Cake (2014): Interview with Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston says her performance in new drama “Cake” was physically and emotionally tough, but it was “beyond a dream role.”

Co-starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Worthington, the indie drama finds the actress playing a character who is in massive chronic pain, who’s addicted to pills and booze and who has alienated everyone in her life.

“She basically has to decide whether she wants to live or die,” Aniston said. “The woman’s journey is so heartbreaking but so uplifting, because she’s gone through a trauma but maintains her wit, which is very endearing.

“Cake,” which is looking for a U.S. distributor, came together very fast. Director Daniel Barnz and his partner, producer Ben Barnz, discovered the script in a screenwriting contest 13 months ago and met with the actress in November.  Shooting started April 3, the final touches were added weeks ago.

Aniston said as soon as she had finished reading the script by first-timer Patrick Tobin, “I knew I was going to do it,” because it was a challenge but an opportunity “to express empathy” for the character and all those undergoing similar experiences.

Aniston allowed herself to be photographed without makeup and looking haggard.  Every movement for the character is painful, “which was hard on my body for five weeks of shooting. I spent weekends seeing a chiropractor and getting massages and trying to maintain my sanity.”

Aniston is upbeat about “Cake,” which she sums up as “the little indie that could.”