(LOS ANGELES) -- Anne Hathaway had to endure a dramatic transformation -- chopping off her long brown locks and losing 20 pounds -- for her role as Fantine in Les Miserables, due in theaters next month.
In a revealing interview in the December issue of Vogue, the 29-year-old actress admits that she was extremely disciplined about weight loss -- at one point only eating two squares of oatmeal paste per day.
"I had to be obsessive about it. The idea was to look near death," Hathaway said in Vogue. "Looking back on the whole experience -- and I don't judge it in any way -- it was definitely a little nuts. It was definitely a break with reality, but I think that’s who Fantine is anyway."
"I was in such a state of deprivation -- physical and emotional. When I got home, I couldn't react to the chaos of the world without being overwhelmed," Hathaway admitted. "It took me weeks 'til I felt like myself again."
The actress, who is already getting Oscar buzz for her role, said the other part of her transformation -- the hair loss -- was a breeze in comparison.
"I love the short-haired lifestyle," she said. "It's awesome that I was able to go for a hike right before I came here to meet you, quickly wash my hair, and now it's dry."
Les Miserables hits theaters on Christmas Day.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio