“Deadline” — During the Q&A following Thursday’s American Cinematheque screening of the new Jennifer Aniston drama Cake, a woman in the audience exclaimed to the former Friends star, “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.” The woman was the second in the crowd who battled chronic pain, to applaud Aniston’s turn as Claire Simmons, a woman who has weathered a grave tragedy, and battles the chronic pain which cripples her body. The crowd at the Egyptian Theater was gobsmacked, and gave the actress several rounds of applause.
One has to see Aniston in Cake to believe it. From the first frame, you forget it’s her up on the screen. She completely loses herself in the role, sans make-up, except for scars throughout her body. It’s not a stretch, rather an effortless performance, so Academy voters, prick up your ears. Deadline’s Pete Hammond couldn’t be more correct: Jennifer Aniston is a bona fide Oscar contender in the best actress slot.
At the top of the Q&A, moderator Jason Bateman (who shares four onscreen credits with the actress in The Break-Up, The Switch and Horrible Bosses 1 & 2) told Aniston, “I’ve never seen you do anything like that before, I never doubted you could do something like that before, but I’ve never seen it. You’ve never been asked to do that.”
Aniston answered, “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.”
Many are comparing Aniston’s 180 to Charlize Theron’s about face in Monster, in which she completely de-glamorized herself into trashy serial killer Aileen Wuornos. As wonderful as Theron was, Aniston’s Claire is a far more accessible character to audiences: Despite her curmudgeon nature, she has a heart of gold. In Cake, there’s more than just the tragic pain that Claire battles. Guilt-stricken from the suicide of a young woman in her therapy group, Nina (Anna Kendrick), she aims to reconcile with her ghost as well as her widowed husband (Sam Worthington). Throughout it all, the only person who thoroughly understands Claire is her Mexican caretaker Silvana (Oscar nominee Adriana Barraza). Director Daniel Barnz,working from newcomer Patrick Tobin’s screenplay, strikes just the right tone. Cake is never heavy-handed in its melodrama, nor in the gravitas of Claire’s struggle. A sense of hope bubbles below the surface, or as Aniston told Deadline after the screening, “the film allows you to breathe.”
During a 1990 panel at the New Orleans Film Festival, casting director Marion Dougherty (who discovered Robert Redford, Jon Voight among other greats) once said that if she had to choose between two actresses for the same role, she’d go with the one who is nicer off-camera; because audiences would connect with her better. When choosing best actress, awards voters could also use the same criteria: Aniston’s affability and lack of pretension will carry her a long way during Oscar season. She’s an open book when it comes to her acting method, and such revelations will no doubt resonate with her peers.
Aniston’s sincerity shined through Thursday when she boldly answered a query on how she deals with the tabloids, while balancing a serious career. “Negative comments are hurtful, and there are a lot of bullies in the world with free time. You do your best to tune out the noise, take the good with the bad, and keep grounded with amazing friends who tell you to snap out of it and focus on your job. It’s a challenge to say ‘I’m not tabloid fodder’ and I welcome and embrace the challenge of that,” said the actress.
When it came to landing the part of Claire Simmons, Aniston felt ready to play outside her comfort zone. “The role checked all the boxes for me to play darker, I wanted to disappear,” she told Deadline following the Q&A, “The script had to be bulletproof.” The reason why there’s been a lag between Aniston’s dramatic roles, her first as a discount store clerk in Miguel Arteta’s The Good Girl (2002) (she was nominated for a female lead Indie Spirit) and her performance as a cash-strapped maid with wealthy GFs in Friends With Money was because of “stereotyping that occurs (when it comes to roles) in this town, and I had to flex more for the role” Aniston told Deadline. She gives credits to directors like Arteta and Barnz, “It’s the young ones who see you in another light. Miguel had this sentiment to cast me in a dramatic role (Good Girl), much in the same way Robert Redford cast Mary Tyler Moore in a serious role in Ordinary People.“
Aniston pieced Claire together from two people she knew in her life, one a painkiller-addicted stunt-woman who had her right leg injured in a boat propeller accident, and the other a dear friend, who weathered a deep loss in her life by becoming a crotchety alcoholic. “She had empathy,” said Aniston who in addition to wearing a back brace to get into the physicality of the part, also studied Barnz’s mood book for the film and worked on the proper vocals. In addition, Aniston gained weight by ignoring her regular workouts over two and half months, and being less stringent about what she eats. “It’s the different aspects of people, you dive into and let that become part of you,” said the actress on how she cracked the part.
But whether it’s Cake or Horrible Bosses, Aniston said she approaches the emotion of “comedy and drama in the same way. You start with the truth of the situation of the character. Their real truth. We’re being this human being, whether it’s the situation of portraying (Claire) or someone who is a sex addict (dentist Dr. Julia Harris in Bosses), it’s their truth, no matter what.”
Jennifer Aniston is pretty in pink in her Calvin Klein dress while attending a screening for her new movie “Cake” during the 2014 Variety Screening Series held at ArcLight Hollywood on Friday (November 21) in Hollywood, California. Afterwards Jen hosted a Cocktail Party for the screening at Sunset Tower in West Hollywood. She was joined by her director Daniel Barnz. You can check out 44 high quality photos of Jennifer in our photo gallery. Enjoy!
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Nov 21: 2014 Variety Screening Series – “Cake” Screening
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Nov 21: 2014 Variety Screening Series – “Cake” Screening – Cocktail Party
Jennifer Aniston participated in The L.A. Times ‘The Envelope’ 2014 Oscar Round Table conversation. On The L.A. Times website, you can read edited excerpts from the free-flowing conversation moderated by Times film writers Rebecca Keegan and Mark Olsen. The actresses share their experiences singing on-screen, drunk singing on-screen, what it takes to land a part and the changing roles for women in Hollywood. Along with the text excerpts, but you can watch video highlights from the conversation, which unfortunately can’t be embedded. Last but not least, you can check out 2 high quality portraits of Jennifer from the conversation in our photo gallery.
“L.A. Times” — For this year’s awards season, The Envelope brought together a unique group of actresses, including rising stars breaking through to the next level and established stars breaking out into new roles and challenges, each earning some buzz for their current films.
Participating in the conversation were Jennifer Aniston from the small, personal drama “Cake” (opening in December); Emily Blunt from the musical “Into the Woods” (opening Christmas Day); Jessica Chastain from the recently released space epic “Interstellar” and the December drama “A Most Violent Year”; Gugu Mbatha-Raw from the historic drama “Belle,” which opened in May; and Shailene Woodley from June’s young adult love story “The Fault in Our Stars.”
Jennifer Aniston attended the official press conference for her film “Cake” Thursday afternoon (November 20) held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. You can check out 19 medium and high quality photos of Jennifer at the press conference in our photo gallery. I want to thank Helen for the high quality photos. Enjoy!
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Nov 20: “Cake” Press Conference
Hey everybody! I just updated our photo gallery with 500+ high quality photos of Jennifer from the Los Angeles premiere of her film “Horrible Bosses.” I want to thank a great friend Helen for donating so many photos to us. Thank you, I appreciate it! I hope you all enjoy and keep checking back for tons more updates!
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > “Horrible Bosses 2″ Los Angeles Premiere
Jennifer Aniston hits the black carpet at the “Horrible Bosses 2″ premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday evening (November 20) in Hollywood, California. She was joined by her co-stars Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Christoh Waltz, and Chris Pine at the premiere. You can check out a whopping 605 medium and high quality photos of Jen at the event. Enjoy!
FYI: Jennifer is wearing a Zuhair Murad dress, Christian Louboutin shoes, an EF Collection bracelet with the rest of her jewelry from Jen Meyer.
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > “Horrible Bosses 2″ Los Angeles Premiere
“People” — Jennifer Aniston is known for being one of our favorite Friends and a sex-crazed dentist in the Horrible Bosses movies, but it’s her dark turn as chronic pain-sufferer Claire Bennett in Cake that’s garnering her early Oscar buzz.
Aniston, 45, was committed to everything about the role from the first time she sat down with the film’s director, Daniel Barnz.
“I said to him, ‘I have a whole plan.’ And he allowed me to go where I wanted to go, and we were together every step of the way,” she told the audience during a Q&A following the American Cinematheque screening of Cake, moderated by her close friend and Horrible Bosses 2 costar Jason Bateman.
“Well 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,” she revealed.
Even when she wasn’t filming, it was difficult for her to let go of her character.
“I mean, I kind of was in that place for the five weeks we were shooting,” Aniston continued.
Being such close pals, Bateman couldn’t resist jumping in with a witty remark – “Poor Justin.” Luckily, the darkness of Aniston’s role didn’t affect the couple, because fiancé Justin Theroux was going through a similar process on the opposite side of the country.
“He was thankfully shooting his happy show, The Leftovers, on the East Coast, so we were both just real happy campers,” she joked.
It may seem like Aniston has conquered it all, but when asked by the audience if there was any role she hasn’t played that she’d still like to tackle, she had an immediate response.
“I want to be a superhero,” Aniston declared.
While no superhero movie is in the works (yet!), Aniston has been busy promoting Horrible Bosses 2 with Bateman. When the audience asked Aniston what it was like to work the Arrested Development funnyman and the rest of the cast, Bateman was curious to know the answer too.
“This is a great question,” he responded.
Instead of a funny answer, Aniston gave a heartfelt response. “I had the time of my life. Honestly, it was like Christmas came early.”
Before Aniston could get too sappy, Bateman cut her off returning the praise and giving parents a warning.
“She’s so funny in the second one. I mean she was great in the first one, but, as a result, we said, ‘Well, let’s get more of Jen in the second one.’ Don’t take your kids to the second one.”
“L.A. Times” — Premium movie channel Epix and the Los Angeles Times have teamed up to co-produce a new series featuring interviews with award-contending film actors and directors.
The five-part series, called “Hollywood Sessions,” debuts on Epix at 8 p.m. Dec. 8. Excerpts from the roundtable conversations will also appear in the Envelope print section of The Times, and online at http://www.latimes.com/envelope.
The show is hosted by Times film writers Rebecca Keegan and Mark Olsen, who interview leading contenders for the Oscars and other awards. The first hourlong episode focuses on the lead actress category and features Jennifer Aniston, Emily Blunt, Shailene Woodley, Jessica Chastain and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
For the lead actor episode airing Dec. 29, the guests will be Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne and Robert Downey Jr. Other episodes will feature conversations with actors and actresses in supporting roles, as well as feature film directors.
Jennifer Aniston took part in a Q&A session while attending a special screening for her latest film “Cake” held at the Egyptian Theatre on Wednesday (November 19) in Hollywood, California. Jason Bateman, Jen’s co-star in “Horrible Bosses 2″ monitored the Q&A session. You can check out 22 medium quality photos of Jen in our photo gallery. Enjoy!
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > American Cinematheque Hosts Special Screening of “Cake”
Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman stopped by “Good Morning America” this morning (November 19) to promote their new film “Horrible Bosses 2.” The co-stars sat down with Cameron Mathison to talk about the film, where they shed light on how they were able to keep their roles fresh, fun and exciting. You can check out the interview below, as well as 111 high definition screen captures from the interview. Enjoy!
Screen Captures > Talk Shows > Talk Shows from 2014 > Nov 19: Good Morning America