Les Miserables: Director Tom Hooper 'proud' of Globe nominations

Hugh Jackman in Les Mis Australian star Hugh Jackman is nominated for best actor for his performance as Jean Valjean

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The movie version of Les Miserables is nominated for four prizes at this year's Golden Globes.

Lead stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are up for acting awards, while the composers of the stage show, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, are shortlisted for Suddenly, a new song written specifically for the film adaptation.

The film itself is shortlisted for best motion picture in the comedy and musical category.

Believed to have a budget of $61m (£38m), the movie was largely shot in the UK at Pinewood studios.

British director Tom Hooper, whose last film was Oscar-winner The King's Speech, was behind the camera, and forced his cast sing every song live on set.

On the phone from Los Angeles, he said the nominations were a testament to the UK film industry.

Tom Hooper Tom Hooper won best director at the 2011 Academy Awards for The King's Speech

Congratulations on today's nominations. How did it feel when you heard the news?

I'm just pleased for the whole team who made Les Miserables. Making a musical is an intensively collaborative type of film-making, because it requires such an army of people. An army who aren't there on a conventional movie. The singing teachers who helped the cast, though to the on set pianists who played in the live duets with the singers.

The cast was vast - a mass of people from the West End as well as the film actors. There were easily over a thousand people who were intimately involved in making this.

So the nomination is a testament to the team - who were largely London-based. It's a great moment for the industry there.

Is it strange for the film to be recognised in this way before it reaches cinemas?

It's not that unusual. When The King's Speech started receiving nominations, it was only playing in about four cinemas.

In the case of the Golden Globes, it's only about 60 or 70 people who vote, so as long as they've seen the film, they're in the position to make that decision.

It can't hurt to have all this good advance publicity.

Hopefully it'll widen the audience as we come to release day. There are some people who worry whether movie musicals will be for them. But I've tried to find a way of putting the story first, and I think these acting nominations will be an indicator to the audience.

Musicals and comedies are often overlooked at film awards. Is it a relief that the Globes reserve a category specifically for those genres?

It's good that you picked that up. It's great that they shine a spotlight on the genre. Musicals aren't made very often because they're very risky and they're difficult to do. You're creating an alternative reality where people communicate through song, and it has to be convincing.

Hugh Jackman calls them the Mount Everest of film-making. I know what he means - as you climb up the mountain, you can always see the drop.

Scene from Les Mis The film was shot in France and the UK

Hugh has now been nominated for three major best actor prizes - at the Critics Choice, Screen Actors' Guild and the Golden Globe awards. How does that feel?

I'm so proud. Hugh Jackman carries this film, from the start to the end, on his shoulders - at times like Jean Valjean, the hero he plays.

What I think is exciting people when they see it, is that when Hugh acts through singing, he's got some kind of access to an emotional part of himself that they have never seen on screen before. Maybe it's a physical thing. You have to engage your whole body to sing.

And Anne Hathaway is rightly getting a lot of attention. She blew me and the entire crew away the day she sang I Dreamed A Dream. There's not a trace of self-indulgence in that performance. She's gone to a particularly bleak place in her head. It was not a happy day for her, despite the fact she did such great work.

A lot of people have said they cried watching that scene.

We could it put on the poster: "You will cry ugly tears".

I've seen it fell really tough people. There's an executive at Universal, and he's an ex-marine, and he was weeping when he saw the film. I love that it has that effect.

Was that your goal?

Yeah, that was the intention. Make grown men cry.

Were you annoyed not to be nominated for best director?

I don't quite know how to interpret that. I noticed that all the nominated directors relate to the nominated films in the drama category, five for five. None of the directors of the comedy and musical films are nominated. David O Russell, who directed Silver Linings Playbook, is a wonderful director and he's not nominated. So I feel like I'm in good company.

In the end, if I'd been judging it, I'm sure I'd have come up with a different shortlist.

Les Miserables is released on 25 December in the US, and 11 January in the UK.

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