Barks, who competed in Lloyd Webber's 2008 U.K. TV talent show I'd Do Anything, saw off competition from Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele and Taylor Swift to land the coveted role in director Tom Hooper's upcoming big screen adaptation.
And Lloyd Webber is overjoyed Barks, who came third in his search to find a star to play Nancy in the Oliver! musical, has snatched the part from Hollywood big hitters.
He tells Britain's Daily Express, "I'm incredibly proud that Samantha is enjoying such huge success. She will make the perfect Eponine and I wish her all the luck."