TODAY   |  December 12, 2012

Anne Hathaway: ‘I like to scare myself with my work’

The Oscar-nominated actress discusses her role in the highly anticipated film version of “Les Miserables,” sharing the creative ways she prepared for her role as Fantine and learning from her mother, who once played the same part.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> variety of roles in her career. her latest is " les miserables ," and she plays the mother fantine, forced into prostitution oh, have you come to grieve in such a place as this mock me now i pray it's hard enough i've lost my pride you let your foreman send me away yes you were there and turned aside

>> anne hathaway , good morning. nice to see you. seen a lot of you lately.

>> sorry about that. i would be happy to stay at home , but the film.

>> you had a wardrobe malfunction. what's the lesson from that other than you keep smiling, as you always do.

>> well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident. i think it kind of made me sad on two accounts. one was that i was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it and do the decent thing, sells it. and i'm sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexual in order to make a profit. and that is like this role in " les miserables ."

>> that was a difficult day on set. i was at my lowest weight at that point. that's probably the second day we had been filming that. it was very difficult. she said make sure you hit the e flat . that was her advice.

>> 60 million people have seen it on stage. most people understand the premise of it. i don't think i'm giving anything away to say your role is a bit brief in this movie, but pivotal.

>> i do get the big song i get to sing "i dreamed a dream."

>> yes, it is pivotal because the story is about the story of one man, jean valjean and how he learns how to love in his life. the moment he discovers faith and the moment he discovers love. and he discovers love by taking charge of the care of my daughter once i die. so, yes, it's a brief role. but i get the ball rolling.

>> you said you get the big song. i have probably, at least twice in my life, done that song in karaoke.

>> you have? oh, matt --

>> no, i can't. you did it in karaoke at least a couple of times.

>> come on.

>> no, i have no voice.

>> it's christmas.

>> and that's the gift that keeps on giving. what was it like to get there and know, first of all, tom hooper is going to take a shot of you this close and not only do you have to sing but cry through most of the song?

>> tom, in ownness to the process during rehearsal basically -- come here. now sing. so we just got used to being shot -- like he would stay like this.

>> i get nervous. plus you told me you have the flu. so -- right before the interview.

>> payback is terrible, isn't it?

>> uh-huh.

>> i had a few weeks before filming where i said i'm going to be crying a lot on this film i have a feeling. i would go up to my husband, my fiance at the time and say just so you know, you're going to hear some sobs coming from the bathroom. i'm fine. i'm just rehearsing.

>> you talk about an emotional state . you cut your hair off for filming. i watched the scene. it was emotional for me. what was it like for you?

>> it was scary. this went deeper. normally it's something that you can train for, you can prepare for. there was nothing to do except just let it happen . so it was hard leading up to t i was terrified leading up to it. once it was done, it was done and it was a new reality and i was really fine.

>> you said a second ago when you shot one of the scenes you were at your thinnest. as someone who has worked out next to you at a gym, you do not have 25 pounds to lose. how do you even go about that?

>> oh, you don't want to know. honestly, i think it's upsetting to talk about.

>> that way is really just nothing? deprivation, or worse? okay, good.

>> not worse, but, you know, i get nervous talking about it, because i find that i don't want to be seen as trying to glamorize it. there's a lot of talk, lot of pressure, especially in young girls to lose weight and what i did -- i didn't do it to get hot. i did it to look like i was dying. i don't want to be seen as, in talking about it, giving --

>> do not try this at home.

>> do not try this at home, exactly.

>> you are remarkable in this movie. you really are.

>> thank you.

>> it's nice to have you here. thank you for your smile. we appreciate that. " les miserables " opens christmas day .