The Academy loves to award Oscars to actors and actresses who physically transform. Think Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, Charlize Theron in Monster, and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club. Perhaps we can add Jennifer Aniston’s name to that esteemed list in 2015?
The former Friend is drawing rave reviews for her performance in the film Cake. In the drama, Aniston plays a pill-popping druggie with a chronic pain problem. Her face in the movie is stripped down, makeup free, and covered in white scars. Considering that she is one of the most beautiful, photogenic actresses in the world, the juxtaposition is difficult to imagine.
Aniston’s character, Claire Simmons, is an addict who is in constant pain after injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Claire is depressed, angry, and bitter. She is also so tweaked on pain medication that she suffers from hallucinations of a support group member named Nina (Anna Kendrick) who committed suicide.
— People magazine (@peoplemag) September 9, 2014
In order to get ready for the dramatic turn, Aniston looked to two friends who knew what it was like to live with chronic pain. She also wore a brace that kept her body stiff. “For me, it was really important to stay true to what the medicine I was taking physically would be doing to my body and at what point,” Aniston said. “It turns out if you walk like that for five weeks, you do actually become in pain.”
After the screening, Aniston discussed what drew her to the part in a Q&A segment, “It was a no-brainer. Just reading Patrick’s script I actually saw myself doing it. I just felt like it was already happening and it was pretty easy to say ‘yes.’ It was such a beautiful, complex, layered, tortured character. I just tapped into something I was meant to do.”