Jennifer Aniston has been known largely for her work in the comedy and romantic-comedy genres, but after taking a darker turn in the movie Cake, the actress finds herself in the Oscar hunt for the first time in her career.
In the movie, Aniston plays Claire, a woman in constant physical and emotional pain after an accident that left her scarred and addicted to pain pills. Claire suffers the loss of her friend Nina, a member of her support group who commits suicide, which prompts Claire on a mission to find Nina’s husband to make sense of the tragedy.
Jennifer Aniston also went to great lengths for the role, telling fans in a Q&A session that she underwent an entire transformation to become Claire.
“I knew that was coming,” Aniston said. “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.”
Jennifer also went through hours of makeup to adopt the deep scars that mark Claire.
“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,” she said. “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.”
The movie debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September, and critics took note of Aniston’s performance. Many now believe she could be in contention for an Academy Award nomination for the role.
While it remains to be seen whether she will be nominated for an Academy Award, Jennifer Aniston already has a fairly significant snub in the award season. Despite the strong reviews for her performance in Cake, Aniston was passed over for a nomination in the 2015 Spirit Awards, which honor independent movies.
Instead the best lead actress nominations went to Marion Cotillard for The Immigrant, Rinko Kikuchi for Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, Julianne Moore for Still Alice, Jenny Slate for Obvious Child and Tilda Swinton for Only Lovers Left Alive.
Jennifer Aniston still has a bit longer to find out if she will earn her first ever Oscar nomination for her role in Cake. The Academy Award nominees will be announced on January 8.