3 days after ‘Les Miz’ review, I met Anne Hathaway

The author with actress Anne Hathaway

By Elton Lugay

It felt like an out-of-body experience. Not that I’ve had one, but it was weird in a nice kind of way.

On November 30th, my review of “Les Miserables” was published in this magazine (“Why ‘Les Miserables’ brought tears to my eyes,” Nov. 30). Three days later I was at the Porter House on Columbus Circle, attending a reception dinner for the cast of Les Miz and standing cheek to cheek with Anne Hathaway.

I was totally gushing, or should I say, slobbering. I told her how great she was and how her singing moved me to tears. I showed her a copy of The FilAm on my iPhone.

“Thank you for the review,” she said, smiling. I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I was wide alert. I could hear my friends and fellow journalists Ruben and Janet Nepales and Momar Visaya calling my name asking if we could all join Anne in a group shot.

It was a moment: Coming face to face with the Hollywood stars of a movie I had just reviewed. Thanks to Ruben and Janet of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for making it happen.

So there I was, body crunching with the stars, artists and technical staff of Les Miz in a packed dining room: Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks and yes the notoriously funny Sacha Baron Cohen who played the innkeeper Thenardier.

The Filipino “delegation,” led by Ruben, chatted with cast and crew. They talked about their funny and difficult experiences during filming. I learned that Jackman (as Jean Valjean) didn’t get a double when he carried the hefty Eddie Redmayne (Marius) on his back in the film’s sewer scene.

Jackman would later offer a toast to producers Universal Pictures and Working Title Productions and call director Tom Hooper “a genius.” He announced he was going to sing a song. Then he asked Seyfried to stand on a chair and serenaded her with a “Happy Birthday” song. The crowd roared.

There were other celebrities, like Vogue editor Anna Wintour and actress Sharon Stone, composer Cameron Mackintosh, “Brave” Director Mark Andrews, and “Dark Knight” producer Charles Roven.

It was my first meet-and-greet with Hollywood A-listers. I was in awe. Totally. Hmm, let’s see now. I think I’d like to review the “Twilight Saga.” Taylor…Robert?

With actor Hugh Jackman and media colleagues Ruben and Janet Nepales of HFPA, Momar Visaya of Asian Journal and Miguel Sarmiento of NBC.

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