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Jackman: It was weird how natural it became.

AP: Few films have recorded singing live like this. How does that affect your acting?

Jackman: Acting through song, the way I do it is I take the lyrics off the music sheet and I write them out as dialogue, as you would break down any script _ as a series of thoughts and ideas and motivations. That I needed to get under my skin first. And I learned that from Trevor Nunn (the famed theater director and director of the first English-language production of “Les Miserables”).

AP: For you, Anne, what was the day you performed “I Dreamed a Dream” in a single take like?

Hathaway: It came right after I cut off my hair so it was a little bit of an intense one-two punch. It wasn’t my favorite scene to shoot just because there was so much pressure of expectation. I had gone to Tom and said I was starting to feel nervous about a week before. He said: “Listen. It’s not an iconic song. You mustn’t think about it like that. It’s this woman’s howl. It’s her processing what’s just happened to her.” So I felt very protected; I knew what I wanted to do. But all of a sudden the stakes were raised because there was a camera there and it was going to be forever. I couldn’t stop thinking about how if I messed it up how exposed I would feel. So I did the first take and I was so angry with myself because it wasn’t good enough. I had really wanted to come out of the gate and just nail it. I dug in a little deeper and we did the second take and it wasn’t there and I just thought, “Oh, God.” I started the third take and I just said, “No, no. Stop. I’m sorry. The balance, it’s off.” And that’s when I took the earpieces and stuck them in my ears. I closed my eyes and I remember thinking, “Hathaway, if you do not do this in this moment, you have no right to call yourself an actor. Put aside all that bulls– and just do your job.” I opened my eyes and I’m like (snaps figures): “Let’s go.” And I did it. That was the one that I let rip and that was the one that was in the piece.

AP: You two have seen the awards season play out from multiple perspectives before. With the predictions for you both, what’s your attitude going into that process?

Hathaway: On Jan. 11 (the day after the Oscar nominations), if I am not nominated, I do not want to look back and say I missed all of the joy of the “Les Miz” press because I was expecting to get nominated. I am so happy being here today, talking with you about this extraordinary film that I have a small part in. To want or expect more just feels a bit greedy.

Jackman: Being a lover of musical theater, the thought that maybe there is some recognition for the film and therefore the genre, that maybe Tom has found a new way to deliver the genre, to make it feel relevant and immediate _ that’s exciting. Now it’s selfish, but I would like to be in some more.


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