Les Misérables Hits Theaters Christmas Day
Have you ever walked out of a film with tears streaming down your face convinced it’s one of the best you’ve ever seen in your lifetime? Well get ready for a feature film that’ll literally take your breath away when Les Misérables arrives in theaters on Christmas Day.
The film takes place during the French revolution and tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption–a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Hugh Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (played by the brilliant Russell Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (uber talented Anne Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette (Isabelle Allen and Amanda Seyfried), their lives change forever.
I recently got the chance to meet the stars of “Les Miserables” and here’s what they had to say about this musical masterpiece:
Hugh Jackman on taking on the role of Jean Valjean:
To me (it’s) one of the most beautiful journeys ever written, and I didn’t take the responsibility of playing the role lightly. I think it’s one of the greatest opportunities I’ve ever had. And if I’m a tenth of the man Jean Valjean is, I’ll be a very happy man.
Hugh Jackman on his incredible transformation in the film:
We’ve actually have an opportunity here for all the characters to show time, scale, all these things. So, he (Academy award-winning director Tom Hopper) said, “I want to make you unrecognizable. And if people in your life aren’t saying that you’re sick, something’s wrong, what’s going on with you,” he says, “Then you haven’t gone far enough.”
So, I did lose a lot of weight and then had the joy of putting weight on, which was a 30 pound journey from the beginning. But, I have to say all that pales in comparison to what this lady next to me did (Anne Hathaway), because at least I had time to prepare and do that. Annie was doing it over 14 days. I think you lost about 300 pounds in 14 days.
Anne Hathway on channeling the role of Fantine:
I came to the realization that I had been thinking about Fantine as someone who lived in the past, but she doesn’t…She’s living in New York City right now. She’s probably less than a block away. This injustice exists in our world. And so, every day that I was her I just thought, “This isn’t an invention. This isn’t me acting. This is me honoring that this pain lives in this world.” And I hope that in all of our lifetimes, like today, we see it end.
Samantha Barks as Eponine on crying in the rain:
I think that kind of realism in your voice adds to the emotion of that live singing. And especially in moments like “A Little Fall of Rain” with me and Eddie (Redmayne), it allows you to be so intimate. And we were crying, but kind of trying to add that to your voice. Because when you speak and you cry, you can hear it in someone’s voice. And to be able to hear that when somebody’s singing, I think that only adds to the emotion of it.
Anne Hathaway on Hugh Jackman’s performance:
I just want to make sure that I impress upon everyone, I don’t want you to walk out of here charmed by Hugh Jackman, because we all know that he’s a miracle and we all know that he can get up and make friends with everyone and be totally friendly. And sometimes I think that keeps people from seeing his genius as an actor. What he does in this film is inspiring, and we were all inspired by him. He was absolutely our leader. So, I just don’t want his nice guy thing to distract you from the fact that he is a deep, serious, and profoundly gifted actor.
Hugh Jackman on making a difference in the lives of others:
I think in many places, but for all of us, the idea that the philosophy, that you don’t need to go to a top of a mountain in Tibet to find self realization. You don’t necessarily need to do great things or listen to spiritual leaders. The first thing we have to do is be present, know what you stand for in life, and face what is in front of you. And as Annie reminded me this morning, that’s that cop in Times Square, the humanity of just seeing what was required. And that’s real love.
Anne Hathaway on why the entire cast loved being a part of Les Miserables:
We’re all massive Les Mis geeks. And I think we’re all kind of like slightly worried that this is not really happening, that we’re all kind of in some strange, odd mutual trip. And we’re hallucinating. But, we were all such fans of it that I think we all showed up on the first day with enormous gratitude, as you said, that the responsibility of telling this story was entrusted to us.
Hugh Jackman on the camaraderie he experienced while filming Les Miserables:
I remember one of the first days of filming, I was singing the soliloquy, that first number in the church. And I remember the church was this beautiful little place in London, a real old church. And I came up the steps, these winding stone steps, and Annie was at the top there and she had tears in her eyes and she was hugging me. And I said, “Hey, what are you”–she goes, “I’m not going to miss this for the world.”
I’ve never known that on a film before. We were all kind of there for each other. It had the feeling of the closest stage show I’ve ever been involved with but it was a film, which is unusual. And yes, we’ll be bonded for life for what we went through.
Produced by Working Title/Cameron Mackintosh productions, Les Miserables opens in theaters on Christmas Day, December 25. Run, don’t walk to buy a ticket. It’s truly an experience you will remember for a lifetime.
Les Misérables Hits Theaters Christmas Day