Once director Tom Hooper chose Hugh Jackman for the lead role of Jean Valjean in his new movie “Les Miserables,” he had the difficult task of casting Valjean’s nemesis, Javert. So, Hooper asked himself: “Which actor out there in the world will the audience feel would realistically get the better of Hugh Jackman?” For him, there was only one answer: Russell Crowe.
“I think a lot of people come see the film just to see the conflict play out between these two extraordinary acting personalities,” says Hooper.
The great rivalry between Jackman and Crowe is what holds the film together, says Jackman. “Russell has an innate kind of strength and power, and with doing very little, commands so much presence,” he told 60 Minutes. To see these two men battle it out– in both swordfights and musical duels– click on the above video.
Like the stage production of Victor Hugo‘s epic novel, “Les Mis” the movie is a live musical. That means the actors– Jackman, Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried— sang all the songs live on set. No lip-synching to canned studio recordings in this movie. And according to Jackman, that made the shooting of “Les Mis” unlike any other film.
“It’s a different feeling than a normal movie because every night, every day on the set, is an opening night,” says Jackman. “So every day had this delicious fear.”