You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Helen Hunt in ‘The Sessions’

Eye on the Oscars: The Actress - Supporting Actress Contenders

As an Oscar and four-time Emmy winner, Helen Hunt is adept at finding the right key to unlock a character.

“It can be a pair of shoes, an accent, one phrase,” says the actress, who’s grown more selective of projects since taking home the gold for “As Good as It Gets” and becoming a mom to 8-year-old daughter Makena.

For her emotionally (and often physically) naked comeback role as a licensed sex surrogate in “The Sessions,” the key proved to be meeting the real-life therapist, Cheryl Cohen Greene, who helped polio-stricken writer Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) lose his virginity.

“It was invaluable not only hearing what she said but how,” says the former “Mad About You” star. “Her enthusiasm, sense of adventure and unabashed frankness about sex seemed like something I hadn’t seen onscreen before.”

While Hunt met several times with Greene — even inviting her over to the house, where the actress had her read the entire “Sessions” script into a tape recorder — she spent “almost no time” with co-star John Hawkes prior to filming their intimate scenes together, which is exactly how she wanted it.

“It worked out perfectly for the movie,” she says, “because the camera got to capture those very real ‘I don’t know you but we’re going be naked together now’ moments.”

Hunt’s bare bod certainly hasn’t hurt in generating buzz for the tiny indie, though according to the actress, putting clothes back on at the end of the day was way more exciting.

“I’d put on the thickest sweatpants I had, zip up my collar, and go to In-n-Out Burger,” she says.

| HOME | Frances McDormand >>

More Scene

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Why Sacha Baron Cohen Credits Donald Trump for ‘Who Is America?’

    Over the course of history, comedians have shared their take on current events with biting commentary on everything from class and gender to fashion and politics, and the current presidential administration is definitely no exception — with President Donald Trump regularly lampooned on shows like “Saturday Night Live” and by late-night TV hosts. But when [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content