“I had about six weeks to really do my homework,” Aniston said during an interview with TheWrap‘s executive editor Joseph Kapsch. “There was the physical pain, the addiction and the emotional pain. I just started with what the accident was: Physically, what was broken, [and then] located in the body where the pain was.”
The film follows Aniston as Claire Simmons, an acerbic woman with chronic pain who is constantly popping pills and getting into fights. When Nina (Anna Kendrick), a woman in her support group, commits suicide, she becomes obsessed with her death and Nina’s husband (Sam Worthington).
Aniston is receiving rave reviews for her performance, and her process to capture the pain she’s portraying on screen in director Daniel Barnz emotional drama probably had a lot to do with it.
“I wore a back brace that helped me to be constantly reminded,” Aniston added. “It was a little tap on my shoulder to keep the body — and honestly, once you start to psychosomatically create pain, it really does manifest itself into your own body.”
Aniston is perhaps best known as Rachel on “Friends — an NBC sitcom that has earned itself a permanent presence in American pop culture, despite ending a decade ago — but hopes to continue to change that by disappearing “a little deeper” into different roles.
“I was in peoples living rooms every week for 10 years… so I understand that’s a hard shift to make. Or also to not see that person,” Aniston said. “So i’ve had to disappear a little deeper into someone else in order to see that. But that’s going farther and farther, hopefully, into the distance.”
In the meantime, Aniston says she doesn’t mind the challenge of convincing audiences that she is more than a former sitcom star.
“It excites me, actually,” she added.
“Cake” hits theaters on Jan. 23.
Watch the trailer for “Cake”: