02/13/2013 03:31 pm ET Updated Feb 13, 2013

Hugh Jackman's Diet: 'Les Miserables' Star On Forgoing Water & Loving Rupert Murdoch

Much has been made of Anne Hathaway's extreme pre-"Les Miserables" dieting, but it seems she was hardly the only star to adopt a brutal regimen in preparation for the film. Hugh Jackman told The Hollywood Reporter that he gave up eating -- and even drinking water -- in the run up to his first scene.

In the scene, a shockingly gaunt Jackman appears laboring in freezing water. The normally buff actor said he pushed himself to the edge of a breakdown: "I didn't have anything to drink until late in the day when we did the opening scene with Russell Crowe," he said. "You lose up to 10 pounds of water weight, mainly from the exterior of the body. But it was really brutal. About 20 hours in, a headache came. Then I wanted to drink water out of the ocean! I see the scene now, and I look really thin, really sunken."

Director Tom Hooper expressed his concern for Jackman. "I was worried," he said. "I thought, 'This is probably the kind of thing I should discourage.' I said, 'Have a sip of water.' But he was very determined. He'd obviously consulted doctors, but I do remember he eventually got very cold, really cold."

Jackman picked up a Golden Globe for his efforts, winning the award for Best Actor, Musical or Comedy.

Hathaway summed up her pre-"Les Mis" diet simply: "I just had to stop eating."

In earlier interviews, the "X-Men" star described the workouts he put himself through. "Weirdly, this was almost more physical in a way than an 'X-Men' movie," he said. "I was spending even longer in the gym -- like three hours in the gym -- because I needed to be as emaciated as possible, but still keep some muscle on for Jean Valjean. He's actually written as an ox of a man."

The THR piece goes in-depth into a number of other previously discussed topics, including Jackman's relationship with his family. In a December appearance on "Katie," Jackman discussed the pain of his wife's miscarriage.

Jackman also defends fellow Aussie Rupert Murdoch, who he met in the pool at New York hotpost SoHo House. "He loves having friends and family around," Jackman said. "A lot of people in his life are there for a long time. He looks after them and appreciates them. He's very caring and thoughtful and incredibly respectful of everybody around him."

For much more (including Jackman's reaction to rumors about his sexuality), head over to The Hollywood Reporter.

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