Anne Hathaway & Hugh Jackman transform for Les Mis

Dec 13, 2012 at 2:03 p.m. ET

Working on an epic musical like Les Miserables put a strain on the actors both physically and vocally, but also bonded the cast to one another.

Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman

Do you hear the people sing? Well, that time is finally here and you'll be hearing some of the hottest actors in Hollywood sing their hearts out, but their voices weren't the only thing they transformed for their roles in the heartbreaking musical Les Miserables.

At a recent press conference, Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman revealed all the secrets from behind the scenes as they transformed not only their looks, but their relationships with each other in filming Tom Hooper’s long-awaited movie musical.

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Jackman, starring as convict-on-the-run Jean Valjean, had to change his appearance in such a way that his family wouldn't even recognize him. In the story, Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) and Valjean meet and then minutes later, eight years have passed, and Javert has no idea he is face-to-face with the escaped convict, which meant Jackman had to look completely different.

"I couldn’t just take a fake beard off and put on a grayer wig. I did lose a lot of weight and then had the joy of putting weight on, a 30-pound journey from the beginning. All that pales in comparison to what this lady [Anne] did. At least I had time to prepare for doing it," admitted Jackman. "Annie did it in 14 days, I think she lost about 300 pounds."

Anne Hathaway did lose a lot of weight to play the starving and desperate character of Fantine, who becomes so destitute that she has to sell her teeth and her body and her beautiful flowing locks.

Hathaway was so devoted to her role that she agreed to have her hair chopped off while filming. But was she sorry after committing to losing all of her hair on-screen?

"I did cut my hair and I’m only sorry when I spend time with Amanda Seyfried [who plays Fantine's grown-up daughter Cosette] whose hair is so beautiful. But I am not sorry. I offered Tom the option of cutting my hair. It was always something that I knew I would be willing to do for a character if it was right," Hathaway revealed. "It’s such a devastating scene in the book, I thought doing it for real might raise the stakes a bit for a character. As an actor, it was great to be able to authentically communicate a physical transformation."

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But Hathaway wasn't going to let just anyone take scissors to her head on camera! Jackman said, "Annie’s hair stylist is obviously a man, but in the film he is in a dress so they had an actual hair stylist to cut her hair. You will notice man hands in a dress. And Annie said if you end up cutting my scalp and there’s blood, fantastic, let’s go for it. I put my hand up: 'For the record, I would like makeup.'"

Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman may have had the most grueling roles of the film, so it's no surprise that they came across as the most bonded co-stars. The two grew so close that Hathaway couldn't stop gushing about Jackman's immense talent. "I don’t want you to walk out charmed by Hugh Jackman. We all know that he is a miracle. We all know that he can make friends with everyone. And I think that sometimes keeps people from seeing his genius as an actor. What he does in this film is inspiring and we were all inspired by him. He was absolutely our leader. I just don’t want his nice guy thing to distract you from that. He is a deep, serious and profoundly gifted actor." Can you say Awww?

And Jackman even admitted that he's never felt such closeness with a cast in his movie career.

"I have never had that on a film before," the actor said. "It had the feeling of the closest stage show I have ever been involved with, but it was a film. We will be bonded for life for what we went through."

Les Miserables opens in theaters on Christmas Day. Are you excited to see it? Make sure to bring your tissues.

Image courtesy of Daniel Deme/