Anne Hathaway Says Her Les Miserables Weight Loss Made Her Sick

Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Miserables
(Image credit: (Universal))

Anne Hathaway’s heart-wrenching rendition of Fantine in Les Misérables in 2012 may have earned her an Oscar win, but it was not without sacrifice on her part. The actress recently reflected back her 25-pound weight drop to play the French seamstress turned desperate prostitute, and how it negatively affected her health. In her words:

I’d lost an unhealthy amount of weight in two weeks. I didn’t know anything about nutrition. I taxed my body, and my brain bore the brunt of it for a while. I just felt very anxious and very lost at that time. That weight loss was not a long-term good thing for my health, and it took a really long time to come back from it. And I was still really sick because of it.

Looks like Anne Hathaway’s behind-the-scenes prep for the big screen musical was no glitzier than her somber role. Her intense transformation certainly added to the believability to Fantine’s incredibly difficult life as a French woman who is abandoned by the man who impregnates her, forcing her to sell her hair, teeth and body to support her daughter, Cosette. But the toll it took on her physical and mental health ended up to be more taxing than she probably expected.

When Anne Hathaway opened up about her role in Les Misérables during an interview with PEOPLE’s Editor-in-chief Jess Cagle (via Entertainment Weekly), she also spoke about how this took some joy away from her Oscar win in 2013. The actress said she was still coming back from the intense weight loss when she appeared on the award show, along with dealing with a bit of an identity crisis following her recent 30th birthday and marriage to her current husband.

She explained that sometimes the most positive accomplishments can create emotional upheavals, which she felt on Oscar night. Anne Hathaway told Jess Cagle that at the time she was on display for the world, as she won her Best Supporting Actress gold trophy, she didn’t know who she was and felt uncomfortable on that stage and in her win.

The actress joined the likes of Christian Bale, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth and her Serenity co-star Matthew McConaughey, who have each lost an incredible amount of weight to fill a role. Luckily for Hathaway, her hard work didn’t go unnoticed and she will go down in history as an Oscar winner and Les Misérables’ Fantine.

After working with one another in 2014’s Interstellar, Hathaway and McConaughey have returned to the big screen in crazy thriller Serenity, which is in theaters now. The actress will also star alongside Rebel Wilson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake The Hustle in May and crime drama The Last Thing He Wanted with Ben Affleck and Willem Dafoe later this year.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.