Anne Hathaway was under a lot of pressure to lose weight for her role as a disease-ridden prostitute in director Tom Hooper's film adaptation of the epic Broadway musical Les Miserables — but not from Hooper himself, or from anyone else on the production side of the movie.
In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, the 29-year-old Golden Globe nominee admits that her drastic make-under — which involved nearly starving herself to drop 25 pounds from her already-slim frame — was an obsession of her own making, not her director's. In fact, he attempted to talk her out of it.
"To be honest, I thought she was going further than she should, and I tried to discourage her," Hooper tells the newspaper of Hathaway's severe weight loss.
"Tom didn't like what I was doing, but he understood why I was doing it," the actress counters. "No one liked what I was doing. By the end, people were hugging me, and they would get emotional because I felt so frail."
Still, the star insists she has no regrets about pushing herself to the brink, especially if it nudges her career forward. (Some say she's already a lock for an Oscar nomination, though she claims her performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" is just "eh.")
"I see the sort of work that people like Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet can do, and I want to do that level of work so badly," she tells the L.A. Times of those Oscar winners. "But I don't believe I'm as gifted as them. So the only thing I can control is how hard I work at it — how much do I commit to it? How far will I take it?"
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