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Anne Hathaway’s Les Mis Diet Was Historically Accurate, Sort Of?

What dried oatmeal square can do to a girl.
What dried oatmeal square can do to a girl. Photo: Annie Liebovitz/Vogue

Most actors who have to get skinny for a role will resort to modern-day weight-loss measures like juice fasts, cigarettes, and/or pills. Anne Hathaway, on the other hand, lost 25 pounds for her role as Fantine in Les Misérables by eating “two thin squares of dried oatmeal paste a day,” according to her new cover profile in Vogue (which is impossible to read without getting “I Dreamed a Dream” stuck in your head). 

But wait, what does “dried oatmeal paste” even mean? Did she microwave some gruel, dry it on some tinfoil, and cut it into square shapes? Or are such unappetizing foodstuffs available for order online? (A cursory Internet search doesn’t provide any leads; chances are she’s not referring to Quaker’s Oatmeal Squares — a delightful breakfast cereal, if you’ve never had the pleasure of trying it — or these intriguing chewy oatmeal square treats with chocolate chips in them.)

Regardless of what Hathaway’s mysterious diet food really is, at least she chose something relatively more historically accurate than, say, the Master Cleanse. Crusty old oats are sort of similar to the bread crumbs Fantine would’ve eaten, no? So maybe we can chalk up Hathaway’s scary diet, which she herself admitted was “a little nuts,” to “getting in character.” After all, Fantine is supposed to be dying of tuberculosis, so it’s not like she was supposed to look good. And if it’s any comfort, Vogue reports that Hathaway has gained some of the weight back by returning to her normal vegan ways.

Hathaway’s Les Mis Diet: Historically Accurate?