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Anne Hathaway is uncomfortable, nervously shuffling in her seat and glancing down at the carpet in her Ritz-Carlton hotel suite in Manhattan.

"You are going to make me very, very nervous in this interview if you keep on this line of questioning," the 30-year-old actress warns AAP.

You'd think the questions that have Hathaway squirming are about her recent marriage, that past relationship with the guy who went to jail, her accidental flash at the Les Miserables premiere or something else considered private.

Not so.

The questions are about her Oscar chances.

There is an often talked-about playbook actors should follow if they want to win an Oscar.

Hathaway's performance in Les Miserables as the devoted mother Fantine, who is forced into prostitution, sells her teeth and hair, suffers tuberculosis and, before a miserable death, sings a spectacular rendition of I Dreamed a Dream, ticks so many boxes in the playbook, it is no wonder bookmakers have her at the ridiculously thin 1/50 odds to win supporting actress.

Sally Field, for Lincoln, is Hathaway's closest rival at the fat and distant odds of 25/1.

"Stop," Hathaway demands when it is pointed out she has ticked all the boxes in the Oscar playbook.

Whether she wants to talk about it or not, let's look at the facts.

Oscar voters love actresses to get ugly.

If they play an ugly prostitute, even better.

They gave Charlize Theron the gold statuette in 2004 when she stacked on weight, wore dirty false teeth and played a prostitute in Monster.

They gave Nicole Kidman the Oscar in 2003 for The Hours when she went the ugly route with a prosthetic nose.

The already-waif Natalie Portman shed kilos and danced away with the Oscar in 2011 for Black Swan and the same year, a sunken-cheeked Christian Bale, playing a crack addict ex-boxer, punched his way to a golden statuette.

In 2009 Marion Cotillard got ugly, including losing weight, to play French songbird Edith Piaf in her Oscar-winning performance in La Vie en Rose.

Adrien Brody starved himself all the way to the Oscar stage in 2003 for The Pianist and the great one, Meryl Streep, did the same for her 1983 win for Sophie's Choice.

In 2007, Jennifer Hudson didn't shed weight (that came after she recently signed a sweet deal with a weight loss company and dropped 36kg), but her 2007 supporting actress win for Dreamgirls is largely credited to her show-stopping song, And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going.

Hathaway's teary and heart-rendering I Dreamed a Dream, for which director Tom Hooper used one full take without edits, has received the same amount of applause as Hudson's Oscar-winning anthem.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The Academy has probably already etched Hathaway's name on the best supporting actress gold man.

To transform into the role of Fantine, Hathaway lost 11 kilograms off her already slim frame by eating just two thin pieces of dried oatmeal paste a day.

She also agreed to chop off her gorgeous, long brunette locks.

Hathaway was OK with that.

"It's the sort of work that I think the more you put into it, the more you get out of it as an audience member and as a performer so I didn't want to go home with any regrets," Hathaway explains, a little happier to talk about her physical transformation rather than her Oscar chances.

"I just wanted to leave it on the set every day."

What does get Hathaway smiling are questions about her two Aussie co-stars in Les Miserables, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe.

"He's better," she responds when asked if Jackman is as good a man as he appears.

"I can say that with absolute confidence. He's one of the greatest people I know and he is playing one of the best men in literature.

"There's not much difference between Hugh and Jean Valjean. Only Hugh is more fun and a better singer."

As for Crowe, who has had some testy relationships with colleagues over the years, Hathaway is a fan.

"Russell is awesome," Hathaway beams.

"Russell is one of my favourite people."

As actors first, singers second, Hathaway bonded with Crowe, who plays relentless police inspector Javert.

Going into Les Miserables, Hathaway admits to not knowing what to expect from Crowe.

"He's got such a deep, feeling and poetic heart," Hathaway says.

"I have never seen an actor work harder than Russell worked at his singing.

"Whenever he wasn't on set he was with his voice teacher just trying to make it better.

"The journey he went on from where he started to where he wound up was honestly astonishing. One of the most impressive things I have ever seen an actor do."

The West Australian

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