It won’t take more than a few lyrics for you to share in the despair of the virtuous Fantine, one of the many ill-fated characters in “Les Misérables.”
Anne Hathaway is the actress bringing Fantine to haunting life, delivering one of the most memorable movie moments of the year with her one-take rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.” The number is presented in a single, deeply emotional take, and it’s the reason that Hathaway is widely considered a lock for an Academy Award nomination in 2013.
Few have been able to witness Hathaway’s on-screen transformation while maintaining dry eyes — and that includes Hathaway herself. The actress confessed to MTV News that watching herself in “Les Mis” brings her to tears, but not for the reason you might think.
“I cry, but I think it’s because I’m still connected to the experience of making it, the process,” she said. “For me, when I see it, I actually have to be aware when I’m doing press, because it brings me a lot closer to Fantine. She’s so broken that I actually have to protect myself a little bit. So when I saw it, I did cry, but not because of what I was doing [on screen]. It was because I was back in the process of making it. The rest of the film made me bawl like a baby.”
Hathaway isn’t the only “Les Mis” actor who was pushed to the limit while working on the Tom Hooper-directed musical. Star Hugh Jackman told MTV that preparing to play the lead role of fugitive Jean Valjean involved depriving himself of water for a startling amount of time, in an effort to craft an emaciated appearance necessary for the character.
“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,’” he said. “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.’”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Les Misérables.”