A decade has passed since Anne Hathaway, who is up for an award this year for her work in James Gray’s Armageddon Time, won numerous supporting actress accolades for her performance as Fantine in Les Misérables, including the SAG Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Oscar.
The Devil Wears Prada, The Princess Diaries, and Brokeback Mountain were among the movies in which the actress had already established herself as a movie star. 2008’s Rachel Getting Married earned her first Oscar nomination for best actress.
Five years later, Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of the stage musical would win the Academy Award for Best Picture. In it, Anne Hathaway plays a destitute sex worker who deteriorates onstage while losing her teeth and hair and singing the sad I Dreamed a Dream before passing tragically.
Her work was praised as outstanding among the all-star cast, including Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, and Helena Bonham Carter was directed by Hugh Jackman.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that Hathaway dominates in the Universal film, wailing out sorrow as the doomed Fantine and getting dirty and having her hair cut.
Hathaway fought valiantly to get the part her mother had played in the Broadway production’s initial national tour years ago. I imagined Fantine lighting a match and watching it burn down with my mother. Hathaway stated at THR’s Actress Roundtable in December 2012 that she needed to blow it out and let in the darkness.
To fully inhabit the part during the 13 days she spent filming, Hathaway virtually starved herself (surviving on meager amounts of oatmeal to shed 25 pounds, as THR put it). She also worked with a researcher on sexual slavery.
At the 2013 Academy Awards, Les Misérables was nominated in eight categories and won three. Hathaway began her statement with the phrase “It came true” when she took the podium to claim her prize, acknowledging the fulfillment of a desire.