Thirsting for the Role
3. To embody the gaunt and desperate prisoner 24601, aka Jean Valjean, Hugh Jackman went to extreme measures. His trainer told Jackman about a method that body builders used to employ: Not drinking water for 36 hours in order to lose some 10 pounds of water weight, mostly from the cheeks, eyes, and the surface of the skin. “So, I signed up. I did it. About 20 hours into it I really thought this was crazy as the headaches started to build. And trust me: Do not try this at home,” Jackman recently told Yahoo! Movies. For more from Jackman, as well as interviews with many of the other cast members, check out our Insider Access video above.
Helena Bonham Carter in Universal Pictures' 'Les Miserables'
Hated by Hugo
4. It’s safe to say that Victor Hugo never thought much about who would play his characters in a 21st century musical adaptation of his epic novel from 1862. But had Hugo known that Helena Bonham Carter would be playing the part of Madame Thenardier, he might have been a bit vexed. While the two-time Oscar nominee may seem like a perfect fit to play the Madame of the House, she’s also a distant relative to one of Hugo’s most hated political rivals. According to Ancestry.com, Bonham’s first cousin five times removed is former French politician Achille Fould, a supporter of Louis Napoleon III, the first president of the new French Republic. Hugo, who had once been a colleague of Fould’s but opposed the new leadership, wrote that Carter’s cousin had “blood on his hands” for his role in Napoleon’s regime.