Jennifer Aniston built her career around portraying energetic, attractive women. Known for carefully following a low-carb diet and a rigorous exercise routine, Aniston took a leap of faith when challenged to take on a new role for the film Cake. Could the woman known as the warm and witty Friend to all transform her body and personality to accurately portray a character mentally and physically in agony from pain and a subsequent addiction to medication?
After viewing Aniston’s performance in Cake, a woman in the audience answered that question during the American Cinematheque screening and Q & A session, reported Deadline Hollywood.
“I’ve been dealing with chronic pain for over several years and you nailed every mannerism, every emotion as well as the experience of living with it: People often think we’re faking it, and we’re not.”
For Jennifer, however, immersing herself in the character of Claire Simmons required a complete reversal of her real personality. Claire is a woman who has suffered tragedy, crippled with chronic pain. Seeking any solution for relief, as shown in the Cake movie trailer below, Claire becomes addicted to prescription painkillers.
Aniston tossed out her makeup for the role, applied scars, and delved deep into what she termed the dark side of her own personality that the public never even knew existed. She credited getting older to acquiring the ability to understand and tap into emotional and physical pain.
“I don’t think I could have done this five or 10 years ago. I don’t know if I could have brought to the part then what I brought now: A level of fearlessness.”
However, Jennifer also blamed stereotyping for the lack of roles that she was offered.
“Stereotyping…occurs (when it comes to roles) in this town, and I had to flex more for the role,” Aniston added.
As part of that, Jennifer wore a back brace for the role and recalled the personalities of people she knew who were in pain and addicted, including a stuntwoman harmed in an accident who was addicted to painkillers and a friend who suffered a loss and become an alcoholic.
Aniston also deliberately gained weight by going off her low-carb diet and staying away from workouts such as her beloved yoga. She stayed in character, feeling emotionally and physically in pain, during the weeks of filming Cake, she told People magazine.
“I mean, I kind of was in that place for the five weeks we were shooting,” Jennifer reflected.
Aniston revealed that she felt the pain herself, as she discusses below.
Crediting Cake director Daniel Barnz for guiding her through the filming, Aniston emphasized that she was grateful for the opportunity. She revealed how she moved from just reading the lines to experiencing physical and emotional agony in order to portray the character accurately.
“First it was just understanding the logistics: what the accident was, where did the pain exist, what was the injury… getting into her voice, into her body,” explained Jennifer.
How many people actually are addicted to prescription painkillers? It’s a question that Dr. Mehmet Oz plans to answer on his December 18 talk show, with Jennifer Aniston as the featured guest talking about her role in Cake.
Oz describes Aniston’s character as her breakout role. But beyond promoting her movie, he takes a serious look at painkiller addiction in the nation.
Jennifer’s appearance is one among a series of celebrities who have appeared on the Dr. Oz Show this season. Among them was Barbra Streisand, who discussed her own addiction to food, as the Inquisitr revealed.
“I love coffee ice cream, and we go to friends’ houses and I can’t resist even the bread. I am a food addict. Tell you the truth. I am literally a food addict. I cannot stay away from foods that I love, which are bad for me.”
[Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images]