Leading up to the Academy Awards, entertainment megasite Deadline Hollywood talks to a number of the candidates about the roles considered most likely to get a nomination in an attempt to get some insight into the year's best performances; this year, one such performance is that of The Dark Knight Rises star Anne Hathaway in the upcoming Christmas Day release of Les Misérables.
Hathaway plays Fantine in the film, in a role which the site describes as "[the] role that might well be her lock" following a nomination and loss in 2008 for Rachel Getting Married, her indie drama from The Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme.
The star, whose mother played the same role in the first U.S. run of the Les Misérables stage show, told Deadline about the process of making the iconic role her own:
"I was trying to merge the Fantine from the stage with Fantine from the novel, and I took my physical cues straight from Victor Hugo," said Hathaway in an approach that closely mirrors her approach to Catwoman. "You have to suspend disbelief on stage when Fantine dies, and she doesn’t look any different, but on film we had the opportunity to really get inside Fantine. Being the slightly masochistic actor that I am, I thought, when she says, “I had a dream my life would be so different from this hell I’m living…” what if we were actually able to show her in hell? I wasn’t asked to lose weight, but I talked to Tom about it, and he moved the schedule around so I could lose the weight. In the end, I thought it lent her an authentic vulnerability. You want to wrap a blanket around her and feed her soup. You want to save her. After all, it is called The Miserable, and Fantine is the most Les Misérables of them all, and I felt I couldn’t shirk that. I did a cleanse at first to prime me for the bare bones, no pun intended, that were to come. I lost 10 pounds initially, then lost 15 pounds in 14 days. I don’t recommend it."