Hugh Jackman says the Les Misérables film set was a "cauldron of pressure and excitement".
The Australian actor plays ex-convict Jean Valjean in the big screen adaptation of the classic book by Victor Hugo. The musical movie culminates in the 1832 Paris uprising and the characters are battling hunger, ill health, broken hearts and past regrets. Hugh admits the gritty storyline made for a tense atmosphere while shooting, but he found the experience inspiring.
"The stakes were as high as they could possibly be every day," Hugh told Vogue. "And that sort of cauldron of expectation and pressure and excitement was exhilarating.
"[Valjean is] one of the great literary characters of all time; a real study of the human spirit under the worst adversity possible."
Les Misérables boasts a star-studded cast featuring Hollywood heavyweights such as Hugh, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne.
To celebrate the upcoming release of the period drama, Annie Leibovitz has taken a series of artistic photographs which have been unveiled via Vogue magazine.
The shots see the major cast members in their stunning costumes, including one of Jean Valjean dramatically rescuing a young Cosette, played by Isabelle Allen.
A close-up shot of Anne as Fantine is also featured, and the star is fiercely proud of her involvement in the musical.
"Fantine is a warrior for love. She's willing to sacrifice everything - her sense of right and wrong, her looks, her very life - for her child," Anne explained.
Other images include a romantic clinch between Amanda and Eddie who play young lovers Cosette and Marius in the movie. Amanda believes Les Misérables will offer something for every kind of cinemagoer.
"The whole thing is really one big love story. There's something about Les Mis that makes everyone see the world differently," she said.
Les Misérables is released worldwide from next month.
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