Before she turns to prostitution, Fantine sells her hair, sells her teeth, and wastes away to almost nothing. You didn’t lose actual teeth, but you cut your hair off and made some other sacrifices for this role.
Because of the weight loss and haircut, I pretty much got to do my performance in sequence. Before we started filming I lost 10 pounds and from the beginning of filming to when she is arrested, I had 14 days to lose 14 pounds, and I ended up losing fifteen. I lost 24 pounds total.
Didn’t that mess with your concentration during filming?
I couldn’t sleep. I was so starving, my body was keeping me awake at night, like it was telling me: Go look for food. I was kind of in this otherworldly, slightly ecstatic manic state all the time.
And you can’t really leave that behind on set, can you?
I had nothing else going on in my life! So there was no way to distract myself. At the end of a long day, I couldn’t go home and comfort myself with a drink or with food. It was all Les Mis, all the time.
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