If the fan anticipation, early critical praise and multiple award nominations are any indication, “Les Misérables” is a film to be reckoned with and quite possibly one of the best, must-see movies of the year.
A lot of the early buzz comes from the fact that the film has a built-in fanbase due to the love for the Broadway musical, which is based on Victor Hugo’s book. The other noteworthy element is the film’s very star-studded cast and the fact that director Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) required all his actors to sing live throughout filming.
When MTV News recently caught up with the film’s leading man, Hugh Jackman — who already has received Golden Globe, SAG and Critic’s Choice nominations for his performance as sympathetic ex-con Jean Valjean — we asked him about how the challenges of this role measured up against the demands required of him from previous roles, such as Wolverine.
“You didn’t mention me dressing up in a koala suit for the National Parks and Wildlife Foundation on about a 100-degree day,” Jackman joked, citing an early gig in his native Australia as his most-challenging role thus far. “That was probably the craziest thing. I don’t know if that is officially showbiz, but I was playing a character, and seeing as a girl had vomited inside the suit before, it was pretty bad all around.”
So, we take it that there was no vomiting on the set of “Les Mis” then?
“I have to think about that because pretty much everything happened. We were taken to the limit,” Jackman shared. “This is certainly, dramatically film-wise, the most that has been asked of me. A mate of mine said to me — he was my trainer in London and used to be a body builder — he said, ‘If you don’t drink water for up to 36 hours, you can lose up to 10 pounds of weight in your face in the surface and it will really sink your cheeks in and make you look completely different. And as Tom Hooper had asked me to be unrecognizable, I went for it. About 20 hours into it, I thought, ‘This is the craziest thing I’ve ever done.’ ”
Jackman went on to say that although his efforts paid off and did alter his appearance in a big way, he does not at all recommend the extreme technique.
“Please do not try this at home; it’s terrible,” he said. “You’ll have a headache like you’ve never had in your life before.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Les Misérables.”