Annie Leibovitz's portrait of Hugh Jackman in character for Vogue magazine.

Annie Leibovitz's portrait of Hugh Jackman in character for Vogue magazine.

Hugh Jackman says the Les Miserables film set was a cauldron of pressure and excitement.

The Australian actor plays ex-convict Jean Valjean in the big screen adaptation of the classic book by Victor Hugo. The musical movie culminates in the 1832 Paris uprising and the characters are battling hunger, ill health, broken hearts and past regrets. Jackman admits the gritty storyline made for a tense atmosphere while shooting, but he found the experience inspiring.

"The stakes were as high as they could possibly be every day," Jackman told Vogue. "And that sort of cauldron of expectation and pressure and excitement was exhilarating.

"[Valjean is] one of the great literary characters of all time; a real study of the human spirit under the worst adversity possible."

Les Miserables boasts a star-studded cast featuring Hollywood heavyweights such as Jackman, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne.

To celebrate the upcoming release of the period drama, Annie Leibovitz has taken a series of artistic photographs which have been unveiled via Vogue magazine.

The shots see the major cast members in their costumes, including one of Jean Valjean dramatically rescuing a young Cosette, played by Isabelle Allen.

A close-up shot of Hathaway as Fantine is also featured, and the star is fiercely proud of her involvement in the musical.

"Fantine is a warrior for love. She's willing to sacrifice everything - her sense of right and wrong, her looks, her very life - for her child," she said.

Other images include a romantic clinch between Seyfried and Redmayne who play young lovers Cosette and Marius in the movie. Seyfried believes Les Miserables will offer something for every kind of cinemagoer.

"The whole thing is really one big love story. There's something about Les Mis that makes everyone see the world differently," she said.

Les Miserables releases in Australia on Boxing Day.

CM