With her hair cut short to play the much-abused Fantine in Les Misérables, Anne Hathaway says she resembled her gay brother.
“When I eventually looked in the mirror I just thought I looked like my gay brother,” she told the audience at its first preview screening, Friday at Lincoln Center in New York City, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Hathaway has often talked about her brother when making statements in support of marriage equality and LGBT rights in general. She and her family left the Roman Catholic Church when he came out, and she has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality since appearing in the 2005 gay romance Brokeback Mountain. When she married Adam Shulman in September, she decided to give the proceeds from sales of their wedding photos to nonprofit groups including Freedom to Marry.
While her Les Mis haircut meant she was “almost bald on her wedding day,” as the Reporter’s Scott Feinberg put it, her sacrifice in the name of art appears to have been worth it. Critics attending the preview agreed not to review the film but were allowed to offer general comments in print, and Feinberg reported that Hathaway “is probably now the frontrunner in the best supporting actress category [in the Academy Awards]. As Fantine her screen time is brief, but she makes an indelible impression, particularly during the showstopping ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ number.”
The film, based on the hit musical theater adaptation of Victor Hugo’s epic novel, opens Christmas Day. In addition to Hathaway, it stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Amanda Seyfried, and it is directed by Tom Hooper, an Oscar-winner for The King’s Speech. Watch the trailer below.