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Eddie Redmayne gearing up for Les Miserables singing challenge

Richard II, Donmar Warehouse

Story by Jack Foley

EDDIE Redmayne is getting ready to meet the challenge of singing live in Tom Hooper’s film version of Les Miserables.

Speaking to the BBC on the day he was shortlisted as an Orange Wednesday Rising Star nominee the young British actor said he was looking forward to performing live on film rather than miming on film, as befits Hooper’s vision for the film.

Redmayne, who is currently winning widespread acclaim for his performance in Richard II at London’s Donmar Warehouse as well as My Week With Marilyn, will play student Marius in the big budget adaptation.

He lines up alongside Hugh Jackman as ex-convict Jean Valjean, who is hunted for decades by the policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) after he breaks parole. Anne Hathaway also stars as factory worker Fantine.

Hooper, who directed the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech, is due to start shooting in March with a view to having the film completed for a December 7 release.

And Redmayne, who admitted to being at Pinewood this week for tests, said he was attracted by the “spontaneity” of singing live and, in particular, taking on his solo Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.

Asked whether he was at all daunted by that prospect in particular, he said: “You have to forget all the versions you’ve heard and deconstruct the song and try to find your own way through it. We’ll have to wait and see whether it works or not.”

Tests had been hopeful, he added, before saying that Hooper intends to have his cast start singing in line with live instruments.

In what is proving to be an exceptionally productive period for Redmayne, he will also shortly be seen in the BBC adaptation of Bird Song.

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