| Pete Hammond |
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Jennifer Aniston (pic above) won an Emmy in 2002 as Outstanding Lead Actress in “Friends” and went on to morph into a big commercial movie star, but critical acclaim as a dramatic actress has not come her way – until now.
Sure, she did well-received indies such as “The Good Girl” in between her comedic hits. But her latest, “Cake”, really takes the, uh, cake as a true breakthrough.
Sans makeup and with scars on her face, Aniston plays a woman suffering from chronic pain after a tragic accident, and nails it.
When she won a standing ovation after the movie’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Aniston broke down in tears. She truly had arrived at a new place in her career, and her life.
Q: Did the warm response in Toronto really blow you away?
A: It certainly did – just showing the movie at all. It was the first time we’ve shown it to more than eight people at a time. The real terrifying moment happened right before they let the film roll.
To get that reaction was quite stunning and moving.
Q: The script was in a screen-writing contest that director Daniel Barnz was judging. What about it resonated with you?
A: I just really connected to Claire and the beautifully layered character that she was and this excruciating, unimaginable trauma she is forced to walk through, to see her take the journey and discover that she in fact wants to continue living…
Also, the reason I think I fell so in love with her was her insanely acerbic wit, this kind of sharp, razor-tongue kind of quality about her that I found endearing.
Q: You’ve made several indies and, of course, several big studio films. What do you like doing best?
A: Different things access different parts of my brain and excite me in different ways.
This was certainly more digging deep into my toolbox.