(Daisy Bowie-Sell’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 1/11.)
Tom Hooper seems relaxed when I meet him. As he lounges on a huge squashy sofa, he has a genial smile on his face. He’s very softly spoken, which is surprising, perhaps, for a director who spends a lot of his time being assertive on a film set. But there may be a reason for all this: his adaptation of Les Misérables has proved a success.
The film opened in the US on Christmas day, shot to number one in the box office and has just been nominated for a string of awards including best picture Oscar and Bafta. “I'm feeling very relieved,” he says, “It is difficult having a film released on Christmas day, because it’s a time you normally associate with not working. But you’re glued to your phone.”
You can understand why he may have been a little jittery. Adapting one of the most popular, longest-running stage musicals of all time for screen was always going to be a gamble. But Hooper took even more of a risk by having the actors sing live on set and having barely any spoken dialogue.