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Llandeilo actor on bet with Russell Crowe and filming Les Miserables with Hugh Jackman

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

Actor Iwan lewis (left) with Hollywood star Hugh Jackman on the set of the new film version of the musical Les Miserables

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A LLANDEILO actor who bet a Hollywood star that Wales would win a rugby Test Series against Australia, lost the bet — but didn't have to pay out.

Iwan Lewis, a trained actor and singer, has told the Post about the seven weeks he spent with "legends" Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, while filming the much-anticipated Les Miserables, which comes to the big screen tomorrow.

Iwan, who recently finished an 18-month UK tour of Legally Blonde, playing Emmett Fforest, said: "We filmed for seven weeks, last April, filming in Greenwich for a fortnight, and Pinewood Studios for the other five.

"I initially auditioned when I was in Manchester with Legally Blonde in October 2001, and found out I'd got a part as one of the students on December 21 — so it was like a Christmas present.

"One of my friends from college also got in, and found out the same day, his birthday."

In his role Iwan got to rub shoulders with some of the film's top Hollywood stars and West End talents, some his friends, who took to the big screen.

"I worked closely with Eddie Redmayne, who plays Marius and Aaron Tveit, who plays Enjolras.

"We also got to work with Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman — they were both top guys.

"Hugh Jackman was an absolute legend, he's the nicest person, and we didn't realise how much we'd get to work with them.

"Hugh played down how good he was, and kept telling all us West End cast how we could just sing, and how hard we worked."

Iwan, who graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in 2010, also placed a bet with Russell Crowe.

"At the time, it wasn't long until Wales were heading out to Australia for their three-Test series," he said.

"Because Wales had won the Grand Slam, I was convinced we were going to win. I'd bet him £1,000 — which is a lot of money for me — and he said 'I'll take that bet'. I was a little bit worried that he'd ask for the money, but instead, I got a package through the post with an Australia rugby shirt from him."

He said the Gladiator star also threw a party for cast and crew.

Iwan said he hoped the stars in the film would entice non-musical fans to see the picture.

"It's really opening it up to everyone," he said.

Crowe recently took to Twitter and re-tweeted Post TV writer Kathy Griffiths, who replied to his Tweet asking where and when the film would be released, by tweeting "slightly less exotic but just as eagerly awaited, in Swansea this Friday!"

She said she was "excited" at having had the re-tweet.

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