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How Did Rent Help Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks Bond on the Set of Les Misérables?

How Did Rent Help Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks Bond on the Set of Les Misérables?
Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks
Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks sang 'Rent' together at a cast party.

The cast of Les Misérables will belt some of musical theater’s most iconic tunes in the upcoming film adaptation, but the songs of another Tony-winning musical helped some of the stars solidify their friendships during filming. Russell Crowe frequently invited the cast to his home for Friday night sing-a-long sessions, where Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks decided to tackle the rousing Rent duet “Take Me Or Leave Me.”

“It made us so comfortable with each other,” Barks said of the sing-a-long parties during a recent press conference for the film. “We were just communicating and sharing the bond of the music.”

So who took on which end of Rent’s dramatic lesbian relationship? Hathaway sang Joanne’s part, while Barks served as Maureen. Kiss, Pookie!

“That was such a key process,” Hathaway chimed in of Crowe’s gatherings. “Up until that point we’d been in rehearsals, and we were very serious and spent all day crying. It made me so much more invested in the totality of the film. I could have easily just gone home and forgotten about it, but I cared so much when I left. I wanted to know, ‘How did “On My Own” go? It really cemented our bond, and we started calling it Camp Les Miz.”

Unfortunately there’s no footage of Hathaway and Barks going head-to-head, but it never gets old to watch original Rent stars Idina Menzel and Fredi Walker argue through song. Check them out below, and be sure to catch Hathaway and Barks in Les Misérables when the film hits theaters December 25.

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