Hugh Jackman earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, and you'd think he earned the Academy kudo for all the hard work and preparation he put into his character before he shot a single frame of the Oscar-winning film… With the Les Mis Blu-ray Combo Pack arriving this Friday, (March 22) we have an exclusive look behind the scenes at the 44-year-old Aussie's insane workout -- with chains! -- and thoughtful groundwork for his tormented protagonist.
"It was important to tell the story that [Valjean] had been a prisoner for 19 years, so there was no bread-and-butter pudding going around; there was very limited food," explains Hugh of the basis behind his three-hours-a-day workouts. He adds with a laugh, "and once that was finished, it was heaven – I got to eat."
A testament to the survival of the human spirit, the adaptation of the emotional hit musical follows Hugh's ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (played by Russell Crowe), after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (newly minted Best Supporting Actress winner Hathaway) young daughter Cosette (played as an adult by Amanda Seyfrie), their lives change forever.
Directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), the film co-stars Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and Samantha Barks.