Helen Hunt has been earning a lot of early attention for her role in The Sessions, including Oscar-buzz. In recent interviews leading up to the film’s release, the actress has talked about going full-nude at her age, what appealed to her about the script, and her thoughts on sex-surrogacy as a profession.
“I had never heard of such a thing,” Hunt told OnTheRedCarpet of sex surrogacy, at the film’s premiere. “Then I read the script for this beautiful movie and I didn’t realize what a great part it was at first, I just knew that the story was great.”
“Then I met the woman that I play, who is still working as a sex surrogate and she has devoted her life to helping men and women realize their sexual potential in a positive, non-judgmental, non-shamey kind of way,” the 49-year-old actress continued. “I just couldn’t believe it existed in real life, or that I would get to embody it for a few months.”
Though the film demands that Hunt bare-all for the role, Hunt said that the script was too good to pass up:
“You pick through the not-good ones and you choose the good ones when they come, which is rare for any actor, I think,” Hunt said of picking scripts. “This one was just beautiful, that’s all I knew. And any challenges that the role presented, I just put aside and said yes.”
NY Daily reports that to prepare for the role, Hunt met with the real-life person she was portraying, sex surrogate Cheryl Greene. The real-life Greene, now a 67-year-old grandmother, is one of almost 50 registered sex surrogates in the United States. “I got a sense of the potential of this film, because of how loud and wide open she was,” Hunt says of her meet with Greene. “I thought the experience of watching the movie would be like walking through the door of her house.”
“She also said something to me about the difference between a prostitute and a surrogate — that the prostitute wants your return business, and she doesn’t,” Hunt continued. “She wants you to learn what you need to learn, so you can go off and have a relationship. That’s a substantial difference.”
Helen Hunt won a Best Actress Oscar for 1997’s As Good As It Gets, and a war-chest of Emmy Awards for Mad About You, which ran on NBC from 1992 to 1999. The Sessions is already bringing the actress some Oscar-buzz for her bold role.
The Sessions, starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes, opened in theaters yesterday, on October 19.