Did Anne Hathaway Really Sing in Les Miserables?

Did Anne Hathaway Really Sing in Les Miserables?

When it comes to the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables, one question that often arises is whether or not Anne Hathaway, who portrayed the tragic character Fantine, actually sang her own songs. The answer is a resounding yes.

Throughout the film, Hathaway delivers a stunning and emotionally charged performance, which includes her show-stopping rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.” Her portrayal garnered critical acclaim and even earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. But let’s delve deeper into how Hathaway prepared for this challenging role.

The Method Behind the Musical

Hathaway’s commitment to authenticity and dedication to her craft led her to adopt a method acting approach for Les Misérables. In order to fully inhabit the character of Fantine, she underwent an intense physical and emotional transformation. This included losing a significant amount of weight and cutting off her long locks for a pivotal scene.

However, it was not just her physical appearance that underwent a change; Hathaway took on singing lessons to ensure that she could perform the songs herself. She worked closely with vocal coach Liz Caplan, who helped her develop the necessary skills to deliver powerful and nuanced musical performances.

The Live Singing Technique

In most film musicals, actors prerecord their vocals in a studio before filming begins. However, director Tom Hooper made an unconventional decision for Les Misérables. He chose to have the actors sing live on set during filming, rather than lip-syncing to prerecorded tracks.

This decision added an extra layer of authenticity to the performances and allowed for more raw emotions to be captured on camera. It also meant that Hathaway had to sing live in front of the entire crew, which added an additional challenge to her already demanding role.

The Impact of Live Singing

The choice to sing live had a profound impact on the overall tone and energy of the film. It created a sense of immediacy and heightened the emotional intensity of each musical number. This is particularly evident in Hathaway’s performance of “I Dreamed a Dream,” where her raw and vulnerable vocals captivate audiences.

By singing live, Hathaway was able to fully immerse herself in the moment, allowing for more spontaneous and authentic performances. This approach not only showcased her incredible vocal talent but also added an extra layer of realism to Fantine’s heartbreaking story.


In conclusion, Anne Hathaway did indeed sing in Les Misérables. Her commitment to her role as Fantine led her to undergo extensive vocal training and deliver breathtaking performances on set.

The decision to have actors sing live added an additional level of authenticity and emotional depth to the film. Hathaway’s dedication paid off, earning her critical acclaim and solidifying her place as a talented singer in addition to being a versatile actress.