Handbag at: Les Misérables Press Conference

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The amazing cast reveal what it was really like bringing the play to the big screen...

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables poster

© Universal Pictures

Les Misérables is one of the most anticipated film musicals ever and it's no surprise that the film is already bagging so many awards and nominations.

I was lucky enough to hear the cast share some of the behind the scenes gossip from the filming process.

For Anne Hathaway, playing Fantine is something of a family tradition as she revealed, "My own experience began when I was 7 years old when I found out my mum had been cast in the national tour. She played a factory girl and understudied Fantine.

"So my introduction to the show was in my living room. And then I got to see my mum perform the role was when I was 7 and I've seen the show many many times since."

Hugh Jackman also got inspiration from a family member to help him portray the role of Jean Valjean.

He said, "I'm very blessed to have a father who is really very much Jean Valjean like in many ways. It's who he is to his core. In fact without him I don't think I could have played this.

"My father is quite a religious man and was converted by Billy Graham when he was 30. So a bit like Jean Valjean, he wasn't really religious growing up and then had a bit of an epiphany.

"But as a religious man I never heard him talk about religion. If you meet my father he would never talk about it. And I remember saying to him once, does everyone at work know you're Christian? Is that ever an issue for you?

"He said 'Religion you talk about means nothing and religion that's in your actions means everything. There's no greater example of Jean Valjean than my father."

The lovely Amanda Seyfried might have done a musical film before but Mamma Mia wasn't enough to prepare her for Les Mis.

She said, "This was completely different animal. Whereas Mamma Mia didn't even feel like musical by the time I got completely involved in this.

"But at the same time I guess I took a little bit of that confidence with me that I had done something that worked in a way. But this was the biggest challenge of my career.

"I can't even compare it. It's so fun to sing live as challenging as it is I would never want to do it any other way at this point."

Eddie Redmayne took the practice makes perfect approach as he soldiered through 21 takes for Empty Tables and Empty Chairs.

He joked, "The stakes get higher throughout shooting because you would come onto set and you would hear whispers of the crew going 'Omg did you hear Anne sing I Dreamed A Dream? It was incredible.'

"Or you witness Hugh singing Bring Him home to you and then gradually throughout the process Tom pushed Empty Chairs further back into the schedule. It ended up being on a weekend and I remember coming in and thinking that this is the day.

"With theatre you can go and mend it the next day if you screw it up. With the film I knew I would leave at the end of that day and I could never do anything about it. You just have to wait 6 months and see it on film and be disappointed with what you've done.

"So we did seven takes for this and Tom was like I think you've got it mate and I was like no no no no. We'll keep going until blood is coming out of my eyeballs."

And new girl Samantha Barks learnt the hard way just how different life is on a film set.

She said, "Because I've been singing in the theatre already when we knew we were going to be singing live, I did think 'Oh that's going to be something slightly more comfortable for me'.

"But there was a lot of challenges that you wouldn't come across in theatre that were new. One thing being the big rain machine that sort of followed me for a lot of the film!

"The actual singing in the rain that was one thing but every scene that followed that I had to be wet for and every time I arrived on set they would be like 'We have to hose you down'."

Have you seen Les Mis yet? Think the cast did a good job? Leave a comment below to be in with a chance of winning a £100 goodie bag



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