Les Misérables

Character: Marius Pontmercy

Created by: Victor Hugo

Directed by: Tom Hooper

Written by: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, William Nicholson, Herbert Kretzmer

Cast Members: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit

Released date: December 25, 2012

Genre: Drama/ Musical/ Romance

The motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 27th year. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France,the film tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption - a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Ex-prisoner Jean Valjean is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.

Facts & Trivia

  • Eddie Redmayne’s audition was on his iPhone. He recorded himself singing in a trailer during a movie break in North Carolina.
  • Composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyricists Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil wrote a new song exclusively for the film. Schönberg also composed new incidental music.
  • After many months of auditioning, Samantha Barks landed the role of Eponine, which she had previously played in the West End and in the 25th anniversary concert. Barks was performing in Oliver! in Manchester when, to her surprise, Cameron Mackintosh came on stage and announced that she had been cast. Barks later described it via Twitter as the "Most incredible moment of my life!!!!".
  • Colm Wilkinson, playing the Bishop of Digne, originated the role of Jean Valjean in both the London and New York stage productions.
  • Anne Hathaway actually cut her hair very short for this movie, in a scene where her character sells her hair.
  • Hugh Jackman lost considerable weight and grew a real scraggly beard for scenes of Valjean as a prisoner, though mercifully they were shot first in production and he could shave and return to his usual weight for scenes playing Valjean as a wealthy man.
  • Producer Cameron Mackintosh, who also produced the original stage musical in England, has wanted to do a film version of it since the early 90’s.
  • Typically, the soundtrack for a movie musical is recorded several months in advance and the actors mime to playback during filming. However, on this film, every single song was recorded live on set to capture the spontaneity of the performances.
  • Anne Hathaway’s first exposure to the role of Fantine was in 1987 when her mother, Kate McCauley Hathaway, played the role in the first U.S. tour of the musical.
  • Amanda Seyfried also played young Cosette before, when she was 7 years old in a concert.
  • Gavroche is actually Éponine’s younger brother in the novel. He is the youngest son of the Thenardiers.
  • Quotes From Eddie

    On filming his audition tape
    I was making a film in North Carolina with Chloe Moretz and Blake Lively. One night, we did karaoke at Blake’s house. I was just singing and they were like, ‘Ed, aren’t they going to make ‘Les Mis’? Shouldn’t you try auditioning?’ A couple of nights later, I was in a trailer. It was a night shoot, about 2:00 in the morning. I sat procrastinating and I was like, why not give it a shot? Dressed as a cowboy with a limp, I sat in my trailer and filmed myself with my iPhone singing ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.’ I did it three or four times and then took the role of a director and cut all the crap ones.

    On Hugh Jackman
    Hugh was such a bastion and leader on this film. For everything he had to go through, he never had a complaint.

    About Samantha Barks singing ‘On My Own’
    When she sang that song, it broke my heart. There was something that she did in that song. I remember I was with Danny Cohen, the cinematographer. Samantha had to sing in the rain again and again. She was shivering.
    There’s a moment when she has sung her huge last note. She has her head into her chest and she goes, ‘I love him,’ and her head comes up. It’s like she finds the thought. It is when her head is almost away from the camera.
    All of us behind the monitors went, ‘Oh.’ There was still that chill in our arms. I remember Danny saying, ‘I wish more film actors would realize the strength of keeping your head away from the camera sometimes.’ This moment of her, hidden, and then coming up broke my heart.

    On filming the sewer scene
    Tom kept saying it was chocolate. I guarantee you it wasn’t chocolate. It was a mixture of very cold water, mud and clay. I couldn’t complain because Hugh Jackman had to carry me through all that stuff.

    On his favorite character in Les Mis.
    I first saw the play when I was 7 and I just thought Gavroche was a total rock star. I actually wanted to be him and then when I the read the script, performed Marius, and watched the film, I still wanted to be him.

    On the difference between himself and Marius
    I’ve always found Eponine to be very sexy.

    On working with Tom Hooper before Les Misérables
    After reading for Elizabeth I, I was stopped at the door and Tom asked if I could ride a horse and I said “yes.” Next thing you know, I was in Lithuania with 40+ men galloping on horses. I’m in spurs on a huge stallion behind Helen Mirren, who’s in a rather large, opulent dress. I thought to myself, “At what point do I admit I wasn’t totally telling the truth?” Within a few moments, Tom picked up a big speaker and shouted, “Redmayne you’re a bloody liar!” And so then during Les Misérables, he asked, “Can you actually sing?” And of course, somehow I ended up on a giant horse waving a huge flag [in Les Misérables]. [I’m] only assuming it was payback.

    Character’s Quotes

    Marius: Do I care if I should die now she goes across the sea? Life without Cosette means nothing at all… Please don’t weep, Cosette, should Marius fall. Will you weep, Cosette, for me?

    Enjolras: Marius, you’re late.
    Joly: What’s wrong today? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost.
    Grantaire: Some wine and say what’s going on!
    Marius: A ghost you say… a ghost maybe She was just like a ghost to me One minute there, and she was gone!

    Marius: Eponine, you’re the friend that has brought me here. Thanks to you, I am with one with the Gods and heaven is near! And I soar through a world that is new, that is free.
    Éponine: [to herself] Every word that he says is a dagger in me. In my life, there has been no one like him anywhere. Anywhere where he is. If he asks, I’ll be his.

    Marius: In my life, there is someone who touches my life. Waiting near…

    Éponine: Waiting here…

    Marius: [about Cosette] Eponine, find her for me!
    Éponine: What will you give me?
    Marius: Anything!
    Éponine: Got you all excited now, but God knows what you see in her! Aren’t you all delighted now?

    Marius: In my life, there is someone who touches my life. Waiting near…
    Éponine: Waiting here…

    Enjolras: One more day before the storm…
    Marius: Do I follow where she goes?
    Enjolras: …at the barricades of freedom!
    Marius: Shall I join my brothers there?
    Enjolras: When our ranks begin to form…
    Marius: Do I stay, and do I dare?
    Enjolras: …will you take your place with me?

    Marius: Oh my friends, my friends, forgive me, that I live and you are gone… There’s a grief that can’t be spoken, there’s a pain goes on and on. There’s a pain goes on and on. Empty chairs at empty tables… now my friends are dead and gone.

    Marius: Oh, my friends! My friends, don’t ask me what your sacrifice was for! Empty chairs at empty tables, where my friends shall sing no more.

    Marius: Here they talked of revolution. Here it was they lit the flame.
    Here they sang about ‘tomorrow’ And tomorrow never came.

    Script developed by Never Enough Design

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