Jennifer Aniston Shares the Secrets of Her Less-Than-Glamorous Transformation for 'Cake'

Pam WrightLife

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Jennifer Aniston needed to add a few pounds to her admirable frame for the role of Claire Simmons in her new film, the Daniel Barnz-directed drama Cake, so she set out to accomplish her goal in a healthy way.

According to Us Weekly, the 45-year-old Friends alum says she didn't just pig out like so many male actors do when they need to pack on the pounds for a role. She shared her carefully laid out plan during an American Cinematheque screening of the film in Los Angeles on Nov. 19. Speaking with host Jason Bateman, the actress revealed some of her secrets to gaining weight in a healthy way.

"I knew that was coming," she said to a fan who asked her how she transformed her body to portray Claire, a woman who suffers chronic pain following an accident. "I basically just didn't work out for two-and-a-half months. I stopped working out and I stopped being as careful about my diet as I normally am. I was still healthy, but I'd allow more."

Aniston also had to do what most actresses fear — going without makeup on camera, except for some shadowing to make her look like she had dark circles under her eyes.

"That's a byproduct of the character," Aniston told her Horrible Bosses costar of the less-than-glamorous look. "I've said it before: It's very refreshing.

"There's a level of fearlessness. I think that you have to be able to sort of go, 'F--k it, I'm ready to just disappear.'"

Aniston said the transformation for the role, which is already creating Oscar buzz, was also dependent upon understanding how the pain affected the character.

"First it was just understanding the logistics of what the accident was -- where did the pain exist, what was the injury," Aniston said.

She then had to master "the cadence of [the character's] voice, lowering the voice into her body," she said. "Because I can tend to be up here."

The final touch to the transformation was the addition of fake scars, which could be a tricky proposition, explained the actress and spokeswoman for Aveena.

"There was a big concern with the scars...We did a lot of experimenting and we had an extraordinary makeup artist make these scars for us," said Aniston. "We did some trials, some scar test days. Oh, if you could have seen some of the pictures, it looked like Chainsaw Massacre kind of stuff, you know? Like Freddy Kruger.

"And by the end, I didn't even notice they were there," she said. "And I also thought they were...I don't know, I thought they were kind of beautiful."

Pam Wright