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 Helene Segara's acting

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undyingly
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PostSubject: Helene Segara's acting   Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:21 pm

So, it's quite apparent a lot of fans do not like Helene Segara in the role, due to her voice and acting. I actually love her voice. I have all her albums, and her voice is gorgeous. She has much more range then in the show. However, it's not a voice for musical theater. It's not theatrical and doesn't have enough presence for a show. On a cd? Yes!

As far as her acting, I was discussing this in a Romeo et Juliette forum, and came up with this theory. I'm actually starting to wonder if all the French production Esmeralda's were made to act demure, sexy, and on the soft, quieter side. Shirel (from the Mogador production) was exactly the same temperament as Helene (her voice is just a million times better!) . Perhaps it's a decision on the acting coach? The attitude of Esmeralda seems to vary with each production. In the Italian production she's very feisty and sexy; in the Vegas production she's very theatrical and dramatic with all her actions; in the Russian and Korean productions it's all sex on Esmeralda's part.

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musicskies



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PostSubject: Re: Helene Segara's acting   Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:42 pm

First of all, let me start by saying that I love Hélène too! She has a beautiful voice! But, as you said, not quite fit for musicals. In my opinion, some notes needed strength and she doesn't quite have it!

(I think I already told you this on the forum? But anyway:)

Probably the acting coaches and the directors made them act this way, yes. Every production and every actress approaches the role in different ways!
But in my opinion, the fact that they cast Hélène (she was almost 30 when they cast her, I think?) already affected the character. Because really, even if she looked younger than her age, can you imagine an almost 30 year old woman acting like an immature teenager? You know what I mean?

I don't think Shirel acts that serious, though! Razz
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undyingly
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PostSubject: Re: Helene Segara's acting   Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:53 pm

musicskies wrote:


Probably the acting coaches and the directors made them act this way, yes. Every production and every actress approaches the role in different ways!
But in my opinion, the fact that they cast Hélène (she was almost 30 when they cast her, I think?) already affected the character. Because really, even if she looked younger than her age, can you imagine an almost 30 year old woman acting like an immature teenager? You know what I mean?

I don't think Shirel acts that serious, though! Razz

I love Helene to death. I don't think she deserves the amount of hate in the fandom that she gets (I've seen some really nasty and awful comments made about her), especially if the acting coach told her to be that way.

Yes, she was 27 when she performed the role. I do feel bad, somewhat, because Noa dropped out when the show was about to begin rehearsals and previews, and they had no one. She truly was a last minute choice. (I find it amusing that Patrick Fiori was the one that persuaded and got her to audition!) The odd thing is she looks much younger in clips of interviews while the musical was performing. I blame it partially on the make-up and styling: later on it got more relaxed and Helene looked much younger.

On a side note, I've heard from a lot of people Shirel wasn't a great Esmeralda. A great singer, yes, but many who said they saw her in the role said she was very detached from everyone in the cast and didn't connect with the songs and their meanings. If only someone had a bootleg of her!!

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Sarastro



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PostSubject: Re: Helene Segara's acting   Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:02 pm

I think the problem with the acting lies solely with Mr. Hugo. In my experience, men cannot write women believably, so he just wrote her a little...bland. I remember her to be the same in the book (I lost the copy before I finished so I can't speak completely authoritatively).

And seeing how NDDP is very loyal to the book (again, as much as I remember), it makes sense that she's going to turn a little bland as well. It's sad, but it's true.
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HelterSkelter



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PostSubject: Re: Helene Segara's acting   Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:38 am

I'm so glad that the directors showed Esmeralda not in that way as it was in the book. Helene is the strong woman, but she has to go through the all obstacles on her way to love; In the book there was a silly girl, who can't hide it's feelings even in the case when she was in a great danger (I mean the case when her mother tried to hide her and she shouted to Phoebus, oh my).
So, that's why I love Helene much more. And also, I have seen some show-tribute to NDDP, where were the candidates for the Esmeralda shortly shown. They were singing some short lines from the Bohemienne and Helene was better from others as for me (I didn't like Noa's voice, tbh)
And I wish she could be a little more younger at the perfomance.
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PostSubject: Re: Helene Segara's acting   Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:07 pm

Quote :
I love Helene to death. I don't think she deserves the amount of hate in the fandom that she gets (I've seen some really nasty and awful comments made about her), especially if the acting coach told her to be that way.

Yes, she was 27 when she performed the role. I do feel bad, somewhat, because Noa dropped out when the show was about to begin rehearsals and previews, and they had no one. She truly was a last minute choice. (I find it amusing that Patrick Fiori was the one that persuaded and got her to audition!) The odd thing is she looks much younger in clips of interviews while the musical was performing. I blame it partially on the make-up and styling: later on it got more relaxed and Helene looked much younger.

On a side note, I've heard from a lot of people Shirel wasn't a great Esmeralda. A great singer, yes, but many who said they saw her in the role said she was very detached from everyone in the cast and didn't connect with the songs and their meanings. If only someone had a bootleg of her!!

No, she doesn't deserve all the hate she gets at all! I love her, really! I think that she approached the role in the only believable way there was for someone her age (not that she was old then, but she was older than Esmeralda should have been and she looked a bit too mature for the role), because really, she couldn't have acted like a childish teenager, it would have looked... weird! I didn't know she was a last minute choice, and that gives her even more credit! My favourite part of her performance is from when she gets captured until the end, she's great there! Very Happy
Yeah, the makeup didn't help, probably! In my opinion, Julie's makeup wasn't good either! She also looked way older! :S

I don't know, but I loved Shirel in the album, she has a fantastic voice! Ah yes, we could really use bootlegs! *sigh*

Quote :
I think the problem with the acting lies solely with Mr. Hugo. In my experience, men cannot write women believably, so he just wrote her a little...bland. I remember her to be the same in the book (I lost the copy before I finished so I can't speak completely authoritatively).

And seeing how NDDP is very loyal to the book (again, as much as I remember), it makes sense that she's going to turn a little bland as well. It's sad, but it's true.

Well, yes! I don't like Esmeralda's character in the book! In my opinion, the character is not believable and a little too stupid... Sometimes she just gets a bit annoying :S Maybe Victor Hugo was trying to prove some point or something, but everything was too exaggerated for me! I don't mean to offend anyone who likes her in the book, of course, that is only my opinion!
For the creators of the musical, her role was probably hard to approach. As in, should we make her as innocent and childish as she is on the book or should we make her believable? Maybe they tried to mix both things and it didn't come out exactly right (in my opinion, something similar happened there with Gringoire)


Quote :
I'm so glad that the directors showed Esmeralda not in that way as it was in the book. Helene is the strong woman, but she has to go through the all obstacles on her way to love; In the book there was a silly girl, who can't hide it's feelings even in the case when she was in a great danger (I mean the case when her mother tried to hide her and she shouted to Phoebus, oh my).
So, that's why I love Helene much more. And also, I have seen some show-tribute to NDDP, where were the candidates for the Esmeralda shortly shown. They were singing some short lines from the Bohemienne and Helene was better from others as for me (I didn't like Noa's voice, tbh)
And I wish she could be a little more younger at the perfomance.

Yeah, I'm glad she's not like in the books too, but her silly character kind of influences her actions in the book (and so, in the musical) so maybe that's why something doesn't seem to fit exactly there (am I making any sense?)
I think that, if she were younger, she wouldn't have looked so mature and she could have acted in a more playful way (not exaggerated, just a bit more, you know?) and she would be the perfect Esmeralda!!


Last edited by musicskies on Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Helene Segara's acting   Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:23 pm

I think Helene does a fine job and to be honest I think that many of the original French performers are lackluster actors. I feel that her "Bohemienne" is kind of boring, but only after having seen more lively versions by other actresses. When I first watched the video I thought she did a lovely job with the song and that it was meant to be kind of slow and mysterious.

I really think she shines in the second act. when she's in the holding cell (or whatever that chain-link fence represents!) I think she delivers a truly beautiful performance. Heartbroken in "Phoebus" and convincingly running the gamut from frightened to hopeful then angry in her dealings with Frollo.
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PostSubject: Re: Helene Segara's acting   Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:26 am

Fiyero3305 wrote:
I really think she shines in the second act. when she's in the holding cell (or whatever that chain-link fence represents!) I think she delivers a truly beautiful performance. Heartbroken in "Phoebus" and convincingly running the gamut from frightened to hopeful then angry in her dealings with Frollo.

THIS. She's amazing in the second act, and her "assassin" oh, it gets me every time! Fantastic!! I've seen this scene a few times in different productions, and the Original French one is my favourite. Her "Phoebus" is flawless!
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PostSubject: Re: Helene Segara's acting   Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:22 pm

Fiyero3305 wrote:
I think Helene does a fine job and to be honest I think that many of the original French performers are lackluster actors. I feel that her "Bohemienne" is kind of boring, but only after having seen more lively versions by other actresses. When I first watched the video I thought she did a lovely job with the song and that it was meant to be kind of slow and mysterious.

I really think she shines in the second act. when she's in the holding cell (or whatever that chain-link fence represents!) I think she delivers a truly beautiful performance. Heartbroken in "Phoebus" and convincingly running the gamut from frightened to hopeful then angry in her dealings with Frollo.

I agree about the French Esmeralda's being lackluster. I've seen clips from a lot of them, and every single actress doesn't really connect with the role for me, which is interesting. Helene's Bohemienne was very mysterious and sensual, and only got boring (like you said) after viewing more lively Esmeralda's (such as the Italian actress').

So, I really do like Helene. Does her acting waver a bit in scenes? Yes. I think she really shines in her scenes with Garou. They have great chemistry! Ma Maison C'est Ta Maison is lovely: they have such a great connection with each other. They've been the only Esmeralda/Quasimodo pair that really connected with me, that really made me believe that Quasimodo could die of love with her. She shines with Bruno as well. I think she suffers in scenes with Patrick Fiori, however. Despite being best friends before the show even was conceived, they don't have very much chemistry, which makes the relationship between them forced....and makes us not believe Helene loves him. But it's not her fault, it takes two actors to make a connection. (WHICH IS WHY I WILL ALWAYS SHIP GAROU/HELENE!) lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Helene Segara's acting   Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:27 pm

undyingly wrote:
I think she really shines in her scenes with Garou. They have great chemistry! Ma Maison C'est Ta Maison is lovely: they have such a great connection with each other. They've been the only Esmeralda/Quasimodo pair that really connected with me, that really made me believe that Quasimodo could die of love with her. She shines with Bruno as well. I think she suffers in scenes with Patrick Fiori, however. Despite being best friends before the show even was conceived, they don't have very much chemistry, which makes the relationship between them forced....and makes us not believe Helene loves him. But it's not her fault, it takes two actors to make a connection.

Oh, I totally agree about Garou and Hélène, they're perfect together!! And I've always wished to see a bit more of her with Bruno (I always want to see more of everyone with Bruno, to be honest Razz Garou and Bruno, anyone?)!

Okay, I'll try to explain myself as best as I can, but this is not my native language and sometimes words don't come out the way I want them to, so forgive me if this doesn't make sense:

About Hélène and Patrick, I'm not so sure it's about chemistry. As Sarastro pointed out, book!Esmeralda is a little bland. I think that musical!Esmeralda is different from the one in the books: she didn't have that childish stupidity like in the books, especially Hélène!Esmeralda (and I love that!). But of course, her actions are the same both in the book and in the musical.
(Quoting myself here because I can:)
Quote :
For the creators of the musical, her role was probably hard to approach. As in, should we make her as innocent and childish as she is on the book or should we make her believable? Maybe they tried to mix both things and it didn't come out exactly right

So I think that this childish attitude comes out especially when Esmeralda is with Phoebus. Hélène is a much more believable, mature Esmeralda, and when she is with Phoebus her character becomes a bit more bland (since that's what happens in the book and the story wouldn't make sense otherwise). Hélène's Esmeralda doesn't quite fit that childish kind of character, so she pulled her scenes with Phoebus just like she did the others, in a more, erm, "serious" way (that's not the word I'm looking for but anyway).

So. I think that is why the Esmeralda/Phoebus scenes didn't seem to work that well. Probably the more lively Esmeraldas don't have a problem with the Esmeralda/Phoebus scenes, but I wonder about the more serious ones?

Did I make any sense? lol!
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