Hugh Jackman, right, with Russell Crowe in Les Miserables. Photo: Supplied
Hugh Jackman introduced the world's first screening of Les Miserables to a Sydney audience on Saturday, describing his lead role as ''truly a labour of love''.
Jackman, pictured, who plays Jean Valjean in the epic film musical, told an audience at a mid-morning screening at the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park that they were the first to see the completed movie.
''I don't think I've ever worked harder or been prouder,'' Jackman said. He said the film was a tribute to the success of the hit musical and the literary genius of Victor Hugo.
Mike Baard, the managing director of Universal Pictures Australia, said director Tom Hooper had finished the final print last Sunday night in London before the film was brought to Sydney for the screening.
The Sydney showing was held before private preview screenings in New York and London, with strict security before its worldwide release on Boxing Day.
No one at the screening is allowed to talk about the film's content after signing a legal document.
''We're scouring the auditorium,'' David Collins from Universal said. ''Security will be here with night-vision goggles.''
Meanwhile, in New York, Tom Hooper introduced the film to a packed audience of critics, who were also under strict instructions not to breathe a word to anyone. According to The Hollywood Reporter:
At about 3 p.m. EST, Hooper came out before the packed house to introduce the film, and told the crowd that he had only finished working on the film at 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning. "You are the very first people to see the film," he said to cheers. He then noted that The King's Speech had begun its theatrical rollout on Thanksgiving weekend two years ago, and that last night, at his first Thanksgiving dinner, everyone was asked what they were grateful for. He said that he can now say, "I'm grateful that I finished it [the film]... I'm grateful to the thousands of people who have been on this journey, particularly the wonderful cast... and I'm grateful to Victor Hugo [who wrote the novel upon which the Broadway play upon which the film is derived], who unfortunately can't be with us."
Um. Yeah, of course he couldn't be there, Tom. He is dead. You're making it sound like he just caught himself a chill.
But the best line of the night belongs to Anne Hathaway, who together with a handful of her co-stars, hung around for a Q and A session after the premiere. When asked about her now famous haircut for the film, Anne said that when she underwent the chop and looked in the mirror for the first time "I just thought I looked like my gay brother."
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