The classic musical “Les Miserables” hit the big screen on Christmas Day and has since received rave reviews from fans and critics alike. However, one element of the film that’s stirred much discussion is the frail figures of both Hugh Jackman and Ann Hathaway, who combined lost nearly 50 pounds to play characters in the midst of a revolution.
Jackman appeared on Ellen in late December to discuss his demanding role as Jean Valjean, which required him to appear gaunt and distressed in much of the film. “I lost about 25 pounds,” said Jackman. “I was as lean as I could possibly be.” Jackman had also gone on a water dehydration diet for certain portions of filming in order to get a “sunken cheek” look. “I hadn’t drunk for 36 hours I had a massive headache,” he said.
In a recent interview with Vulture, Jackman explained that his role in “Les Miserables” was almost more physical in some ways than his roles in past “X-Men” movies.
“I was spending even longer in the gym – like three hours in the gym – because I need to be as emaciated as possible, but still keep some muscle on for Jean Valjean,” he said. “He’s actually written as an ox of a man, so I had to eat seven times a day with no carbohydrates, but then you had the exercise.”
Jackman said his routine required him to wake up and do 45 minutes of cardio on an empty stomach, then eat something, go to the gym, do a vocal warm-up, eat lunch and go right back to the gym. “Otherwise, I’d just become skin and bones,” he said.
Clearly Jackman was extremely dedicated to his role in “Les Miserables,” both slimming down to unhealthy proportions and turning right back around to bulk up for segments of the film where he was to appear more healthy and strong.
Hathaway’s weight loss drew much attention earlier this year when images of her frail figure surfaced, alarming people to the state of her health. The star reportedly dropped 16 pounds in 3 weeks almost immediately after filming for “The Dark Knight Rises” had wrapped. Hathaway’s diet was restricted to nearly 500 calories a day, which primarily consisted of hummus and radishes.
It’s no surprise that such starvation tactics can wreak havoc on a person’s body and metabolism. Food deprivation can result in such serious symptoms as mental fatigue and severe headaches, and cause even more weight to return on once a normal diet is resumed.
The positive news is both Hathway and Jackman seemed to be back to a healthy weight at the film’s premieres. However, Hathaway has more recently denied comment on her drastic weight loss, reasoning she does not want to glamorize or draw attention to such an unhealthy diet.
images via ABC and Vogue, respectively