Anne Hathaway’s ‘Les Miserables’ Transformation

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article
on February 6, 2013

Did Anne Hathaway really cut her hair for her role in “Les Misérables”?
—Mercy Brown, Durham, N.C.

Yes. Hathaway, 30, felt strongly that, in the scene where Fantine becomes destitute and cuts her hair in order to sell it, it was important for her as an actress to follow suit instead of putting on a wig. So the producers brought in her hairdresser to do the job.

“It was always something that I knew in the back of my mind I’d be willing to do,” the Oscar-nominated actress says. “When I read the book, it’s such a devastating scene that I thought doing it for real might raise the stakes a bit.”

Of course, the stakes were higher than most people knew. At the time that Hathaway chopped her hair for the movie, she was planning her wedding to actor Adam Schulman. There wasn’t time to grow out her hair, so for the big day in October 2012, she wore a headpiece as well as a veil over her pixie cut.

Sacrificing her hair wasn’t the only change in physicality the native New Yorker underwent for “Les Misérables.” She also lost a great deal of weight for the role.

“Over the course of five weeks, I lost 25 pounds,” Hathaway says. “It was very intense and very extreme. To be honest, if I had stopped and really thought about what I was doing, it probably would have felt too hard. I knew that I had an end moment, and all I needed to do was keep my spirits up and keep my focus on that point. I’m not method, but I was playing a martyr. So any kind of suffering that I was going through, I wouldn’t feel it as suffering. I would have felt as she would, which was instant transformation.”