Jennifer Aniston calls 'Cake' a ‘dream come true’ role 

click to enlarge In “Cake,” Jennifer Aniston plays a woman in chronic pain. - COURTESY CINELOU
  • COURTESY CINELOU
  • In “Cake,” Jennifer Aniston plays a woman in chronic pain.
Hollywood A-lister Jennifer Aniston took 12 minutes on the phone with the S.F. Examiner to talk about starring in “Cake,” an independent film about a Los Angeles woman facing huge challenges.

What attracted you to doing a movie about suffering, grieving and chronic pain?

Basically, I fell in love with this story that Patrick [Tobin] wrote. It’s like a dream come true for any actor. I felt like I was back in acting class, playing a role with so much depth, so much to attack, using all parts of my heart and soul.

I like movies about real people, and I think you were great – you should have had an Oscar nomination.

You’re so sweet. People do want to see movies like this, to see others going through experiences that are hard, to start conversations and have empathy.

Contemplating suicide, your character Claire stands on a high freeway overpass – did you do that?

We did shut down the freeway, and it was crazy to be there see and the city from that perspective. But it really was visual manipulation with the camera. I was standing on the box one minute, and then came copying and pasting – movie magic.

What was it like having scars on your face?

It was another important piece, making sure the scars were perfect – not Freddy Krueger-ish. There were a few times I did look like I was in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” But the goal was for them to disappear. Makeup went from taking an hour and 40 minutes down to 40 minutes.

Claire’s relationship with her housekeeper Silvana was touching and interesting – can you talk about it a bit?

It’s a beautiful love story between those two. Adriana Barraza is so gorgeous and human, making the audience stay invested in Claire, in trying to understand her, and with care and compassion. She realizes Claire has alienated everyone around her, but she’s also going through her own loss.

The movie doesn’t spell out what has caused Claire’s pain – did you create a back story for her?

Yes, it was important for me to consider: How long ago was the accident? Was it just me and him in the car? And then there’s Bill Macy’s character.... thinking about all of those details helped the work. Yet the film allows the audience to be intelligent, to figure it out.

What’s more difficult – doing comedy or drama?

There’s hard work in both arenas, but my approach often is the same. In talking about good comedy, you have to find it in the situation. And you can’t teach timing.

What are you looking forward to?

No press for a week!

IF YOU GO

Cake

Starring Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington

Written by Patrick Tobin

Directed by Daniel Barnz

Rated R

Running time 1 hour, 42 minutes

About The Author

Leslie Katz

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