Jennifer Aniston's 'Cake' Role Creates Oscar Buzz


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Jennifer Aniston's love life may be dominating the headlines, but her acting takes the forefront in her latests film Cake.

Cake recently premiered to a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival. In the film Aniston plays Claire Simmons, a woman who suffers from chronic pain and pill addiction. Claire's bitterness makes her basically give up on life. Her life begins to change when she starts having hallucinations of a woman in her support group who committed suicide, Nina, played by Anna Kendrick. Claire also starts to form a bond with Nina's husband, Roy (Sam Worthington).

Aniston prepared for the role by wearing a brace, which prevented her from slouching. This helped her create the stiff movement needed for the character. She revealed that, "It turns out if you walk like that for five weeks, you do actually become in pain." Aniston also prepared for the role by spending a month interacting and communicating with people who suffered from chronic pain, and experts on the subject.

During the Q&A portion of the Cake premiere, Aniston talked about one particular friendship she developed from the role. "I have a beautiful friend who's actually my stand-in and stunt double. She basically had her leg shredded by a boat propeller and went through extreme chronic pain and had an addiction to these drugs, so I was able to talk to her."

In Cake Aniston undergoes a complete physical transformation. She went without makeup for the part and had white foundation packed on to her face to create the character's facial scars. How Claire acquired those scars is something the movie reveals to the audience later. Aniston also didn't wash her hair and wore baggy clothing to embody Claire.

When asked at the TIFF press conference, "What was it like for Jennifer Aniston to act without makeup, and to see herself look like hell onscreen? " Aniston responded, "I actually found it quite awesome and liberating, to tell you the truth, it was sort of a big deal, personally, for me to expose that, because I think we're all very, you know, concerned with how we look on a 50-foot screen."

Aniston told the press at TIFF that she didn't have to think about starring in this role; it was a "no-brainer" and an emotional experience. Since its TIFF premiere, Cake received mixed reviews, but most critics agree that this is one of Aniston's best performances yet.

If Cake is picked up for distribution, which Deadline seems optimistic about its chances, she could be a major contender come Oscar 2015 season.