And I met Eddie Redmayne, and Amanda Seyfried, and Samantha Barks, and even Sir Cameron Macintosh.
Well, maybe I didn’t meet them — I “met” them. As in, I sat in a small audience of journalists and bloggers about forty of us), they sat on a slightly elevated platform, and I got to ask them some questions about their new mega-movie-musical, Les Miserables.
You know how you think movie stars are different from the rest of us? How they somehow seem more special, more vibrant, more…more? And you know how there’s a part of you that thinks “No, they’re just like regular people.” Well that second part of you? That part that thinks they’re just like everyone else? That part is wrong.
Hugh Jackman is every bit as charming and gorgeous as you would imagine. So much so, that Anne Hathaway said this:
“I just want to make sure that I impress upon everyone in this room, I don’t want you to walk out of here charmed by Hugh Jackman, because we all know that he’s a miracle and we all know that he can get up and make friends with everyone and be totally friendly. And sometimes I think that keeps people from seeing his genius as an actor.”
And as for her, Anne Hathaway is MORE beautiful than you can imagine, Eddie Redmayne more articulate and charming.
Here’s what happened when I got to talk to them:
Me: I’m going to start my question with a disclaimer, because I have a question that comes from a 10 year old girl. I actually have two. One’s very quick and obviously the answer is clear, but I’m going to ask it. Her username on my website is Glitter Girl. And Glitter Girl would like to know, did you really cut your hair and are you sorry?
Ms. Anne Hathaway: First of all, Glitter Girl, where are you, slacker?
Blogger: Fourth grade.
Ms. Anne Hathaway: That’s a likely story.
I did cut my hair. And I’m only sorry when I have to spend time with Amanda Seyfried, whose hair is so beautiful.
I offered Tom (Hooper, the Director) the option of cutting my hair. It was always something that I kind of knew in the back of my mind I’d be willing to do for a character if it was ever the right thing to do.
And so, when I got cast and I read the script and I knew that they were keeping the haircutting in, and then I read the book and it’s such a devastating scene in the book, I thought doing it for real might raise the stakes a bit for the character. And I guess in the back of my mind, I thought if it was painful experience watching her haircut, then watching her teeth get pulled would be really painful.
And then, of course when she becomes a prostitute, I just thought they’re going to be with her, feeling that alongside of her. And as an actor it was great to be able to authentically communicate a physical transformation.
Me: The second question comes from Gleek Out, who is 12. And Gleek Out says that in Glee–hence Gleek Out – In Glee you see the musicians playing the music. Where are the musicians and what are you singing to?
Mr. Eddie Redmayne: Great question.
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: Good question.
Ms. Samantha Barks: We all have an earpiece in our ears. And we can hear the piano, but the piano is in a box, kind of just off set. And so, when we watch the film, we can see these big, sweeping orchestrations, but actually what you can hear in your ear is like a tiny, tinny piano. So, you had to use your imagination for sure to kind of create these epic orchestrations. That’s what we could hear.
But, it was funny, because if you don’t have the earpiece in, then we all just looked mad, like we were just singing to nothing.
Mr. Hugh Jackman: Yes.
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: Did you ever forget that you were singing on set?
Ms. Samantha Barks: Yes.
Mr. Eddie Redmayne: Yes.
Ms. Amanda Seyfried: Because you only do hear a teeny, teeny bit of this electric piano. It was such a strange experience. I’ve never experienced it before, because singing your emotions. You’re singing your feelings and your thoughts when you’d normally be speaking them. And it kind of goes away and all becomes one. So, it’s good that we didn’t hear the orchestra, because the orchestra actually didn’t exist at that point.
So you see – I got to talk to all of them! They talked to me! And lest you think Hugh Jackman didn’t participate, a bit later in the interview session, when one of the other writers in the room was displaying her oddly vast Musical Theater knowledge, Hugh Jackman said “Wait – are you sure you’re not Gleek Out?”
And there you have it. Me. Yes me. Talking to the biggest movie stars of the moment, the woman most likely to win an Academy Award this year. Not so Miserables at all!