'Les Mis' director ordered multiple takes of each scene
The threat of a little snow could hardly hurt the world premiere of Universal’s “Les Miserables” Dec. 5 at Leicester Square’s Odeon.
Beyond the barricades stood the screaming fans of the pic’s fugitive Hugh Jackman and revolutionaries Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks.
Helmer Tom Hooper joined producer Cameron Mackintosh, who staged the original legit production, while Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried added to the red carpet crusade, over which Russell Crowe kept a watchful eye.
Jackman divulged how he’d charged ahead for the Jean Valjean role when he heard the first whisper of a possible bigscreen adpatation, calling Hooper to say, “Mate, I’m going to audition for you!”
The role demanded more than pure passion; for the pic’s opening scenes, Hooper requested of Jackman, “I want you unrecognizable. If you’re recognizable, I want your friends to think you’re sick.” Jackman dutifully lost more than 30 pounds for the role.
The pic’s multi-camera, live-recorded perfs instilled mixed emotions in the cast. For example, the “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” number concluded on its 21st take. Soloist Redmayne explained the source of persistence. “It’s called fear,” he joked, adding that Hooper pushed back the number, further and further down the filming sked.
Regarding Hooper’s penchant for endless takes, Hathaway quipped, “Oh, he doesn’t care about that!”
Post-screening, the talent partied at Camden’s Roundhouse.