Hollywood heavyweights Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried, she added, “Every bit of it has been amazing. But I think actually to meet everyone and find out what goes on behind the scenes is the part I’ve really liked.”

This Sunday is The Oscars and Les Mis has been nominated for a handful of awards including Best Picture, Costume Design, Actor in a leading role and Actress in a supporting role. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway have been nominated for the last two awards respectively and Izzy is keen the pair are recognised for their efforts.

Isabelle, who is unable to be at the star-studded event due to work commitments, said, “I think they really deserve it. I really enjoyed working with them and seeing how they perform.”

As well as performing at the West End Isabelle, who has enjoyed catching up with friends and family - particularly during her half term break last week -

has also been enjoying success on a local level at the Eastbourne Music and Arts Festival. So far she has won first place in three dances.

When the Herald caught up with the schoolgirl she was waiting to go into an audition for a film but despite the whirlwind events of late her dad Nigel told the Herald she had been tremendously grounded and in a previous interview with the Herald he described her as a ‘down to earth, mature little girl”.

So what does the future hold for one of Eastbourne’s promising young stars?

Isabelle said, “I would definitely like to do more film and TV.

“Working in the West End has been lots of fun. It’s been really nice and I really like the atmosphere when we’re doing warm ups.”