Jennifer Aniston talked about breaking out of her typecasting “box” for the indie drama “Cake” in yesterday’s pre-Oscars roundtable that aired on Epix. The first of five roundtables, named “Hollywood Sessions,” occurs annually and features award favorites for the Best Actress category at the Oscars.
Aniston spoke about falling in love with the script right after her first read-through and subsequently deciding to step outside her comfort zone in order to play the lead character. She stated that she “connected with [the lead] on such a level of compassion, empathy, for anyone who has to go through such pain.”
“Cake,” which also stars Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington and Felicity Huffman, follows a pill-popping woman who is in constant physical and emotional pain after a traumatic car accident. Directed by Daniel Barnz, it premiered in September’s Toronto International Film Festival and received a standing ovation. The producers then decided to distribute it themselves to qualify for the 2015 awards season.
In addition to doing significant acting preparation to get into the character’s shoes, Aniston also underwent a physical transformation. While filming “Cake,” Aniston wore a back brace to convey the character’s pain and help her achieve the altered movements one would experience when in constant pain. In addition, she was brave enough to appear with no make up for most of the film, something few Hollywood stars in their 40s have done.
The other acclaimed members of the pre-Oscars roundtable this year included Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Shailene Woodley. Along with Aniston, they held an hour-long talk on acting, the films they starred in the past year and the state of the film industry today.