Hathaway said she was on pins and needles after auditioning for director Tom Hooper for the role of Fantine in the ensemble cast of the latest big screen version of "Les Miserables."
She sang for him, and then had to wait months before hearing she won the role.
"I was very lucky that I was working on 'The Dark Knight Rises' at the time, because I was so completely on every level in awe of the job that I had and satisfied by what I was doing and living in a place of gratitude, so I just tried to put it out of my mind," she said.
Hathaway was more than familiar with the role. Her mother, actress Kate McCauley Hathaway, had played it years before.
"I think those emotions resonate with me on a human level as deeply as they do because I saw my mom go through it. I felt the power of her performance. And it stayed with me," she said. "So I think that did color my perception on what the piece is about."
Hathaway literally transformed herself to play Fantine. Along with losing 25 pounds, she also chopped off all her hair.
"The hair scared me more, because I just think being a woman, you're used to dieting, this was obviously an extreme version of that, but cutting your hair off, it's so definite," she said. "And I just thought, if I could give the audience some reality, I just thought it would hurt that much more and that was what my part is supposed to do."
"Les Miserables" opens nationwide on Christmas Day. Meantime, Hathaway's other big movie this year, "The Dark Knight Rises," will available on DVD Tuesday.