By sticking to a strict diet of dried oatmeal paste, Anne Hathaway managed to drop some 25 pounds for her role in the upcoming musical Les Miserables. According to Hathaway, the idea was to look near death for her role as the consumptive prostitute Fantine in the musical version of Victor Hugo’s classic 19th century French novel.
Hathaway lost the first 10 pounds to begin filming, then dropped another 15 by eating nothing but two thin pieces of oatmeal paste a day. She spoke to Vogue about the experience saying, “Looking back on the whole experience—and I don’t judge it in any way—it was definitely a little nuts. It was definitely a break with reality, but I think that’s who Fantine is anyway.”
Losing that amount of weight affected Hathaway’s everyday life as well. She said it was a rocky transition to adjust to reality after filming. Hathaway stated, “When I got home, I couldn’t react to the chaos of the world without being overwhelmed. It took me weeks till I felt like myself again.”
Anne Hathaway isn’t the only star who went to extreme diet changes to lose weight for a role. Natalie Portman received criticism for dropping nearly 20 pounds for her Oscar-winning role as a ballerina in 2010’s Black Swan.
Jennifer Lawrence also made vows never to diet for a role after starring as the famished Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
Les Miserables is set to be released on December 25 and is rumored to be a top contender for an Oscar nomination.