Les Misérables (2012)

Director: Tom Hooper
Writer: Alain Boublil (book), Claude-Michel Schönberg (composer), Victor Hugo (novelist), William Nicholson

Cast: Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean), Russell Crowe (Javert), Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), Marius (Eddie Redmayne), Enjolras (Aaron Tveit), Eponine (Samantha Barks), Thénardier (Sacha Baron Cohen), Madame Thénardier (Helena Bonham Carter), Isabelle Allen ([YOUNG] Cosette), Daniel Huttlestone (Gavroche), Colm Wilkinson (The Bishop)

Genres: Drama, Musical
Released: December 25, 2012 (USA)
Running time: 158 minutes
MPAA: PG-13 – suggestive and sexual material, violence, thematic elements

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice, and redemption — a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jean Valjean is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.

PHOTOS


TRIVIA

• Prior to Aaron’s casting, there was only one other rumored Enjolras in talks: Jamie Campbell Bower, who played Anthony Hope in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

• Aaron actually auditioned for the role of Marius in the film, sending in a tape of him singing both “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” and “In My Life.” However, when he went to meet with director Tom Hooper, he was instead told to prepare material for Enjolras. After reading the novel, Aaron felt confidently “better suited” for the role.

• Director Tom Hooper debated whether or not to film Les Misérables in 3D, but ultimately decided not to. Wanting the story to retain its universal appeal, he opted to film in the traditional format. Similarly, the production team decided that singing live on camera – rather than the actors lip-syncing to a prerecorded track – would keep the finished product more honest.

• Aaron’s character, Enjolras, is the “leader” among a group of politically-driven students called Les Amis de l’ABC (a.k.a. The Friends of the ABC). On set, this group of actors affectionally called one another the “barricade boys” (using the tag #barricadeboys on Twitter). They were very close during filming, playing games such as coups while scenes were being set up.

• Enjolras’s signature blond hair was actually a wig worn by Aaron. Unable to grow out his hair in time due to other filming obligations, a wig was specially designed (matching Aaron’s real hair color) and constructed prior to shooting. It was inspired by Victor Hugo’s own description of Enjolras in the novel, which at one point states: “All at once [Enjolras] threw back his head, his blond locks fell back like those of an angel on the sombre quadriga made of stars, they were like the mane of a startled lion in the flaming of an halo.”

• The entire musical was sung live on set, which sometimes meant 15 hours of (at times, demanding) singing for the cast. Being well-versed in performing eight live shows a week on Broadway, however, made it a more comfortable feat for Aaron and his vocal stamina.

• Before cameras started rolling, some actors had nine weeks of rehearsals — unheard of for a movie! Aaron had rehearsals – blocking the film as if it were a play – for four and a half weeks.

• Aaron was inspired by the lengthy character descriptions in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables; so much so, in fact, that he printed out copies of the text and pasted them to his screenplay for reference. He’d pour over Enjolras’s personality as elaborated by Hugo each day before filming. “That was like gold for me as an actor,” he said.

• All actors on set wore ear monitors that transmitted feedback directly to them while singing. Because there was no orchestra to sing with, actors had a choice between a live piano (which their singing helped create a tempo for), their voice, the other actors, or any combination of the three. Aaron chose the piano and his own voice, arguing it was the closest to his experience of singing live on stage. “Singing for stage, if you don’t hear yourself, that’s when you push, and that’s when you can hurt your voice sometimes,” he said, “So if I can hear myself in my ear, it really helps me to find that balance of how loud I needed to be singing.”

• It was originally planned for Enjolras to discard the red coat by the time the battle started in Les Misérables. Aaron argued that it was better for him to keep it on, harking back to the iconic red waistcoat the character wears throughout the stage production. (He also stated he was initially disappointed he didn’t get to wear the “xylophone,” but that he was thrilled with the unique coat designed for the film.)

• In his make-up trailer, Daniel Huttlestone (Gavroche) had a continuity photo showing him baring his period-appropriate teeth. Inspired, Aaron took a similar picture of himself and hung it up next to his co-star’s. He’s stated that Daniel was his “little buddy” on set.

• Aaron and his fellow Les Misérables cast performed “One Day More” live at the 85th Academy Awards, held on February 24, 2013. The film was nominated for eight Oscars and took home three.

• Aaron was nominated for a SAG Award alongside his co-stars for the category Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Les Misérables won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical). Aaron’s co-stars Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman took home individual acting awards.

QUOTES

Not available. Lyrics from songs featuring Aaron will be provided shortly.

WATCH THE TRAILER

RELATED LINKS

Amazon · IMDb · Official Site · Photos

VICTOR HUGO’S LES MISÉRABLES:
Read & Purchase

LES MISÉRABLES – THE MUSICAL:
Original (French) Cast Recording
Original Broadway Cast Recording
Original London Cast Recording
Complete Symphonic Recording
Motion Picture Soundtrack: Deluxe & Highlights
10th Anniversary Dream Cast Concert: Watch & Listen
25th Anniversary Concert: Watch & Listen
Les Misérables: From Stage to Screen