Although Les Miserables doesn't hit theaters until next month, there's already major Oscar buzz for Anne Hathaway. And if the actress, 29, ends up nabbing her first-ever Academy Award, it will follow over a year of chatter and gasps over her drastic physical transformation for the role of a dying, TB-afflicted prostitute Fantine in the star-studded big-screen adaptation of the Broadway epic.
In the December issue of Vogue, Hathaway confirms that she dropped 10 pounds before shooting began -- and then, during a two-week break from shooting, she lost another 15 pounds by eating just two thin squares of dried oatmeal paste per day.
"I had to be obsessive about it--the idea was to look near death," Hathaway reveals. "Looking back on the whole experience--and I don't judge it in any way---it was definitely a little nuts. It was definitely a break with reality, but I think that’s who Fantine is anyway."
"I was in such a state of deprivation--physical and emotional. When I got home, I couldn't react to the chaos of the world without being overwhelmed," says Hathaway. "It took me weeks till I felt like myself again."
One major source of support? Adam Shulman, her then-fiance, whom she wed in late September. "This time, Adam was there. He gets what I do and who I am and supports me in it, and that's pretty awesome."
But thing she's keeping from her Les Mis makeover is that short pixie cut.
"I love the short-haired lifestyle," says the brunette. "It's awesome that I was able to go for a hike right before I came here to meet you, quickly wash my hair, and now it's dry."
The star is committed to getting her hair cut every three weeks to maintain the gamine look. "I'm turning 30, and--I hope this isn't obnoxious to say--I feel prettier, and much more myself. I guess I just feel much more satisfied with less now."
Of her big wedding bash in Big Sur, Calif.? "Oh, my God, I had a blast. Our friends stayed and partied and danced till really late," she raves -- although she admits that she sometimes disagreed with her close pal Valentino, who custom-designed her gown.
"I begged him during the first fitting to make the train detachable. He looked at me and said, 'But it is a dress, not a costume.' The memory of creating it with him is something that I will treasure forever. He somehow read my mind and designed the dress that I'd always wanted."