Anne Hathaway Goes on Extreme Diet to Prep for Les Miserables Role

Actress Anne Hathaway attends the "The Iron Lady" New York premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on December 13, 2011 in New York City. Credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Anne Hathaway is on a depravation diet.

Reportedly ordered to drop 16 lbs. in three weeks for her role as Fantine in the upcoming film adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, the 5-foot-8 actress, 29, is subsisting on a meager 500 calories per day (versus the recommended 2,000), according to the U.K. Daily Mirror.

While Hathaway, who portrays a prostitute stricken with a terminal case of tuberculosis, is losing weight for the role, her publicist explains that the specifics aren't quite accurate. "The numbers are exaggerated in both pounds and calories," her rep argues.

In addition to her strict diet, Hathaway had to endure grueling workout sessions stateside before jetting off to London where she's currently filming the flick.

"Anne was exercising two hours a day, five days a week!" a source close to the star explains.

Les Mis isn't the first role that's forced Hathaway to whittle her middle. For her role as Catwoman in this summer's The Dark Knight Rises, the actress has said she lived on "kale and dust."