Celebrate the December 25th release of Universal’s movie musical epic “Les Misérables” with 12 days of interviews and inside peeks at the film’s production with director Tom Hooper, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and more of the cast.
From death and poverty to war and broken dreams, “Les Misérables” brings the melancholy in spades. So how did the cast of Universal’s film adaptation of the beloved stage musical recover from the sad subject matter?
“Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter,” said actor Eddie Redmayne, who plays Marius, a student revolutionary who fights in the 1832 June Rebellion. “It was such a rigorous shooting process, fueled by passion – but, my god, there were hard days. And the way Tom likes to work is he likes to create real scenarios. So, Sam [Barks] was singing in freezing rain. Hugh was carrying me – carrying me – through disgusting sewer stuff.”
“Tom told me it was chocolate,” his co-star Anne Hathaway chimed in.
“But there was this wonderful thing where Helena and Sacha arrived,” Redmayne continued. “And it was just this lightness that, my god, we needed.”
Cohen and Carter play Thénardier and Madame Thénardier, a thieving innkeeper and his devious wife who are parents to children Éponine and Gavroche, as well as “caretakers” of Fantine’s (Hathaway) daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen; played as an adult by Amanda Seyfried). Cosette is severely mistreated by the Thénardiers until Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), pursuant to his vow to Fantine, arrives to take the child as his own.
The stars behind the Thénardiers are no stranger to the movie musical. Both Cohen and Carter appeared together in Tim Burton’s 2007 adaptation of the stage show “Sweeney Todd.” And much to “Les Misérables” director Tom Hooper’s delight, Sacha revealed that Burton allowed him to record one of his two songs live during filming. Helena worked with Hooper in his 2010 Oscar-winning movie “The King’s Speech.”
While some of the “Les Mis” cast found Cohen and Carter an apt distraction from the doom and gloom of 19th century France, one star took it a bit further.
“I created an alternate reality for our characters,” said Seyfried. “However, I think I was the most comfortable of all of us physically. Sit. And stand. I’m blown away by the fact that [the rest of the cast] got through it and did it so unbelievably…”
“You hit a C!” Hathaway interjected. “You hit a high C!”
“I maybe hit that C once out of, like, 70 times,” Seyfried shot back.
To which Anne declared: “That’s why film is awesome!”
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.