Helen Hunt stars opposite John Hawkes in The Sessions, as a sex surrogate his disabled character hires.
Helen Hunt stars opposite John Hawkes in The Sessions, as a sex surrogate his disabled character hires. Hunt recently sat down with me and a few reporters to talk about her role in the film. She discussed her character, Cheryl Cohen Green, and why meeting the real-life sex therapist helped her performance. She was also frank about the nudity the movie required, as well as her reaction to seeing her costar Hawkes in a darker role in a different movie. Check out the interview below and look out for The Sessions when it opens in limited release this week.
This was your first time working with John Hawkes, and it's a much lighter role for him. What were you expecting?
HH: I didn’t know what to expect because I had seen Winter’s Bone, but I didn’t think I was going to meet that guy; I hadn’t seen Martha Marcy May Marlene, which I am really glad I hadn’t seen. I saw it afterward and I was horrified.
When your character first meets Mark, she makes it clear that she's not a prostitute.
HH: Well, the first half, I think — when you do a biography, you get the essence of the situation. The essence of the situation is like, "Yes, we’re going to have sex; yes, you’re going to pay me; it’s not exactly like I need to be paid up front because I’m a hooker," so I think that was the spirit of the experience in real life and the spirit of the movie. And she makes a point, which I got from Cheryl’s mouth, which is, "I have nothing against prostitutes — this is just different," and I think the way that my character articulates that is pretty perfect. She says, "A prostitute wants your return business, and I don’t."
There's lots of nudity in this film. How did you mentally prepare for that part of the role?
HH: There was really nothing to do mentally to prepare. I mean, I did all of my homework for the part, which would hopefully distract me from the fact that I was going to be so very naked.
Read the rest of Hunt's interview after the jump.