"I had a four-hour audition with [director Tom Hooper]," said Hugh, who plays Jean Valjean in the new remake. "In an audition I treat it like this our first date -- we're getting to know each other; we're getting to work with each other."
Hugh emphasized the importance of having a good relationship with a director in the world of cinema, where an actor's efforts can be helped or harmed by how the project is shot and edited.
"A film is the director's medium," Hugh explained. "It's the director who sets the tone, who edits it, and you give over your performance to him."
The arduous process was worth it for Hugh. The movie has already brought him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.
Les Miserables, also starring Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, opens Christmas Day. You can catch Hugh in a special one-hour episode of The Jeff Probst Show, airing Friday, December 21. Check your local listings.