"Les Misérables" is a 19th century period piece. The film adaptation was being directed by Tom Hooper, who recently won the Academy Award for "The King's Speech" but had never made a musical. And he wanted his actors to sing each of their songs live, in a method that had been tried only sparingly in film musicals. So much could go wrong.
"Jean Valjean is like a 'Hamlet,'" said Jackman, during The Envelope Screening Series discussion on "Les Misérables." "It's a journey that is so great, I knew that as a character it would require everything from me."
Hathaway went on to discuss the intense nine-week rehearsal period, during which she gave it her all as an exercise in building up stamina for when shooting began. The actress found the whole experience scary — one that had so many ways of going wrong and only one way of going right. "Just as this movie is about finding one's faith, I knew that playing the part would be that too."
For more on the cast members' fears and joys adapting the über-popular stage musical for the screen, please click on the video above.