Three Videos from the Set of LES MISERABLES Starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway; Listen to the Finale

     April 20, 2012


Yesterday, new set photos from Tom Hooper‘s Les Miserables went online and now three set videos have followed.  A couple of the videos are pretty standard stuff.  One video has Javert (Russell Crowe) riding around on horseback, and another has Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) charging out of a church and ripping up a piece of paper while singing the last note of a song, although I’m not sure which one (perhaps “What Have I Done?”).  But the most exciting video is the cast singing part of the show’s finale.

Hit the jump to check out the videos.  The film also stars Anne Hathaway, Eddie RedmayneAmanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, and Helena Bonham CarterLes Miserables opens December 14th.

For those unfamiliar with Les Miserables, here’s the official synopsis:

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. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.

Now here’s the “Finale” set video:

You’ll notice that they’re singing along to playback.  While it’s noble to try and have all of the singing be done live, in a scene like this, there are simply too many bodies and moving parts milling around to have everyone hear each other and make their cues.  That works on a theatre stage, but as you can see from the environment, it’s not practical on a film set of this size.  However, the use of playback allows us to hear the song, and I like what I’m hearing.

In the second video, where Valjean charges out of a church (a scene that takes place near the beginning of the story), it looks like Jackman is actually singing rather than using playback:


Finally, here’s a video of Javert charging around on horseback.  No playback required:



  • misfan

    The last note Jackman is singing is “beginnnn!!!” which is the end of the Jean Valjean’s soliqoquy at the beginning of the musical, where he changes his name and life.

    And yes, all songs are being sung live.

  • Chachi

    I think you mean “Who am I” not “What Have I Done”. Pretty sure it’s Jack Skellington who sang “What Have I Done”.

  • sw

    No it’s “What Have I done?” (“Who Am I?” comes much later in the show). The song is sometimes called “Valjean’s Soliloquy.”

    The “What Have I Done?” video is about a month or so old, as is the Russell Crowe on a horse video.

    At the end of “What Have I Done?” Valjean tears up his yellow ticket of leave. It is notable that Jackman sings that finale note half a step lower than the note is sung in the stage show. Interesting, but nothing to get too worked up about.

    And as for playback vs. live singing. Many of the people who are playing extras have been reporting online (Twitter etc …) that they are singing live.

    Jackman described the process this way:

    “Yes, I believe we are going to be singing live. We will obviously have to do a safety prerecord, because when you’re singing you’ve got to have all the music in your ear, and I’m guessing also for quality of sound for the soundtrack. And sometimes when you film there are noises — smoke machines, things like that — where the actual sound on set may not be usable. But most of it we’re going to be singing live, which for something like Les Miserables is essential. ” (Vulture, Jan. 4, 2012)

    I suspect for a scene like the finale there will be a mixture of the live blended with the safety prerecord.

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  • D. McHugh

    Jackman said in an interview that the film would be shot with live singing because the stage musical is through-composed. It’s virtually ALL music with practically no spoken dialogue. Overdubbing a 3-hour continuous musical would be virtually impossible.

  • bubba

    as usual the lawyers got involved and blocked a harmless video. I’m sure they are proud of this….and they probably charged $500/hr to do so.
    what is the harm/damage done in showing the barricade video?

  • Myra

    They are singing live. When the director says “playback” he’s referring to the fact that they’re all wearing tiny earphones and there is a piano playing all the songs in their ear so that everyone stays on the same notes. The orchestrations will be added later.

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  • n

    It’s been a while since I’ve read the book but if Hathaway is playing fantine…why is she at the barricade? isn’t that…way later?

    • tastic79

      Yup, she shouldn’t be there. They are changing the musical for some very stupid reason.

      • Vinícius

        I don’t know, I’m pretty sure this is the finale of the musical, when the spirits of those who died at the barricades come back for one last song, including Fantine and Valjean (who just died in this part).

    • Vinícius


      Sorry, forgot to put a warning.

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  • Dani

    It’s “What Have I Done?”.

    What Have I Done’s last note: “begiiiiinnnnn!”
    Who Am I’s last note: “oneeeeeeeee!”

    See the difference?

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