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Hugh Jackman underwent some intense Yo-Yo dieting to play what he calls a 'once in a lifetime role' - Jean Valjean in the anticipated 'Les Miserables' musical film in 2012.
In the movie, which was directed by Tom Hooper, Jackman's character, Valjean, is an impoverished French man who is released from prison on parole after serving time for stealing a loaf of bread for his starving sister and her child and for failed attempts at escaping jail. He eventually becomes the mayor of a town, an aristocrat and the adoptive father of a young girl.
'Tom did say to me, 'I want your friends to think you're sick in real life. I want you to be unrecognizable,'' Jackman told OTRC.com, adding: 'Mind you, from the first day of filming, I got to put on 30 pounds so trust me, I had my fun on this one.'
Hugh Jackman avoided carbs and used a "bodybuilder trick" to drop the weight fast.
'It felt like 11 years since I've had a carbohydrate,' he joked to Katie Couric during an interview on her talk show 'Katie' in December 2012. 'Well, I've had some since but there was no carbohydrates.'
'It was three hours of training a day. I lost about 20 pounds and then I did this crazy thing ... a bodybuilder trick of not drinking any liquid for ... 36 hours,' he said. 'And what that does -- do not try this, by the way, I do not recommend it -- you lose about 10 pounds of weight really on the extremities. Like all the water just drains out, you get very sunken cheeks, sunken eyes and a massive headache.'
Jackman's character appears to be near death in the opening scene of "Les Miserables," which shows him with other prisoners doing manual labor. (Watch a clip)
(Pictured: Hugh Jackman appears as Jean Valjean in a scene from the 2012 movie 'Les Miserables.')
( Photo / Working Title Films / Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. / Universal Pictures)