Hugh Jackman has played a number of juicy roles during his nearly 20-year career — including X-Men’s mutant hero Wolverine --but he can’t believe his luck in landing the coveted role of Jean Valjean in the upcoming film adaptation of “Les Miserables.”
“It’s great. We have one more week of filming and I pinch myself every day,” the actor told Parade of his experience filming “Les Mis” alongside Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway. “It’s the first time a movie-musical has been done with live singing. We are singing every single take of the song.”
A Tony Award-winning Broadway star, Hugh is no stranger to singing and was happy to bring music to the big screen.
“As a performer, it’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s obviously challenging, especially when the call is at 8:30 in the morning, but it is so immediate… ‘Les Miserables’ is one of the greatest stories ever told, and it really is an uplifting story about the human spirit.
“It is a rare feeling to be in something that you know you will look back on as one the highlights of your life,” he added.
The role of Jean Valjean required a drastic physical transformation for Hugh, as the character’s journey begins when he is jailed and nearly starving.
“I had to actually make two transformations because my character begins as a prisoner. He’s known for his strength, so I had to be strong, but very emaciated,” he said. “I am now currently filming the part where I’m the mayor, so it’s 10 years later and I’ve found a bit of money and had a couple meals!
“I just weighed myself today and I am 24 pounds heavier than I was in the beginning of the film,” he added.
“Les Miserables” is slated for theatrical release on December 14.