Vogue Asks How Many Pounds Anne Hathaway Lost by Playing a Dying 19th Century Prostitute

Anne Hathaway had to lose weight in order to play Fantine, the consumptive factory worker-turned-prostitute in Tom Hooper's forthcoming film adaptation of Les Misérables. Notice of her transformation has not escaped Vogue magazine, which profiles the actress for this month's cover story and asks all of the important questions, like exactly how many pounds do you lose by eating like a 19th Century French streetwalker with a wasting illness?

To play the role, writes Vogue, Hathaway "had to look simultaneously emaciated and radiant." And also like she was dying of tuberculosis! Here, in the world of Vogue, we have two competing goods: the notion that tuberculosis is self-evidently bad, and that thinness is self-evidently good. So which wins out?

Here are some awkward things the article has to say about Hathaway's body:

  • "Hathaway is pale and consumptively thin."
  • "[B]ody-fat percentage aside (she lost 25 pounds to play Fantine and remains very thin, though not unhealthy-looking), Hathaway's life seems fuller than ever."
  • "Before the start of shooting, she went on a strict cleanse and lost ten pounds, which in the early scenes of the film gives her a gossamer quality."
  • "She then took two weeks off and lost another fifteen pounds by following a near-starvation diet, consisting of two thin squares of dried oatmeal paste a day. 'I had to be obsessive about it — the idea was to look near death,' she recalls."

In conclusion? The Fantine Tuberculosis Diet is so hot for fall.

Leap Of Faith [Vogue]