In an effort to accurately reflect the last days of her character, Fantine, in the film adapatation of "Les Miserables," Anne Hathaway is taking her diet to the extreme. 


The 29-year-old vegan is said to be restricting herself to no more than 500 calories per day — which amounts to roughly two apples and a protein shake.


A source told the U.K. Mirror: "Anne is playing a destitute factory worker-come-lady of the night."


"Unfortunately, she only has 15 to 20 days to lose as much weight as possible — up to a stone-and-a-half (21 pounds) — because she's been filming the scenes showing her fit and healthy, almost slightly chubby. It's not ideal but, as with any high-budget movie, there are strict time constraints."


Producers insist that they're keeping a tight watch on Hathaway's health, since extreme weight loss of this kind can have an adverse effect on the body. 


“Anne knows the risk of such an extreme diet and will undergo weekly medicals to make sure everything is still functioning as it should do," the source added. 


"Les Miserables" — which also stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried — will be released Dec. 12, 2012. 


[Update] Reps for the actress have dismissed the crash diet claims: “She is losing weight for the part, but not that much. Just enough for her to look more frail, as she is playing a dying prostitute,” the Daily Express quoted the star’s publicist as saying.


Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Anne Hathaway on crash diet for 'Les Miserables'
Actress said to be limiting herself to only 500 calories a day to prepare for a death scene.