Anne Hathaway before and after her Les Misérables transformation
She was eating little more than two apples a day – and worked out regularly under her personal trainer. Not surprisingly, she lost a shocking 16lbs in less than three weeks. But for Anne Hathaway, this wasn’t just any old celeb crash diet we hear of far too frequently – it was in the name of art, executed for her role as dying prostitute Fantine in the film adaptation of Les Miserables. So that’s OK, right? …Right?
Err, well. We all know that good actresses have a tough job on their hands to be convincing, facing millions of critics all over the world – and when you look at it like that, playing a dying woman is no mean feat. But isn’t eating under 500 calories per day – just one quarter of a woman’s recommended daily intake – just a bit, um, dangerous? More importantly, how far is too far? And what example does it set to the girls that look up to her?
Speaking to Allure magazine, Anne said in a recent interview about her role alongside Hugh Jackman, ‘I’m doing some crazy weight stuff right now.’ She went on to explain that she was on a detox and ‘living on hummus and radishes’.
Before filming began, the production company told the Daily Mirror of her extreme regime, ‘Anne is playing a destitute factory worker-come-lady of the night'. Unfortunately, she only has 15 to 20 days to lose as much weight as possible - up to a stone-and-a-half - because she’s been filming the scenes showing her fit and healthy, almost slightly chubby. It’s not ideal but, as with any high-budget movie, there are strict time constraints.’
And Anne isn’t averse to extreme dieting. For her role as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, she said the pressure she felt during filming in that cat-suit. ‘It was a psychological terrorist,’ she said of the costume. ‘The suit, thoughts of my suit, changing my life so I would fit into that suit... It dominated my year. I went into the gym for ten months and didn't come out.’
We're all for actors 'getting into character'. But do they sometimes take it too far? And what is the tipping point for when 'role research' becomes irresponsible. We’d love to hear your thoughts…