Norwich man’s extra role in Les Miserables film starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe

A Norwich actor has spoken of his experience filming on set with top Hollywood stars for a film version of one of the most loved musicals.

James Webber from Sprowston was one of hundreds to be selected as an extra for the hotly-anticipated big screen adaptation of Les Miserables.

Tom Hooper's feature film of the stage favourite will see Australian actors Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe take the lead roles.

It has been adapted from the much-loved Victor Hugo novel about poverty, love, heartache and revolution in 19th France.

Mr Webber, who has previously had 'bit parts' in films such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Gallery and has performed as drag act Roxi Monoxide, was part of a scene filmed at Greenwich.

He said it was 'brilliant'.

'It was enormous, there were 200 extras singing 'Do you hear the people sing?' all at one time and then the cameraman, film crew, everyone, it was incredible,' said Mr Webber, 45, who works as an area manager for a wholesale company and is currently rehearsing for Little Shop of Horrors at Norwich Playhouse.

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'You really got to see how organic the direction process was and the set was just brilliant. The amount of time, effort, money and detail that goes into a production of that nature is just astounding to see, no corners are cut and the whole team was fantastic.'

Mr Webber got the call to be in the film in February and filming took place over four days in mid March.

The scene he was filming is set to be the opening section of the movie.

He said: 'I'm so excited because it comes out in January. It's the biggest thing I've ever been part of.'

Other confirmed cast members in the film include Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway.

Les Mis celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010 with a concert at the O2 and a new production that returned to the Barbican Centre. The musical has been seen by more than 60 million people across 42 countries worldwide.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email

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