Anne Hathaway shed 25 lb for her role as Fantine in the film musical Les Miserables by living on lettuce leaves.
Her ten-year-old British co-star Isabelle Allen, who plays Fantine’s daughter Cosette, described Anne Hathaway’s diet as “rabbit food” and said it left the actress so fragile that she broke her arm in a fall.
Anne Hathaway, 30, referred to her diet as “starvation” but refused to reveal details of what she ate to discourage anyone from looking as emaciated as she did as Fantine, a poverty-stricken factory worker forced to turn to prostitution.
In a recent interview Anne Hathaway revealed she had shed 25 lb for the role – 10 lb in three weeks before filming and 15 lb during production.
“I just had to stop eating for a total of 13 days shooting,” she said.
On Thursday, Anne Hathaway said: “I was on a starvation diet to look like I was near death in a film… but I went at it with a plan and I had a guide, a nutritionist kind of helped me with it.”
Isabelle Allen, who features on the poster for Les Miserables, said she saw the extreme lengths Anne Hathaway went to for her role.
The pair had lunch in New York after the film’s premiere last year and Anne Hathaway was drawn to the chips that Isabelle Allen was eating.
“She said <<this is real food>> or something like that. Well it was because obviously she’d been eating… I call it rabbit food, because she was only eating salad and greens and vegetables because of her diet, because of her character.”
She added that Anne Hathaway had broken her arm because “she was so thin and fragile. She was riding a bike and she broke her arm”.
Isabelle Allen, who lives near Eastbourne, East Sussex, said she treated Anne Hathaway as “a big sister” during the filming and admitted she has wanted to be like her since she saw her in The Princess Diaries.
Eating disorder campaigners say the time the two spent together may not have been good for Isabelle Allen and warned that the film industry has a “toxic preoccupation with extreme thinness”.
But Isabelle Allen’s mother Elaine said: “From start to finish it was obvious [Anne Hathaway] was doing it for the role. The day she finished filming she said she could start eating again and I think it was a relief.”