'Les Miserables' Role Gave Russell Crowe 'Delicious' Anxiety

'I don't know what it's like to be on a film set without a challenge so it's a normal place,' Oscar winner says.

With all the accolades "Les Misérables" has already received via award nominations, audience reception and critical praise, it seems as if the big-screen adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical was destined to be a smash success from the start.

But surefire hit or not, the making of the film was no easy feat, even for its most established and experienced castmembers like Oscar winner Russell Crowe.

"It was a challenge," Crowe told MTV News of taking on the role of the villainous Inspector Javert. "That's the fun stuff, and quite frankly, I don't know what it's like to be on a film set without a challenge so it's a normal place. But it's definitely extra anxiety that went with it," he explained. "[There is] a sort of a fear, but I can't say that it wasn't delicious."

One of the delicious elements of the character for Crowe was being able to tackle the role from a fresh perspective and having the freedom to interpret the man as he and director Tom Hooper saw fit, no matter how heavy the expectations of die-hard "Les Mis" fans hoping to see an exact big-screen replica of the stage play.

"I took the plainly arrogant attitude that it didn't matter what had come before," Crowe said of finding his own understanding of the character. "If I didn't understand it or if I didn't believe the transition of the character or what the character comes to learn about himself and the world is complex, I wasn't doing my gig. So no doubt people who like the black and white of the stage musical are going to be a little upset," he added.

"They're going to expect the type of thing that they're used to, but I don't think it's anything like what they're used to. Even from the get-go, if you're familiar with "Les Mis," the first line Javert sings is completely different — you've never heard it before."

Check out everything we've got on "Les Misérables."

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