Upon the heels of the news that Universal has shifted “Les Miserables” to Christmas Day, the tub-thumping for this lavish musical version of the 1987 Tony champ has begun.
In the video featurette above, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Samantha Barks, Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried talk about the daring decision by Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) to have them sing live.
Hooper says he wanted to allow his performers to be free from the constraints of lipsynching to tracks they recorded months earlier. And his cast was grateful for the flexibility this gave them.
While all of the movie musical classics used the pre-recorded method, one notable exception was the final scene in “Funny Girl” where Barbra Streisand sang the opening bars of the torch song “My Man” live. She says that gave her a chance to truly act the lyrics and the result was an Oscar. Another less laudable example of the merits of going live is Peter Bogdanovich‘s 1975 bomb “At Long Last Love” where the likes of Burt Reynolds and Cybill Shepherd croaked out Cole Porter classics.